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    EXCLUSIVE ROUNDTABLE: Meaningfully differentiating luxury in hotel design

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    EXCLUSIVE ROUNDTABLE: Meaningfully differentiating luxury in hotel design

    To continue Hotel Designs’ series of articles to put sustainability under the spotlight, editor Hamish Kilburn chairs an exclusive editorial roundtable, in collaboration with Minotti London, to understand how today’s leading designers are sensitively working to create a more meaningful luxury hotel design landscape. Joining us on the Minotti sofa to discuss this topic:

    With the aim to conceive and design meaningful luxury hotels, there is undoubtedly a question mark on how designers and architects can differentiate their projects to stand out as timeless jewels. With the rise in technology and social media, competition for hotel operators and developers is no longer limited to a single neighbourhood; we have very much entered a global arena. But how are today’s leading designers confronting the evolving hospitality landscape, and just how significant is sense of place when approaching sensitive luxury projects? We invited a handful of the industry’s most distinguished innovators to Minotti London‘s alluring showroom in Fitzrovia to find out more.

    Hamish Kilburn: What are the largest misconceptions when it comes to designing luxury?

    Jo Littlefair, Director and Co-Founder, Goddard Littlefair: Travelling globally, and understanding global attitudes towards luxury is so important. We have clients that have huge misconceptions to whatever project they are developing. We still struggle when clients associate harsh golds and marbles with luxury, for example. I find it really disheartening, because for me, a non-material object like ‘time’ is a luxury. When approaching the design of any luxury hotel, it’s really important to keep in mind the attitude you are trying to create.

    Hamish Brown, Partner, 1508 London: There are a few buzzwords that keep coming up in the studio. We don’t have a ‘house style’ as such, therefore we are really trying capture and create sense of place within each projects. It’s not about fashion but about style. If you look at the great Hollywood movie stars now and compare them to images of themselves 30 to 40 years ago, quite often they will look as relevant now as they did then. That is certainly to do with style over fashion. We look at ways in which classical details and proportions can manifest themselves within a design.

    David Mason, Head of Hospitality, Scott Brownrigg: The definition of luxury is not the same for everyone. Some may see luxury in technology, while others believe it is in the foundations of a hotel. In our studio, we don’t necessarily design the ultra six-star luxury hotel, but many of our clients are interested in ‘luxury’, which can come from anything from the service down to the attention to detail. What is luxurious to one person is different to another.

    Constantina Tsoutsikou, Creative Director, HBA London: I think luxury is also about being generous as a designer. You always give more than what is expected and make sure that the spaces are comfortable and also have longevity. Where I can, I try to avoid anything too shiny. It’s becoming more apparent that the days of clients wanting to the interiors to show off wealth are behind us. Instead, well-designed luxury interiors are more honest and truthful. That in itself is a luxury mindset.

    “We have realised that clients want luxury but almost on a shoestring budget.” – Constantina Tsoutsikou, Creative Director, HBA London

    Image caption: (centre) Hamish Brown, (right) Jo Littlefair

    HK: When did your clients start accepting a shift in consumer demands when it comes to luxury?

    HB: I think it massively goes back to what that hotel means within its location as well as the characteristics of the building. There is certainly more of an acceptance from both sides. Some clients believe that what they want is a grand, sweeping entrance, whereas to really differentiate themselves and to make their hotel work within its location and to be relevant to the building, we suggest to park pre-conceived ideas and think about what would work for that particular hotel.

    CT: We have realised that clients want luxury but almost on a shoestring budget. If you compare it to a good few years ago, budget expectations are certainly getting lower. Perhaps it is a sign of the times. At the same time, palettes are becoming more concise, that’s a good thing because designs are cleaner. There’s still a layering there, but the money that was being spilled into a hotel project before the 2008 crisis is not there anymore. However, the expectation certainly is. So, as designers, we have to work out how to manage that.

    JL: Also, you cannot ignore the noise and influence of social media – it has a lot to answer for. That inaccurately convinces clients and developers that design is easy and disposable, and that it doesn’t take five minutes to produce a moodboard. But in reality, especially when considering sense of place, you’re thinking about a building and a brand. Putting these elements together requires a real curation of things. Otherwise, I have seen it when people go off on tangents and throw details into the canvas. Nothing ends up gelling and it becomes a messy clash of ideas.

    “Trying to get the balance between the soft, the elegant while making these spaces feel comfortable places to work, sit and socialise is a challenge.” – David Mason, Head of Hospitality, Scott Brownrigg

    HK: One of the most obvious changes in hotel design, and in the demand from guests, is in the public areas. How has this changed the way in which you specify furniture?

    CT: Everybody is working from everywhere. We have a beautiful resort project, which is currently on the boards. As a result of the direct demand from modern travels, we are thinking about putting USB charging sockets on the day beds next to the pool. Generally, I think this is a positive step forward for hotels, which have a life on their own. I think it’s wonderful – and a real stamp of approval from the community – when the neighbourhood becomes part of the life inside a hotel. After all, nobody likes a dead public space.

    “All of our furniture is designed at a deliberate height so that each piece can gel with other elements. As opposed to creating one iconic piece, we wanted to create a design DNA.” Digby Summerhill, Director, Minotti London

    DM: It’s a hard balance to strike. When our commercial interior designers get asked create these multifunctional spaces, the way in which they design is very task oriented. Trying to get the balance between the soft, the elegant while making these spaces feel comfortable places to work, sit and socialise is a challenge.

    Digby Summerhill, Director, Minotti London: We’ve always had modular systems that are flexible. All of our furniture is designed at a deliberate height so that each piece can gel with other elements. As opposed to creating one iconic piece, we wanted to create a design DNA; something that runs through an interior design scene. It’s not a coincidence that no individual item stands out in our collections. One thing I think is interesting is that we didn’t design any of these pieces with hospitality necessarily in mind. Instead we very looked at consumer behaviour and understood the demands of consumers within public areas.

    HB: We are often trying to design public spaces to not look like public areas. The idea of a lobby/lounge going against what people would expect in a conventional hotel, to shelter intimate spaces, private nooks where people can work, is very appealing to me. I agree that idea of the community coming in and using the hotel is huge, but perhaps this is something that London has not got right in the past. In other cities there is much more fluidity and it works beautifully. Allowing furniture to adapt to how people are using is a big part of this, and an idea that is really exciting.

    Image caption: (Left) David Mason, (Right) Jo Littlefair

    HK: Let’s talk about sustainability. A study recently showed that 76 per cent of guests believe that hotels could be greener. Is consciousness the new luxury, as I suggested in my recent editor’s letter?

    JL: We’ve been really encouraged recently to have had two projects come to us with sustainability at their hearts. Absolutely every decision has to have a sustainability angle. What we hope is that it continues through to the final touch points, because there will be financial implications along the way. Having filter taps in the room so that hotel guests can refill water bottles is a fresh approach that I love. The design utilities recycled parts of the existing building, giving a whole new meaning of injecting life back into a hotel. We are really thinking about those elements, including timelessness. I agree that it is about style. For us, it’s not about having a hemp interiors, it’s about creating luxury that has a slight assured sense of elegance and quality that has a higher purpose.

    DM: The best way to differentiate luxury when it comes to sustainability is to be clever. Having a brief like this is rare, let alone working on two. So, designers, it is our responsibility to educate our clients and specify materials and items that don’t harm the environment or the end user. Behind this, it’s therefore so important that we understand the products and materials and what sets them apart from others in the market.

    “Luxury is not just about design, it is about service as well and so many other things that are intrinsically layered on top.” – Hamish Brown, Director, 1508 London

    HK: To me it’s very transparent when hotels use words without actions when it comes to sustainability. Is it the designer’s responsibility to ensure clients avoid greenwashing?

    CT: You have to remember, we are designing spaces that will open in three years time. It’s a long time, and things change very quickly. You have to be ahead of the game and lead in that way so that the hotel is relevant when it opens. You have to ensure that the strategy you have in place is looking ahead and avoids the need for significant last-minute changes. On the other hand, as designers, we have a responsibility to influence the clients. But I think soon, it will become a necessity across the entire industry. I predict this will happen faster than we think, and it’s already started with wider conversations with local suppliers.

    HK: What are you all doing at the moment to try and differentiate your luxury projects from others?

    CT: I am always asking myself, how do I position this hotel in the current market, or in a wider sense, how do I position this hotel for an international clientale? This is because the competition is no longer just the hotel’s neighbour, it’s a global arena.

    DM: I suppose it is now about experience. People desire luxury experiences. A hotel group has just bought the Fort of India. How incredible would that be; to stay and experience something totally unmatched like that. Travellers want authenticity and they consider that to be luxury.

    HB: Sense of place cannot be underestimated. The definition of luxury differs from place to place and demographic to demographic, and you have to respond, beneath the surface, to understand what is happening in those locations. Luxury is not just about design, it is about service as well and so many other things that are intrinsically layered on top. When those elements and concepts interlock, that’s when you have a seamless luxury experience when service and design sit side by side and are harmoniously linked.

    HK: Consumer demands of public areas have spilled out into outdoor spaces. Has this changed the way in which you design these areas together?

    JL: We love integrating the outdoor areas so that they becomes a seamless flow where we can. I would say this is especially the case in food and beverage sector. We have recruited designers that only specialise in those areas so that we can get the operational flow right. That connection to the outdoor is integral to our overall wellbeing. Humanity is an element of luxury that we have not touched upon, because our disassociation with human relationships is becoming more enforced by our use of technology. I feel that human touch – it can be as simple as eye contact, and/or just being understood in a different country – is really important that we deliver with hospitality. And first and foremost, design and architecture should enable this.

    “Usually I will use the sustainability angle as an added value and not the primary reason why we are specifying, unless the brief has an eco-friendly thread in its core.” – Jo Littlefair, Director and Co-Founder, Goddard Littlefair.

    HK: Sustainability is becoming a buzzword that some would argue is losing its meaning. What makes a piece of furniture sustainable for you?

    JL: At the end of the day we, as designers, have to ensure that the furniture looks fantastic – and it meets all the needs and demands from our clients as well as regulations. But it really does come down to how we communicate this with the client. We do have to choose our words carefully, but that’s the same as when pitching any idea to the client. Usually I will use the sustainability angle as an added value and not the primary reason why we are specifying, unless the brief has an eco-friendly thread in its core.

    DM: Different cultures are going to be more interested than others, that is for sure. It is all about baby steps, and we do as much as we can.

    Technology and manufacturing has been a massive help. Sustainable products and materials are now at a price point that works for a client and a luxury brief. To then specify a product that is eco-friendly and longer lasting than another becomes a no-brainer. I really believe it is changing. Clients are more aware of the value of reclaimed or reupholstered furniture. Having said this, it is also a balancing act. I am working on a hotel at the moment with the aim to reupholster the casegoods and the beds, and sadly it is actually almost as expensive as buying new pieces.

    “I think if you can justifiably explain how a decision adds value, then cost can sometimes be reconsidered.” – Hamish Brown, Director, 1508 London.

    HK: In regards to luxury, do you believe value outweighs cost?

    HB: It’s a lovely idea, and my view is that value does outweigh cost. If you look at today’s market and the economy, there is a huge sense of getting value. It’s not always about cost. I think if you can justifiably explain how a decision adds value, then cost can sometimes be reconsidered.

    JL: We get closer to understanding the deal that the developer has struck and the budget that has driven the deal, which underpins the whole project. Basically, our client has a figure that they cannot deviate from. So yes, it is common sense, and I do value beautiful furniture, and we do have to be ambassadors that push for quality so that these pieces don’t end up in landfill, but there is a bottom line figure discussion. As a designer, you are the piece of magic in the middle having to constantly and consistently value engineer the project.

    HB: The most successful projects that we work on are the ones where everyone involved is upfront and honest with cost and there is a real transparency there.

    HK: Has the weight on where the budget is spent in the hotel changed?

    DM: It’s always in the ceiling!

    CT: I have seen that generally, not enough budget is left for the finishing touches.

    JL: For me, it’s artwork.

    Following the exclusive panel discussion, the leading designers and architects were able to browse the showroom, which showcased, in an apt setting, Minotti’s 2019 collection of timeless indoor and outdoor furniture.

    Minotti London will be the venue of Hotel Designs’ Meet Up London, which will take place in Spring 2020. More details will follow.

    If you are interested in hosting our next editorial roundtable, please email Katy Phillips or call +44 (0)1992 374050. 

    Manchester’s Hotel Brooklyn to open in February 2020

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Manchester’s Hotel Brooklyn to open in February 2020

    The doors to Manchester’s highly anticipated Hotel Brooklyn will open in February 2020…

    Designed by Squid Inc – the team behind renowned Hotel Gotham – the long-awaited Hotel Brooklyn is scheduled to open in February 2020. The 189-key hotel is inspired by the New York Borough and chosen for its resonating similarities to Manchester, in terms of its buzzing industrial growth, as well as its strength of identity and culture.

    The hotel will pay homage to Brooklyn’s history from early 20th century to the present day, with the inclusive design of the hotel being overseen by Motionspot, the UK’s leading accessible design company. Positioning itself as Manchester’s most accessible hotel, Hotel Brooklyn will be a trailblazer in championing accessible, sexy and modern design for all.

    “We believe Hotel Brooklyn is a perfect fit for Manchester” – Robin Sheppard, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels

    Squid Inc’s starting point was to create a distinctly Mancunian destination that resonated with the characteristics of its counterpart, Brooklyn: the sense of neighbourhood, the grittiness of its culture and edginess of its people. Brooklyn residents, from Mel Brooks to the Beastie Boys, have helped inspire this vibe.

    “It was an honour to work with Bespoke Hotels again on creating another iconic Manchester hotel with a strong identity and character,” said Olly Redfern, Lead Interior Designer of Squid Inc. “Weaving the lines between Manchester and Brooklyn is a bold and inspirational project that draws many parallels and it was incredibly fun to do, partnering with some of the best local suppliers to create the finished look.”

    Beautiful Victorian brownstone buildings have become icons of both Brooklyn and Manchester and Squid Inc have been driven by the ambition that the architects of Brooklyn showed when repurposing an area which had fallen out of favour, transforming it into one of the most exciting parts of town.

    The brownstone idea is explored from the moment guests enter the hotel, with the industrial feel of the architecture softened by the lobby interior and designed to recreate the sense of journeying down a Brooklyn avenue, with brick stone and trees lining the walls.

    Image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn

    Beyond the lobby is a flight of wide-paced steps, designed to provide a communal space to hang-out – paying homage to the iconic stoops of Brooklyn, and the sense of community these have inspired in film and art.  

    The Snug is designed to be a playful, contemporary twist on the traditional.

    Harking back to historic Victorian brownstone buildings and their expansive drawing rooms, The Snug is designed to be a playful, contemporary twist on the traditional.  This space is cosy and intimate – a sanctuary from the hubbub – with an open fireplace and a record player spinning vintage records from the Manchester music scene.

    “Bathrooms have been cleverly-angled to allow their back walls and semi opaque windows to look out across the guestroom.”

    The aesthetic of the 189 guestrooms has been inspired by Brooklyn’s loft spaces, peppered with immaculate features that favour quality and high-spec finishes. Beds have brass adornments, while Turkish rugs have been designed to contrast with the concrete floors. Bathrooms have been cleverly-angled to allow their back walls and semi opaque windows to look out across the guestroom, while street art wall features finish off the bold design direction.

    Image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn

    Bathroom amenities include organic bamboo toothbrushes and ethically sourced toothpaste, green soap and lotion dispensers with minimum waste.

    In addition, the hotel features 18 dynamically designed accessible bedrooms, each of which has been stylishly designed to complement the aesthetics of the hotel. “Accessible accommodation at Hotel Brooklyn features subtle details like basins with integrated hand grips, removable matt black grab rails, accessible bedroom storage and a hidden ceiling track hoist”, said Ed Warner, Founder & CEO of Motionspot. “We hope this high level of attention paid to inclusivity will make Hotel Brooklyn one of the most sought-after venues for guests of all abilities.”

    Hotel Brooklyn’s bar and restaurant, named Runyon’s after Damon Runyon, an American writer renowned for his depictions of Brooklyn characters, will present a diverse menu showcasing European and American influences. Paying respect to the remarkable industrial craftsmanship of the Brooklyn Bridge (immortalised in many iconic images), Squid Inc have taken the bridge’s tension lines as inspiration, giving Runyon’s a flavour of downtown Brooklyn – a mix of gangster and quality, purposeful engineering – adding a desirable irregularity to proceedings.

    On the top floor of the hotel, Salvation is the hotel’s dedicated events bar, featuring exposed brick work, pop art and neon lights to create a lively destination bar for the UK’s preeminent Northern city.

    “We are thrilled to have secured this fantastic site in the heart of Manchester’s historic industrial thoroughfare of Portland Street”, commented Robin Sheppard, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels. “We believe Hotel Brooklyn is a perfect fit for Manchester, not solely in terms of the architectural grandeur and convenience of its location, but the abundant character and feistiness of the city. Portland Street is experiencing a regeneration as the hotel strip of the city”.

    Image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn

    Throughout the hotel, regional suppliers have been selected wherever possible. Deanhouse Interiorswere commissioned to fabricate the entire fit-out package, including cased goods from wardrobe and bedroom fittings, to the reception pods and 9th floor bar counter. Alongside this, PS Interiors sourced several key furniture pieces throughout, including the retro styled bedroom chairs, while sourcing New York street art was overseen by Elegant Clutter Artwork. In addition, Manchester-based The Knot Collective were commissioned to design two bespoke rugs for the hotel’s public spaces.

    Main image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn

    MEININGER Hotels signs for second hotel in the UK

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    MEININGER Hotels signs for second hotel in the UK

    The hotel group, MEININGER Hotels, will open 87-key hotel in Liverpool in 2021…

    MEININGER Hotels, which currently operates 29 hybrid hotels in Europe, has signed a contract for a new hotel in Liverpool, reinforcing its aim for further growth in the UK. “Our new hotel property in Liverpool is an existing building that will be converted into a typical MEININGER Hotel according by spring 2021,” says Thomas Hagemann, COO of MEININGER Hotels.

    “On a gross floor area of 36,049 sq ft (3,349 sq m), the result will be a state-of-the-art accommodation with 87 rooms and 277 beds spread over six floors, a lobby, reception, guest kitchen, bar, lounge, game zone as well as a breakfast area and luggage room.

    “Our guests can also look forward to sufficient social spaces for shared community experiences as well as to our flexible room concept, which is unique in the industry. The MEININGER Hotel Liverpool will appeal to individual, group and business travellers with its room structure consisting of two, three and four-bed rooms.”

    The MEININGER Hotel Liverpool will be located on Union Court, right in the heart of the city. Most of the main cultural, architectural and gastronomic attractions of the city are within walking distance of the hotel: from the UNESCO world heritage buildings around the Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool One, the Tate Gallery or the Cavern Club. Thanks to the excellent public transport links via the nearby train and bus stations, both Anfield and Goodison Park are also within easy reach for football fans.

    This will be the MEININGER Group’s second hotel in the UK after the opening of the MEININGER Hotel London Hyde Park in 2006. A MEININGER Hotel Manchester is also underway and expected to open at the end of 2021.

    Hannes Spanring, CEO of MEININGER Hotels commented: “Together with openings planned for this year in Paris and Lyon as well as next year in Washington D.C., which will mark the respective market entries in France and the U.S., Liverpool is an important milestone in MEININGER Hotels’ goal to operate approximately 34,000 beds internationally by 2024.”

    “There is no doubt that the UK capital is very popular with visitors, and we had a 94% occupancy rate last year at our Hyde Park hotel,” he added. “But the UK is very rich in attractive destinations with enormous development potential elsewhere too. We are therefore delighted to have signed the contract for a new MEININGER Hotel in Liverpool.

    “In Liverpool, the figures for overnight stays and hotel offerings have shown a sustained upward trend in recent years, and the forecasts are also very positive,” Spanring continues. “The current range of rooms consists mainly of four-star and budget hotels, hostels account for only one percent of all accommodation in Liverpool to date. Our goal is to become the UK market leader in this segment with our unique hybrid hotel concept, which combines the service and comfort of international budget hotels with the exceptional amenities and flexible room structure of hostels.”

    Main image credit: Xtravagant

    Exploring Roca, Armani/Roca, Laufen and Cosmic’s new UK headquarters

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Exploring Roca, Armani/Roca, Laufen and Cosmic’s new UK headquarters

    Editor Hamish Kilburn is invited up to Leicester where he is able to discover the treasures that lie within Roca Group’s new and improved UK headquarters…

    Some businesses would argue that, when reading that the country’s construction has fallen by 2.5 per cent from August to September, which is largely influenced by the unstable political landscape in the UK at the moment, now is not a wise time to invest in expanding UK assets.

    And then there are companies like Roca Group that would disagree entirely to the above statement. Claiming the title of market-leading bathroom manufacturer for more than 20 years, with more than 24,000 employees globally, Roca Group has recently opened a new and gleaming UK headquarters. Based on the outskirts of Leicester, the 145,000 sq-ft base, which also features one of the country’s largest bathroom showrooms, was the subject of my latest warehouse/factory tour.

    “Roca Group is all about the long-term goals,” Alan Dodds, the Managing Director of Roca Group UK, tells Hotel Designs. “Our products are inspired by materials. Therefore, research and design is paramount.”

    Peering over the interior balcony was the first time I grasped the sheer scale of Roca Group’s UK presence. The warehouse is colossal, complete with 12 dock level loading doors, two level access loading doors and 150 per cent more pallet locations than it sheltered in its previous UK base. “We had been at maximum capacity [in our old headquarters] for years,” adds Dodds. “And it’s refreshing, and it feels like the right time, to be able to bring all brands together under one roof.”

    Although the brands under Roca Group may capture a different segment of the market, the research and development team behind each product launched work in-house and operate across both Roca, Roca/Armani, Laufen and Cosmic equally. “It can take anything from six months to two years for a product to be developed and ready for the market,” explains Dodds. “We may not always be the first to launch new concepts, but we ensure that when we do, we are adding something different. Something that the consumers have demanded.”

    The latest shower toilets from Laufen are a solid example of this. Despite these W/Cs first being introduced in the ‘80s, the group has only recently launched them to the market, after investing time in careful and sensitive R&D. “We realised that consumers did not appreciate the chunkiness of this style of product originally, nor did they speak highly of the complicated and often unnecessary software when it comes to operating them,” said Richard Court, Laufen’s UK training manager. “Therefore, we launched our W/Cs to look discreet – like any other high-end toilet – and offer a one-button solution for operation that can, if preferred, also be adjusted by the remote.”

    In regards to showcasing the latest products on the market across all brands, the new showroom is one of the largest – and most impressive – bathroom showrooms in the UK. In true Roca Group fashion, the space has been dynamically designed to enhance each product’s value and unique selling points. It superbly compliments the group’s ethos to form ideas responsibly and with purpose.

    Often on the battlefield of bathroom manufacturers, one of the main challenges faced by bathroom manufacturers is differentiation. For Roca Group, each brand has its own position, aims and target market. However, all innovations are inspired by materials, form and function.

    Some of these materials used for sanitaryware from other manufacturers include china ceramic, titanium steel, and even cast-iron. However, in 2013, after half a decade of research and in true Swiss design style, Laufen launched a new material that became known as the world’s thinnest ceramic. “Sourcing SaphirKeramik was Laufen’s dining out card for some time,” explains Court. “It allows us to manufacture thin material without sacrificing on strength. It is still to this day the only material that can do so – and we are the only company that uses it.”

    The advantages of SaphirKeramik affect the availability of space. Put simply, less material is required without affecting the durability of the product. This could quite possible inspire future collections from Laufen that include smaller basins, for example, that would be impossible to recreate using any other material.

    In addition to the vast innovation, the brand’s bread and butter has always been valuable collaboration. In 1989/1990, Laufen introduced the first design collection developed with the Porsche Design Group with a press release headed “The bathroom that’s a PORSCHE”. Since then, the brand has partnered with renowned designers such as Patricia Urquiola, Roberto Palomba and Marcel Wanders to take the aesthetics of bathroom design to new heights.

    Next month at Sleep & Eat 2019 (stand L10), Laufen will unveil the result of its latest collaboration with Wanders. The New Classic collection interprets classical styles using Laufen’s SaphirKeramik to create soft, gentle feminine curves, alongside angular, masculine elements.

    Over in the Roca division of the showroom, while the brand is less focused on collaborations, there is one exceptional partnership that has been repositioned and readjusted under the spotlight recently following the brand announcing its second collection with fashion house Armani.

    Image credit: Roca/Armani

    Armani/Roca, as Giorgio Armani explains, “combines all the functional aspects of the bathroom space with elegance and subtly, providing an area that simultaneously provides comfort and wellbeing.” And the way in which the set has been curated within the new showroom with ‘that bath’ being taking centrestage, certainly does that bold statement justice. The latest products within the collection will also be showcased at Sleep & Eat on stand L20.

    “Each brand that is under the Roca Group umbrella is equally dedicated to stay within the confines of its own design lane.

    Adjacent to the Roca section within the showroom, the company displays yet another unique bathroom brand and style. Cosmic was created in 1985 and started by uniquely producing abstract bathroom accessories, such as the free-standing Saku collection. Designed by Ricard Ferrior, the products’ designs were inspired by plant forms which grow and evolve.

    The brand has recently expanded its offering, taking its inspiration from the rise in demand for industrial bathrooms, and included furniture, basins and a new range of lighting and mirrors. The Grid, also designed by Ferrer, is an excellent example of something different to launch in the bathroom furniture market. The parallel lines which frame the objects have been specifically designed for an architecturally engineered bathroom, something that neither Laufen nor Roca would compete to achieve.

    Image credit: Cosmic

    Considering how heavily congested the bathroom manufacturing market is, Roca Group seems to be able to jockey for position and noise within the market place effortlessly. “Roca keeps life very simple, allowing the products’ innovative qualities do the talking,” Dodds concludes. “But if you launch good products, present them in the right way, and have a good team, you will be heard regardless how busy the market place is.”

    Following my insightful trip to the group’s new UK Headquarters, one thing has become more apparent: each brand that is under the Roca Group umbrella is equally dedicated to stay within the confines of its own design lane. While all brands are inspired by outside influences and research, each and every decision is carefully considered to keep all brands at the forefront of the bathroom manufacturing market. Operating in 170 markets in all corners of the world, Roca Group’s long-term thinking has resulted in the launch of unconventional bathroom solutions for all designers.

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

    Main image credit: Roca Group

    Permission submitted to integrate 400,000 plants within façade of new London hotel

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Permission submitted to integrate 400,000 plants within façade of new London hotel

    Set to radically change the city’s landscape and add to its eco hotel offering, hotel developer Dominvs Group and architecture firm Sheppard Robson have submitted permission for a living wall to be the façade of a new London hotel, with the aim to absorb more than eight tonnes of the city’s gaseous pollution each year… 

    Following Hotel Designs publishing the results of a new study that showed that 76 per cent of guests believed that hotels could be greener, the architecture firm of a new development in London has submitted planning permission to include 40,000ft² as part of its exterior shell.

    The hospitality-led, mixed-use project designed by Sheppard Robson for Dominvs Group is characterised by one of the largest green walls in the world, creating a distinctive architectural addition to a gateway City site, while absorbing eight tonnes of pollution annually and setting the standard for urban greening in London.

    Radical plans have been submitted to the City of London to create a 382-key five-star hotel, featuring the vertical landscaping, as well as 40,000ft2 of workspace, a sky-bar on the tenth floor, meeting and events space, spa and ground level restaurant and co-working space. Situated on a prominent site on Holborn Viaduct at the gateway of what will be the City’s “Cultural Mile,” the proposed building creates an opportunity to broadcast fresh ideas about how the built environment can address pertinent issues such as air quality, climate change and air pollution.

    “Dominvs Group is incredibly proud of our proposals for 61-65 Holborn Viaduct which aim to play a major role in the regeneration of the Smithfield area,” said Jay Ahluwalia, Director of Dominvs Group. “With the City of London’s vision for the area and the creation of the Culture Mile, we feel this project will support and enhance the overall ambition for this exciting, new cultural destination as the creative heart of the Square Mile.”

    “The wall will also significantly contribute towards improving local air quality, by trapping approximately 500kg of particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) per year.”

    Coming after our successful opening of The Dixon at Tower Bridge and the recent breaking of ground at Creed Court, St Pauls we hope our proposals demonstrate our ongoing commitment to providing developments of the highest quality in Central London. We also believe the building’s proposed Living Green Wall, the largest in Europe, could be an exciting, innovative and celebrated addition to London for years to come.”

    By integrating 40,000 square feet of living wall within the façade, the building is projected to annually capture more than eight tonnes of carbon, produce six tonnes of oxygen, and lower the local temperature by three to five degrees Celsius. The wall will also significantly contribute towards improving local air quality, by trapping approximately 500kg of particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) per year.

    The project engages with the Urban Greening Policy set out in the GLA’s draft New London Plan, incorporating strategies to encourage more and better urban greening, while adopting measures for an ‘Urban Greening Factor.’ The projected Urban Greening Factor score of 1.37 exceeds requirements by 45 times and has the highest greening score in Greater London.

    The development also includes new public green space, with the roof-top viewing gallery on the eleventh floor open to the public and featuring incredible views overlooking St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Grade I listed Holy Sepulchre, and over the city beyond. At roof level, the greenery continues to wrap around the building, with spaces designed for threatened native wildflower species to flourish.

    Dan Burr, Partner at Sheppard Robson, said: “On a site that is so prominent, there was a real drive to inject some fresh perspectives on how to grapple with some on London’s most urgent environmental issues, including air quality and noise and dust pollution. Rather than having an isolated patch of greenery, we felt that an immersive and integrated approach would have the biggest impact on the local environmental conditions and making a better and more liveable city, as well as articulating a clear architectural statement.”

    Hotel Designs will be exploring the topic of sustainability all next month. If you have story for the editorial team, please email editor Hamish Kilburn. 

    Main image credit: Sheppard Robson

    GROHE to showcase ground-breaking 3D printing concept at Sleep & Eat 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    GROHE to showcase ground-breaking 3D printing concept at Sleep & Eat 2019

    GROHE will return to the Sleep & Eat 2019 exhibition for its 14th year in November, delivering continued commitment to the hospitality sector with new product innovations…

    GROHE will showcase its most eclectic and diverse product offering yet including the ICON 3D which has received international recognition since its launch in March 2019.

    This will be the first time the 3D printing concept will be on display in the UK, having already received multiple award-nominations including the Blueprint Awards 2019, plus specification in exciting European projects such as the new Under restaurant in Norway.

    With the launch of another ceramics collection earlier this year, GROHE will use Europe’s leadinghospitality design event to cement its status as a complete supplier of coordinated bathroom fittings offering a seamless and hassle-free way of working with specifiers in the hospitality sector.

    “This is an exciting time for GROHE as we mark our evolution from a sanitaryware brand to an all- encompassing bathroom brand that can offer hoteliers and specifiers a complete and coordinated design from one single, world-recognised supplier,” said Raj Mistry, Marketing Director at GROHE UK. “Sleep & Eat is a key event for us and one which has helped us to build very strong industry contacts over the years. As its founding partner in 2005 we continue to push the boundaries of innovation at the show.”

    GROHE will once again have fantastic placement and visibility within the exhibition space and its carefully curated stand can be found at M50. The stand will include new launches first seen at ISH 2019 earlier this year in Frankfurt, many of which will be showcased in the UK for the first time at the event.

    GROHE are 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, email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

    Main image credit: GROHE

    Coventry’s Telegraph Hotel unveils new interiors

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Coventry’s Telegraph Hotel unveils new interiors

    Operators behind the transformation of the former Coventry Evening Telegraph building into the city’s first four-star hotel have revealed the first completed interiors of Telegraph Hotel….

    The £20 million project on the Telegraph Hotel has seen an iconic 1950s building turned into an 88-key boutique hotel embracing its Mid-Century architecture. The hotel features a 160-seat convention room, meeting rooms, 110-cover restaurant and two ground floor bars as well as an expansive rooftop bar and events space which overlooks Belgrade Square.

    The released photographs show one of the smallest bedrooms, which has been prepared early as a sample room to enable the finessing of the design. The hotel will open in September 2020 ahead of Coventry being UK City of Culture and is already taking bookings.

    The hotel has been developed by Complex Development Projects (CDP) and operated by Bespoke Hotels, the UK’s largest independent hotel group which also operates Gotham Hotel and Oddfellows On The Park.

    The guestrooms and public space interiors have been designed by Squid Inc, highly praised for their recent work on Manchester’s award-winning Hotel Gotham. The company has taken inspiration from the building’s history as a thriving newspaper and printworks, as well as the Mid-Century architectural style for which Coventry is famed.

    The project is a flagship for the city’s drive to boost the tourist economy and will be one of the major physical legacies of 2021.

    “The Telegraph Hotel will bring something truly unique to the region and we have looked across Europe for our inspiration,” said Brian Harrabin of CDP. “ This is the first glimpse of the completed product.

    “This will be Coventry’s first four-star hotel since the Hotel Leofric, which was built in the rebirth of Coventry in the 1950s.  It is apt that we are restoring a much-loved 1950s landmark building and recreating the glamour of that Mid-Century era.

    “The hotel recaptures the optimism of the era for the renewed confidence in Coventry’s future that we will be celebrating in 2021. In many ways we wanted to signal to the outside world that Coventry has done it again – the improvements to the city in recent years have been immense.

    “All the en-suite rooms will be a treat to stay in, offering much more than merely a nod to the 1950s in styling. In a world where most hotels appear the same, it will be very different.”

    The project has been supported by the West Midlands Combined Authority.

    Main image credit: Telegraph Hotel

    In Conversation With: Britain’s design legend Martin Brudnizki

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    In Conversation With: Britain’s design legend Martin Brudnizki

    Last year’s crowned Interior Designer of The Year at The Brit List Awards, Martin Brudnizki, invites editor Hamish Kilburn to his Chelsea London studio to explain some of the major milestones in his career as well as how he logistically manages his time in a truly international market…

    Design gems are not hard to come by on the British hotel design scene. You have only to open the pages of last year’s edition of The Brit List – and this year’s shortlist for that matter – to find the top 75 influential designers, architects and hoteliers.

    However, design legends are less common. It’s not a question of talent or ability, but more a reflection of style, class, personality and being about to really set oneself aside from others in the heavily congested international hotel design market.

    There is only – and will only ever be – one Martin Brudnizki, for example. Last year, Hotel Designs’ The Brit List crowned the acclaimed visionary as its Interior Designer of the Year – and for good reason. “Brudnizki is an international leader, standing as an icon as well as inspiration to so many young aspiring designers,” commented last year’s expert judging panel. “His recent work in University Arms Cambridge is a credit to his studio’s ability to give a building a new lease of life in the most sensitive and creative way.”

    Image caption/credit: The Library designed by MBDS/University Arms Cambridge

    Almost one year later, while the editorial team at Hotel Designs are gearing up for yet another spectacular awards ceremony, I aptly caught up with the Brudnizki in his Chelsea studio in London to find out more about our ‘poster boy’s’ journey to become one of the world’s most celebrated interior designers of the moment.

    “I grew up in Stockholm; my mother was a stylist and my father an engineer and I think this blend of approaches to living and design, in particular, rubbed off on me,” Brudnizki explains. “My mother is incredibly stylish and filled our home with beautiful colours, patterns and objet. My father on the other hand, worked in a very precise and thought-through way. Both aspects of their personality has certainly informed the way I work today.”

    Brudnizki’s early career in design saw him working at the likes of David Gill Gallery and David Collins Studio before branching off and putting his own practice in 2000, Martin Brudnizki Design Studio (MBDS) in 2000. “I learned a lot during my time in other places,” he adds, “which has served me well when establishing my own studio.”

    “We have a number of up-coming projects that I also hope shape our studio’s story. It’s an exciting time.” – Martin Brudnizki

    Since then, MBDS has become one of the leading international design studios, with bases in London and New York and projects including The Beekman, University Arms and Four Seasons Athens. But, like all designers, Brudnizki remembers the milestone moments; the hotels and buildings that captured his and his team’s incredible imagination, usually sheltered in iconic shells. “All the projects we work on are exciting and help shape the future of the studio however, there are a few that really stick out as being pivotal,” the designer explains. “Scott’s in Mayfair presented us with the opportunity to design our first fine dining restaurant, it also cemented our relationship with Caprice Holdings, who have since become important clients of ours. Working with Nick Jones on Soho Beach House Miami was exciting as this saw us introduce the successful Soho House brand to a new region. The Beekman in New York opened in 2016 and helped stamp our mark on New York. It’s located in a beautiful building and we were lucky to garner a lot of attention from it. Finally, Annabel’s in London has proved incredibly popular for us. It’s such an iconic club so we felt very honoured to be asked to redesign its incarnation. We have a number of up-coming projects that I also hope shape our studio’s story. It’s an exciting time.”

    Dividing his time between both London and New York has given Brudnizki the unique freedom to position himself in two of the world’s most respected design hubs. “Both cities have very unique identities,” Brudnizki explains. “They are both are melting pots of culture and excitement and whilst very different, they both present wonderful opportunities to mark your mark.”

    “Luxury travel to me is being able to combine a sense of curated experience with spontaneity; finding new places but also the having the flexibility to be adventurous and go off piste.” – Martin Brudnizki

    From the outside looking in, the luxury market in hotel design may look like a desirable place to start when setting out to build a reputation as being a leading designer, but it also comes with risk to cater to the ever-changing demand of the modern luxury traveller. For Brudniki, the true art of luxury travel is a reflection of his own experience and personality. “Luxury travel to me is being able to combine a sense of curated experience with spontaneity; finding new places but also the having the flexibility to be adventurous and go off piste,” he defines.

    Since winning at The Brit List 2018, Brudnizki’s vision on a new hotel brand has come to life in the shape of Mr C Hotels, which opened in Miami earlier this year – and has, as a result, put him in the running for the second consecutive year for this year’s awards. “Mr C is situated in a modern new build in the green surroundings of Coconut Grove,” he explains. “New builds have many benefits, including up-to-date technology and no listed statuses to content with however, new builds often lack the characterful details of older properties. With this in mind, we often have to dig deeper to find a strong narrative to wrap the hotel’s design in. For Mr. C we looked to the landscape of the region and the glamorous boating heritage and incorporated elements of this into our scheme.”

    As well as technology, another area that has peaked recently in popularity among developers as well as designers and architects is the value of sustainability and designing consciously. “I think it depends on the project and the client, Brudnizki admits. “We are working with Six Senses on their new hotel and resort in Kitzbuehel Alps and the whole design is focused on sustainability and using organic and local materials. This is to mirror the brand’s values so we’ve had an interesting time researching new materiality and local artisans who can help reduce the hotel’s carbon footprint and up their sustainability accreditation.”

    Quick-fire round

    Hamish Kilburn: Where is next on your travel bucket list?
    Martin Brudnizki: Portugal.

    HK: What is the number one item you simply cannot travel without?
    MB: A silk eye mask.

    HK: What is the last item that will show up on your bank statement?
    MB: Probably food from Bayley & Sage.

    HK: What is your favourite place to unwind in London?
    MB: My home in Parsons Green. As a travel so much, it’s nice to just come home and relax in the peace and quiet.

    HK: What trend do you hope will never return?
    MB: International Beige.

    HK: Where are you travelling to next?
    MB: My New York Studio next week.

    Before I leave the designer in peace to create with his team the hotel interiors of the future, which include hotels in London, Austria, LA and Cape Town (among others), I am interested to explore, on the surface at least, new materials that have emerged on the designer’s radar. “I am really interested in straw marquetry at the moment; it’s such a beautiful natural fibre that can be used in the most unusual of places, such as walls and furniture,” Brudnizki says.

    MBDS itself is incubating a strong network of talented designers that will further position Britain as a globally regarded leading design hotspot. With his name on the door of two dynamic studios – and also in the minds of I would argue all aspiring interior designers – Brudnizki is leading the ever-evolving industry into new territory.

    The shortlisted finalists this year’s The Brit List have been invited to The Brit List Awards 2019, which takes on November 21 at Patch East London (Aldgate). To purchase limited tickets, click here

    Main image credit: Luca Marziale

    UNILIN injects maximalist luxury vibes new finishes

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    UNILIN injects maximalist luxury vibes new finishes

    UNILIN develops products inspired by everything from reclaimed wood, through trending colours, to concrete and brushed precious metals such as gold to create an ideal setting for all hospitality scenes…

    Nothing can match gold for injecting glamour into our living and working spaces and the material is now a favourite for high-end interiors looking to deliver a maximalist luxury vibe. However, for most projects the ‘real deal’ is beyond grabs and this is when UNILIN Evola decorative surfaces come into their own.

    With UNILIN Evola’s brushed gold decor, space and furniture designers working in retail, hospitality, commercial office spaces and even high-end residential projects can capture the magic with versatile surface finishes in scratch, wear and stain-resistant HPL. Used to create ultra-luxe splashbacks and surrounds in washrooms to stylish feature panels on furniture, or even as a detail highlight on door handles; UNILIN Evola brushed gold brings the look without breaking the bank.

    “There’s no doubt that high-end luxury is a major driver in interiors and our brushed gold is the perfect way to get the look while keeping a lid on your budget,” says Jurgen Plas, marketing manager for UNILIN, division panels. “With decors such as brushed gold, marble, ceppo and brushed bronze, the Evola collection can answer the demand for glamour with highly-functional surfaces that are not only cost-effective alternatives, but also functionally better.”

    Teamed with the black of a UNILIN MDF door panel to create a fan inlay in radiant gold, offset beautifully against the marble of carrara creamy wall panels, brushed gold brings a look straight out of 1920s decadence. Or bonding it to shelf edges set against the walnut backdrop of Lorenzo, sees the very same elegant gold-effect take on a luxury modern edge: brushed gold can lift any space beyond the ordinary.

    With many of the 198 décors in the UNILIN Evola collection completely exclusive, UNILIN, division panels develops products inspired by everything from reclaimed wood, through trending colours, to concrete and brushed precious metals. All UNILIN Evola décors are available in HPL, melamine-faced chipboard and edging-tape; each product providing exceptional quality and a surface that is scratch and UV resistant, as well as easy to look after. With authenticity and practicality, UNILIN Evola is a serious alternative to natural materials.

    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: Outstanding Property Award London’s Jesper Thomsen

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    In Conversation With: Outstanding Property Award London’s Jesper Thomsen

    Making its debut on the international design stage, Outstanding Property Award London (OPAL) has begun its global search to identify the most innovative design and architecture projects. As the exclusive media partner of the awards, Hotel Designs speaks to OPAL’s  co-founder to understand what sets the initiative aside from others. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

    “What makes a building, a project, a person and/or a hotel’s design outstanding,” I ask myself as I weave between some of London’s architectural skyline statements while running embarrassingly late to meet with Jesper Thomsen. It feels like only yesterday we were both sitting down over coffee for the first time discussing the bones of what has now become the Outstanding Property Award London (OPAL).

    Fast-forward to today, and I am on the jury –  as well as at the helm of a very special media partnership -imminently about to be asked to identify the ‘outstanding’ from the ‘extraordinary’ and ‘unique’ – all of which are buzzwords that are overused and I struggle at the best of times to define. Considering the vast amount of innovative architectural gems that have appeared in cityscapes around the world in recent years, I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel the entire weight of the industry’s judgement pressing down on my shoulders. It’s an interesting concept becoming a judge, and ironic that what follows is then the feeling – or apprehension at least – of judgement. But it’s reassuring to know that I’m not alone when casting my opinion, as the awards now has significant number of jury members, all of which have been hand-selected to offer different perspectives from all corners of the industry.

    By the time I make it to meet Thomsen, I have decided that, for me, something unconventional will be my winner, which is a word that I feel would best describe Thompson’s ambitions for OPAL, along with ‘bold’, ‘courageous’ and ‘about time.’

    Hamish Kilburn: What was the aim when setting up OPAL? 

    Jesper Thomsen: The aim was created out of a passion for creativity in the property industry. We aim to highlight and celebrate the most exceptional design projects in the world, raising their awareness and honoring its creators. Buildings last for decades, sometimes centuries, they tell our history and legacy, where we come from and where we are now. They are fundamental to our existence, so it’s essential that they are well designed and serves humanity in the best way possible.

    We seek to reveal projects that are not only highly creative but show useful function, provide better living experiences for its users, and meeting the clients’ expectation. Class-leading projects that demonstrate innovation and embracing new technologies, setting new trends, respecting and protecting the environment, and pushing boundaries of human ingenuity.

    OPAL was established with my friend and business partner Hossein Farmani, founder of the Farmani Group of companies, who has vast experience in the design awards industry since 1985. Having worked together in the past, the award feels like a natural progression of our combined experiences.

    HK: Can you tell more about your experience in the industry? What’s your story? 

    JT: I always wanted to become an Architect. Since a young age, I’ve been fascinated by design, and for me, architecture was the ultimate expression of human creativity and design evolution. However, my father was the third-generation owner of a printing and design practice in my native Denmark and got me interested in graphic design. At the time of A-level graduation in Denmark, I wanted to apply for the School of Architecture, but the ministry of education regulating the free admissions had almost no openings for new students due to a slump in that industry.

    Instead, after one year as an apprentice in an architectural firm in Paris, I moved to London and began a Masters degree at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, which related more to graphic design, I also supplemented my studies with photography. Following graduation, I was a creative director, designing websites for major companies during the dot com boom era. Here I gained considerable experience in digital marketing and branding. After a seven-year itch, I became tired of commercial design, and my love for the arts was calling.

    I launched a private art gallery in Londons’ Knightsbridge, including spending one year developing and designing the gallery space. In this process, it felt like all creative aspects came together, and after completion, I would subsequently spend another seven years running the gallery exhibiting artworks by artists such as Damian Hirst and Bill Brandt.

    I decided to move on from the gallery business, and fate got me involved in developing a few properties in Londons Knightsbridge, I spent nearly 3 years responsible for all operations, learning hands-on all the disciplines from interiors to architecture, planning, research, 3D modeling, materials, procuring and team management. It was a very creative period but also learning the hard way how complex the creation of properties really is. So my past really covers hugely varied types of creative practices. I’ve learned that creativity, in all its forms, is about ‘seeing’, sensing, letting your imagination unfold, and this can be applied to all its disciplines.

    HK: Why is London such a significant destination to base these awards? 

    JT: London has always been incredibly important for creativity and design in the built environment, spanning from historical landmarks up to today’s groundbreaking contemporary designs. Some of the most famous developers, architectural firms, and interior designers, have a base here and continue to inspire and influence the global property industry. The OPAL Award is open to entries from around the world, and we want to bring outstanding projects to London and celebrate them in our fantastic capital we are so proud of.

    “OPAL offers a three-way synergy between our three main entry categories; Property Development, Architecture and Interior Design.” – Jesper Thomsen

    HK: What sets OPAL aside from other design awards? 

    JT: Many awards are confined to a single industry within the property sector; An Architecture Award, is for Architects, by Architects. An interior design award, is for interior designers, by interior designers and so on. OPAL reaches fully across the property sector. It offers a three-way synergy between our three main entry categories; Property Development, Architecture and Interior Design. These industries continuously collaborate to create exciting projects, each bringing their expertise, and combined, they deliver outstanding designs. We are also very proud of our talented jury panel who will evaluate the global entries, they are our backbone and aspiration to those who enter our award.

    HK: What other destinations around the globe would you are design hotspots? 

    JT: It’s incredible how major cities in Asia have become design hotspots. Shanghai for example, really pushes boundaries fuelled by a concentration of industrial partners and strong government support. As the countdown to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games draws closer, the Japanese capital is in the middle of a hotel gold rush. Anything from boutique design hotels to glittering skyscrapers, a raft of new establishments are opening or are in the pipeline. Mexico City is also one to watch after being nominated for World Design Capital last year. I love their particular design language, elegantly fusing original colonial architecture with contemporary.

    HK: What’s the number one thing you cannot travel without?

    JT: This is an obvious one; my laptop. It’s glued to my fingertips at all times. I travel extensively, and this enables me to run operations and be connected at all times. Oh, and an online back-up of it too.

    HK: What is your favourite hotel you have ever stayed in and why?

    JT: There are so many. I recently visited Extremadura, a remote and less traveled part of Spain. Here, in the historic town of Cáceres, inside its UNSECO walled city and housed in a beautifully restored 16th-century palace is the stunning hotel Atrio. Striking white minimalist architectural features blends lovingly with the old stone walls and shiny black wooden floors. The surrounding streets have no tourist shops, nor huge crowds with selfie sticks you’d typically find in places of such beauty, just quaint, peaceful alleys defined by sandstone and ivy leaf clad palaces. The rooms and amenities are styled in a fashionable 60s Scandinavian design, Miles Davies’ Blue Note years playing softly in the background, a pleasing opposition to the striking view onto the empty medieval square below. Atrio is also home to a fabulous two-starred Michelin restaurant boasting one of the finest wine cellars in the world. I thoroughly recommend a visit here.

    HK: What do you look for in an outstanding property?

    JT: What really excites me about a great project is when the original vision of a completed building shines like a star, its purpose is evident to the eyes and the senses. Those projects are likely to be those who have seen mostly green lights during the creation process.

    HK: Where’s next on your travel bucket list?

    JT: My sights are on Mongolia, away from civilisation and buildings. When I take time off, I grab my camera bag and go shooting landscapes, happy to be off-grid. No place is better for me to clear my mind than to connect with solitary, vast open expanses or wild roaring oceans.

    HK: What is your favourite restaurant/bar in London at the moment?

    JT: I like Aquavit in St. James. Maybe I’m a bit impartial due to my Scandinavian roots, here you can eat classic dishes such as gravid lax in a beautiful, sumptuous setting. I also like the buzz of The Ned, the physical scale of it is bars, and restaurants area is incredible. I just had a sneak peek of the yet to be launched upstairs bar and restaurant of the Standard Hotel, a funky design offering fantastic views over Londons’ city to one side and the clock tower of St. Pancras to the other, so close it feels glued onto their windows.

    HK: What trend do you hope never returns?

    JT: Brutalist 60s’ architecture. Its primitive obsession with concrete made an austere generation of buildings where function superseded design, creating discouraging living conditions for its users. I don’t think architects and developers of that time really understood or considered the human factor as part of a design concept, that a building serves to improve peoples lives and its environment, not just a structure to keep you dry from the rain. They are genuine eyesores and should be demolished, and only the best examples should be preserved for the record. I doubt this trend will return anytime soon due to a much better understanding of peoples needs along with technological advancements in the building industry, 3D printing, new materials and simulation methods give designers today far more freedom, flexibility, and individuality to create exciting designs.

    Main image credit: OPAL

    In Conversation With: British designer Bim Burton

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    In Conversation With: British designer Bim Burton

    Following the unveil of his latest collaboration with bathroom manufacturer Kaldewei, Bim Burton sits down with Hotel Designs to discuss sustainability in design and the inspiration behind ‘those bath chairs’… 

    Bim Burton is an innovative modern furniture maker and designer, creating timeless design with space saving ideas. Taking this year’s themes of (Re)act at designjunction, Bim and Kaldewei worked together to create, exclusively, for designjunction, a series of recyclable, sustainable unique bath chairs in three different styles.

    These were showcased within the Installations area, located in Lewis Cubitt Park, Kings Cross, London, throughout designjunction, which was very well attended and hosted cutting-edge designers, breakthrough brands, an unrivalled talks programme and unique design experiences.

    Kaldewei steel enamel baths are 100 per cent recyclable, made from Kaldewei’s ownsuperior steel enamel and have been ingeniously crafted to Bim’s unique design -creating beautiful, designer chairs for designjunction’s visitors to relax in.

    Hotel Designs: Why did you want to be part of designjunction?

    Big Burton: I was really flattered to be asked to take part in designjunction this year. I was recommended by British Designer Steuart Padwick, the creator of the breathtaking sculpture “Head Above Water’ also on show in London. Designjunction is one of the best destinations during the London Design Festival (LDF), so obviously, I just couldn’t say no.

    Image credit:: Bim Burton/Kaldewei

    HD: Where did the idea to create bath chairs come from?

    BB: The theme this year is (Re)act and renew so when designjunction asked me what I would design, I immediately thought of the bath chair as it’s an object which is notonly functional but has the chance of a second life. The Kaldewei bath makes a great exterior for seating and I thought this was relevant today with the theme re- use as well as being great for an outside seating area.

    HD: Why is sustainability so important to you?

    Sustainability should be important to everyone. Kaldewei’s baths are 100 per cent recyclable so perfect for this product. During my time as a designer, I have recycled many objects into practical and interesting pieces of furniture.

    “I’ve found Kaldewei to be very enthusiastic when working with their baths.” – Bim Burton

    HD: Why Kaldewei?

    BB: Again, this was a recommendation, this time from designjunction. I’ve found Kaldewei to be very enthusiastic when working with their baths. I couldn’t believehow well made and strong they are, I would definitely recommend them as a bath for their design and durability alone. Kaldewei were very generous in providing me with the chance to realise my design idea of turning baths into chairs – to reuse baths as seating. Kaldewei provided their steel enamel baths for me to cut and workout different ways to use the parts as chairs. I turned them up, sideways, and discovered how many variations I could make. I am very grateful for them trusting me and my imagination.

    HD: How did you find working with steel enamel?

    BB: Cutting the steel wasn’t nearly as difficult as I had imagined, cutting the steel with the right tools is very forgiving!

    HD: What was the biggest challenge?

    In a word – “time”. There just isn’t enough of it. Time is so precious, I usually havevery little of it to bring a project together.

    HD: What was the most enjoyable part of the project?

    BB: I’ve enjoyed working with the challenge of the bath shape and its material, as well as having the freedom to use my creativity bringing to life my design – transforming the baths into bath chairs!

    HD: What’s happened to the bath chairs now that the event has passed?

    BB: Good question! They will probably go for sale. I already have a list of people who would like one… so let’s see.

    From Inside to Out is in collaboration with – Kaldewei, AJ Wells, Agua Fabrics & AHEC.

    Main image credit: Bim Burton/Kaldewei

    Sleep & Eat unveils design details of this year’s VIP Lounge

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Sleep & Eat unveils design details of this year’s VIP Lounge

    ‘Gather’ in the enigmatically designed VIP Lounge. Sleep & Eat announces collaboration with Megre Interiors to create a new design-led experience…

    Sleep & Eat, one of Europe’s leading design and innovation event for the hospitality sector, has revealed an enticing glimpse of its new-look VIP Lounge. Created for the first time this year by an international design firm, the lounge will be brought to life by Moscow-based interior design studio Megre Interiors. With this year’s theme of ‘Social FlexAbility’, VIP Lounge guests are promised an experience like never before.

    Named ‘Gather’ by the designers, the original oak panelled Olympia Club Room will be transformed into a whimsical flora and fauna-inspired space. Drapes, upholstery and even the flooring will be in a fabric depicting exotic flowers, specially designed for Sleep & Eat by Megre Interiors, cascades of fabric flowers will loop through the space and, in the epicentre, a large-scale light installation will flicker like a fire. This will be surrounded by orbicular seating –referencing the circular gathering places of human history and drawing a parallel to the primeval pleasure of coming together around a firepit.

    “In an age marked by the impersonal, it’s vital to trust people over brands.” – Yuna Megre, Founder and Principal of Megre Interiors

    Arriving in the entrance reception, guests will find themselves enticed into the space by a single thread of light. Inside, lighting remains low, shapes and forms are obscured and audacious texture and colour prevail. Collections of poufs as well as the circular seating will be underlit to glow like beacons. Vastly adaptable, this will be a room that gives its users the power to interact with it and alter as they wish, moving the seating around to suit their needs. It will be about the opportunity is to meet, talk, learn and relax, and to emerge better connected than before.

    “The human soul blossoms fully only when we meaningfully connect with one another,” says Yuna Megre, Founder and Principal of Megre Interiors. “In an age marked by the impersonal, it’s vital to trust people over brands. To meet, to see, to know each other and embark on the adventure of creation together.”

    The VIP Lounge will not be the only space at Sleep & Eat to be specially designed by an international design firm. Plans for this year also include the introduction of The Hub – yet to be revealed – as well as the much-loved Sleeper Bar which will host the late evening networking on day one and is this year being designed by Michaelis Boyd.

    Sleep & Eat, November 19 – 20 in the National Hall, Olympia London. The show will be open from 10am on Tuesday 19 with an evening drinks reception until 8.30 pm, and from 10am-6pm on Wednesday 20. To register for a complimentary pass, visit registration.

    Main image credit: Merge Interiors/Sleep & Eat

    TREND WATCH: Super Matt is the new Black

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    TREND WATCH: Super Matt is the new Black

    UNILIN, division panels, has developed Fibralux MR Black Super Matt, a black core MDF panel with a fingerprint-resistant, satin-soft matt finish on both sides…

    With an MDF core coloured black and a transparent super-matt finish on both sides, Fibralux MR Black Super Matt delivers a new black for interior and furniture use. Showcasing the origins of its fibrous construction through the transparent finish, Black Super Matt, brings a new aesthetic.

    UNILIN, division panels has developed a brand-new finish for black MDF panels with a soft-touch effect that’s fingerprint-resistant, as well as resistant to scratches, tough and easy to maintain.

    “We’re really excited about Black Super Matt,” said Jurgen Plas, marketing manager, UNILIN, division panels. “The coating technology in our new transparent, matt finish brings a unique aesthetic without compromising on performance.

    “As designers continue to hunt for authenticity in the materials they specify, Black Super Matt is one of the first MDF panels to embrace this, revealing the beauty of its raw state in a striking panel that feels incredible too. What’s more, it offers a super-matt finish that breaks form with the standard finishes of other panels, bringing a new black.”

    Fibralux MR Black Super Matt is available in 18 and 19mm thickness in a panel size of 122cm x 305cm. Suitable for all process involved in furniture production as well as vertical application in interiors, Fibralux MR Black Super Matt is not recommended for high-wear applications such as work surfaces, desks or table tops.

    Main image credit: UNILIN

    In Conversation With: Mark Tremlett, co-founder of Naturalmat

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    In Conversation With: Mark Tremlett, co-founder of Naturalmat

    With ‘the bed’ continuing to be the first and arguably most important furniture element to get right when designing any hotel experience, editor Hamish Kilburn sits down with Mark Tremlett, co-founder of Naturalmat, to understand how it has uniquely become one of the world’s leading bed and mattress manufacturers for the hotel industry…

    20 years ago, when Britney Spears, Steps and Ricky Martin were dominating the UK pop charts, Naturalmat’s interesting narrative began in rural Devon, where its headquarters remains to this day.

    And like all great manufacturing stories, it started with a family business. Mark Tremlett and his father were boat builders, working to design luxury superyachts at their base in Topsham, on the picturesque banks of the River Exe.

    Despite consumers investing a lot of money in high-quality interiors, using bespoke fixtures and fittings, let alone the cost of each vessel, the father-and-son duo saw a fundamental issue with the conventional beds that were being specified in the marine industry. “I saw that people were still sleeping on poor quality polyurethane foam mattresses underneath it all,” explains Tremlett, the co-founder of Naturalmat. “This is not a great material to use on a boat (or any bed) as it’s not breathable, leading to issues of damp and mould, and doesn’t give the most comfortable experience.”

    Fine-tuning his entrepreneurial skills, Tremlett teamed up with Peter Tindall to develop a mattress that made full use of the organic sheeps’ wool that was naturally in thick supply in the West Country, combined with coconut fibre and natural latex. “This made for a superior night’s sleep, greater longevity and an all-round more comfortable experience for the owner,” he adds.

    Following success in the marine industry with the innovative and practical bed solution, Tremlett settled down and began a new journey, fatherhood, which inspired the next branch of Naturalmat’s portfolio to grow.

    In 2001, after noticing the lack of sustainable, durable and functional materials on offer when searching for an appropriate cot for his new-born baby, Naturalmat Nursery was formed. “Materials wise,” Tremlett explains, “we have not changed that much for the mattresses. The core organic and natural fibres that you find in our marine mattresses will also be found in our nursery, domestic and hotel mattresses.” The result was a breathable, organic and comfortable mattress for a market that was, prior to Naturalmat’s entrance, screaming out for innovation.

    The next turn in the story came in 2008 when Tremlett was approached by Simon Woodroffe who was developing the YOTEL concept. With smaller sized rooms, which the hotel brand refers to as cabins, the stars aligned, which led to Naturalmat further expanding globally and entering what is now its largest market; the international hotel industry. “Simon was looking for a sustainable, organic sleep solution that worked in his compact spaces, but didn’t cut corners on comfort,” explains Tremlett. “We worked together and became the bed consultants for his business.” Following the milestone partnership, more opportunities emerged, such as working with Qbic, Six Senses Resorts, Z Hotels, Hoxton Hotels and more.

    Image credit: Naturalmat

    Each and every Naturalmat mattress and bed is made by hand in the company’s purpose- built factory in the same site where Tremlett began his venture in 1999. “We believe that people, not machines, make a superior, longer lasting product,” he adds. “Our team ensure every stitch, every fibre, every tufting button and every cover is painstakingly created, teased and checked.”

    “When we started, I was making mattresses on my old table tennis table in a small corner of our boatyard.” – Mark Tremlett, co-founder of Naturalmat.

    With demand at an all-time high, the company’s British infrastructure also had to grow. “What has changed is the size and space that we need to make all our ranges,” says Tremlett. “When we started, I was making mattresses on my old table tennis table in a small corner of our boatyard. We now have almost 40,000 sq/ft of dedicated space and are

    building another new 25,000 sq/ft. We also now design and make a full range bed bases and headboards so our upholstery skill set and our knowledge of fabrics has had to develop to achieve this.

    Another unique strand to the fabrics of the company is the method of sourcing its materials. “Our organic lambswool comes from Soil Association certified farms in Devon, Dorset and Somerset,” says Tremlett. “We buy direct from organic farmers, to ensure the highest quality. Buying direct also gives the farmers a better return than taking it to market, so we are supporting our local farming community.”

    By keeping a close eye on its supply chain and manufacturing, all the way to delivery, Naturalmat is able to guarantee a great quality product every time, and also meet the needs of hoteliers who have specific requirements. “When a mattress leaves our factory, we are confident it will give years of long lasting comfort,” adds Tremlett.

    While the industry is slowly starting to design more consciously and responsibly around the environment, with thanks to a number of catalysts – the obvious being the David Attenborough effect – Naturalmat’s core DNA is, and has always been, to create sustainable and comfortable products. Largely, if not wholly, as result of the company remaining firm in its eco and quality ethos, Naturalmat has become a market-leader in several sectors. “I think that everybody is very conservative at heart and changes just take time to come about,” adds Tremlett. “Also the price initially would have put people off, but now the value of making a sustainable product is much more important in the buying decision than it ever used to be.”

    QUICK-FIRE ROUND:

    Hamish Kilburn: On a scale of one to 10, how eco-friendly do you consider your lifestyle to be?
    Mark Tremlett: A solid 8/10

    HK: Where do your product development ideas usually come from?
    MT: Our products are created in answer to two big problems that are universal issues. 1) How do we live more sustainably? 2) And how do I get better sleep?

    HK: What other eco products on the market are you impressed by at the moment?
    MT: We are always keeping an eye on the latest eco technologies and considering how they could be applied to our products. I have been very impressed with some of the emerging fibres and fabrics that we have seen at design and trade shows. We have been playing around with Pinatex, a sustainable alternative to leather that’s made from pineapples. I could see that upholstering a stylish bed!

    HK: Can you name one trend you wish never returns?
    MT: Supermarket fruit and vegetable plastic packaging – please can we make this an endangered species.

    HK: Becoming a parent inspired a new direction in your business. What do you hope your child/children learn from you?
    MT: Try hard, work hard, have fun and it will all be ok in the end.

    HK: Is the bed still the most important element of a hotel experience?
    MT: If I said anything other than yes, I would by lying.

    Image credit: Naturalmat

    Through conversations that are happening at the moment on the international hotel design scene, the industry seems to be surfing on the crest of the wave when it comes actively designing eco-friendly hotels, but is the future landscape of international hotel design one that is layered with eco hotels? Tremlett seems to believe so. “Whereas for many years eco travel appealed to a niche consumer, it is now very much in the mainstream,” he explains. “The environment is a universal concern and increasing numbers of people are making positive changes to their everyday lives with this in mind, from choosing a reusable cup, to organic furnishings, to locally sourced restaurants, to an eco- friendly trip. It makes sense that the demand for eco hotels will only continue to grow, and that existing hotels will feel a pressure to make more environmentally friendly choices.

    In regards to the future, as well as being specified for the Conscious Bedroom concept that Harris & Harris will be unveiling next month at the Independent Hotel Show London, Naturalmat continues to innovate its products to cater for growing and evolving demand. “Our customers have been asking us for better bedding, so we are about to launch our new range of 500 thread count GOTS certified organic cotton bedding,” Tremlett explains. “We are buying direct from source and have been very fussy about the level of what we want, it has taken ages but we will be launching this in the Autumn.”

    Naturalmat 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: Naturalmat

    PRODUCT WATCH: Versa Designed Surfaces’ CABA

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    PRODUCT WATCH: Versa Designed Surfaces’ CABA

    Versa Designed Surfaces’s Caba is a reflection and an adaptation of the times… 

    The versatile design of Versa Designed Surfaces’ Caba changes appearance depending on color selection. Designers can choose the look of pleated fabric in neutral color treatments, flowing water in blues, windswept meadows in golds and greens, and wood bark in deep rich tones. 16 colorways provide endless options and a stream of design possibilities.

    The designers at Versa experimented with the interplay of light and color to create this deep, three-dimensional embossing that projects luxury while withstanding the heavy traffic of corridors, public spaces, and retail and restaurant environments.

    24 oz. Type II low-VOC vinyl on Osnaburg backing, Caba is 52”/54” wide and certified to NSF 342.

    To read our In Conversation With with Versa’s Paul Gibson on sustainable wallcoverings in EMEA hotels, click here

    Versa Designed Surfaces 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: Versa Designed Surfaces

    Winner at The Brit List 2018, Robin Sheppard, given Lifetime Achievement Award

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Winner at The Brit List 2018, Robin Sheppard, given Lifetime Achievement Award

    Bespoke Hotels Chairman, who was last year’s winner of the Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Award at The Brit List 2018, has been honoured at 2019 AA Hospitality Awards…

    Bespoke Hotels’ Chairman, Robin Sheppard, has been honoured with the Lifetime Achievement accolade at the 2019 AA Hospitality Awards.

    Having co-founded Bespoke at the end of 1999, alongside Group CEO Haydn Fentum, Robin enters his 50th year in the hospitality industry, a sector he has described as “the most wonderful family” that comprised “a fellowship that I cherish, but which I could never have anticipated when starting out”.

    Now 64, Robin has no thoughts of retirement, and is increasingly focussed on promoting accessible tourism via the Blue Badge Access Awards, alongside encouraging young people to enter hospitality and have a career to be proud of.

    Presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award, Simon Numphud, Managing Director of AA Media, referred to Robin’s 2004 diagnosis of Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which resulted in paralysis from the neck down for a period of several months. Following two years of relentless physiotherapy, Robin was ultimately able to return to work and has gone on to spearhead Bespoke’s ongoing growth.

    “Robin has been an inspiration to us all”, he stated. “With his career made even more remarkable by the exceptional challenges he has overcome, as well as his involvement in the creation of the Blue Badge Access Awards and appointment as chairman of the Institute of Hospitality.”

    “I’m actually on cloud nine”, added Sheppard. “I have just got married, and it’s not often you spend the second night of your honeymoon in the company of 1000 people at Grosvenor House!

    “I’ve been around the block a few times, but I’ve no intention to slow down yet. It’s a tremendously exciting time for Bespoke Hotels, with the team currently focused on opening three properties in 2020: Hotel Brooklyn in February, with the Telegraph Hotel in Coventry, and Sun Street Hotel, near Liverpool Street in London, launching later in the year.”

    Bespoke Hotels entered its third decade of operations in 2019, and now stands as the UK’s largest independent hotel group with over 200 properties represented worldwide. Co-founded in 1999 by CEO Haydn Fentum and Chairman Robin Sheppard, Bespoke has enjoyed consistent growth and now manages over 9,500 hotel rooms, with £815 million in assets, and 8,000 employees under its wing.

    “While the business itself has transformed dramatically over the preceding two decades, I am immensely proud to say our principles and focus have not changed”, he added. “Bespoke has been a fantastic chapter in my career, where I have learned a huge amount from my colleagues, and been able to develop and put into practice many of the ideas I stumbled across in the preceding decades; not forgetting to have some fun along the way, especially in creating our flagship Hotel Gotham brand. And we are far from finished yet!”

    Main image credit: AA Hospitality Awards

    Leading designers, architects and hoteliers to attend The Brit List Awards 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Leading designers, architects and hoteliers to attend The Brit List Awards 2019

    Here are some of the leading names that have confirmed to attend Hotel Designs annual award ceremony, The Brit List Awards 2019…

    It’s been just seven days since Hotel Designs officially unveiled the shortlisted finalists for The Brit List 2019, and already design directors, principals and hoteliers from the UK’s leading firms and hotels have confirmed to attend the exclusive award ceremony, which will take place at Patch East London on November 21.

    Among the leading designers who have already confirmed are design directors and principals from Richmond International, Project Orange, Harriet Forde Design, Harris + Harris, RPW Design, Scott Brownrigg and IHG.

    In regards to architects attending The Brit List Awards 2019, Hotel Designs will welcome associates and directors from the likes of Zaha Hadid Architects, WATG, Jestico + Whiles and Dexter Moren Associates.

    Hoteliers confirmed to attend the annual awards ceremony include, among others, Good Hotel London, Limewood Group and Homegrown Hotels, Rosewood London, Cliveden House, The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences London, The Dixon, Bespoke Hotels, Eccleston Square, Inhabit London and Hotel Gotham.

    The nationwide search to find the most influential designers, architects and hoteliers operating in Britain began months ago when Hotel Designs opened up nominations and applications to readers.

    Since then, an independent panel of expert judges have gathered to select this year’s individual award winners and also to confirm the 75 individuals who have made it into The Brit List 2019.

    Head of Interior Design at IHG, Emma King, attended last year’s event and was one of the 75 names in The Brit List 2018. “The Brit List recognises the UK’s best hotel design talent,” she said at the time. “We at IHG are proud to be recognised for the hard work we have done to the interior design of our brands in recent years.”

    The shortlist is available to read here.

    “The Brit List is an unparalleled networking opportunity for all,” said editor Hamish Kilburn. “Bridging the gap between designers, architects, suppliers, hoteliers, developers, owners and operators has always been – and continues to be – the aim of every decision made by the team at Hotel Designs.”

    How to attend

    Suppliers: Click here if you are a supplier to the industry to secure your ticket for £150 + VAT.
    Designers, architects, hoteliers and developers: Click here if you are either a designer, hotelier, developer or architect to secure your ticket for £20 + VAT.

    If you would like to discuss various sponsorship packages available, please contact Katy Phillips via email, or call 01992 374050.

    #TheBritListAwards2019

    Headline Partner: Crosswater

    Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

    2019 Industry Partner: BIID

    Top furniture looks to come out of London Design Festival

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Top furniture looks to come out of London Design Festival

    Are you sitting comfortably? Here is Hamish Kilburn’s editor’s pick of the most innovative furniture pieces that were exhibited at London Design Festival 2019…

    With the design world watching, London Design Festival (LDF) once again delivered a spectacular performance full of colour, shapes and thoughtful design. Full of twists and turns – and too many highlights to mention – the nine-day festival included events, talks and installations that all explored how product design is changing to cater to the evolving behaviours and demands of modern consumers.

    For the purpose of this article, I have selected my top picks from four of LDF’s leading exhibitions that made the most noise – and they were: Focus19, 100% Design, designjunction and London Design Fair.

    Winch Design’s Arc Collection for Summit Furniture – weaving new design directions 

    Winch Design and Summit Furniture introduced Arc, their debut collaboration, at Focus19. The two companies collaborated to create “the ultimate exterior furniture range”, which is inspired by the sea and the sky.

    A signature feature of the range is laminated teak, which is woven between maritime-grade brushed stainless steel rods, alternatively undulating, they arc around the back of the seats in gentle rows. The final result is reminiscent of the woven rope traditionally used on sailing yachts. Winch Design is inspired by the patterns, colours and textures of the natural world, and every design that leaves the studio is imbued with its own unique spirit, identity and story. With dedication to storytelling underpinning their fastidious attention to detail and commitment to design perfection, Arc was brought to life. The name ‘Arc’ is visually evocative and brings to mind the long arcing lines of latitude and longitude, the curve of the horizon, of a full sail, and of the shapes in the sky made by sailors when navigating by the stars using the arc of the marine sextant.

    Each piece in the collection complements the other, enabling the client to enjoy a unified, contemporary exterior look. Arc by Winch Design features a lounge chair, dining chair, bar chair, low coffee style table, sun lounger, bar cart, dining table and occasional table.

    The low, deep seating style encourages a laid back and relaxed atmosphere, creating the perfect environment to enjoy a drink at sunset. The curve of the woven teak contrasts with the straight, smooth edges and clean lines of the cushions, keeping the overall impression fresh and contemporary. The fabric on any of the soft furnishings is completely customisable.

    Ligne Roset – adaptable by nature

    Creative and pioneering by nature, Ligne Roset’s bold and contemporary stamp was imprinted on Focus19 and left a lasting impression. The brand presented its iconic ‘Prado’ settle, which adjusts freely with weighted cushions that can easily be moved from sofa to floor. The result is a comfortable, non-conformist piece of furniture that can adapt as quickly as the travel trends and guest behaviours within modern, design-led hotels around the globe.

    Andrew Martin – taking a walk on the wild side

    Unveiling a multi-layered theatrical approach design, Andrew Martin – in try Andrew Martin style – let the leash off his new collections in his own jungle-covered installation, which was entitled: The Lost City of Ozymandias.

    The new collections that were hidden in an enclave of treasure and travel included the Evans side table and Retrospective, in collaboration with Kelly Hoppen, which is a statement collection of more than 40 designs, which includes everything from furniture to lighting.

    Benchmark – architecture meets biophilic furniture design

    Image credit: Benchmark

    Benchmark presented a new collection of furniture by award-winning American architect David Rockwell at 100% Design. The Sage Collection, designed for office and commercial environments as well as the home, has a specific focus on human health and well-being within the built environment and meets the standards required for WELL certified buildings. The tenets of biophilic design inspired the collection, with its natural materials, colours and textures, rounded profiles and inviting ergonomic shapes. These elements are intrinsic in the work of both Benchmark and David Rockwell, which, together with an interest in transformation and mobility, have resulted in a collection that offers moments of both refuge and prospect.

    sixteen3 – recycled quality

     

    Image credit: sixteen3

    Exhibiting at designjunction, sixteen3 unveiled a number of contract furniture pieces that stood out for their eco qualities. Claiming that the product is made from 92 per cent recycled material and is 100 per cent recyclable, the Pop stools has been designed with purpose and is ideal for contemporary urban public areas. Another product launched at the show was Reece are armchairs that have been made from 83 per cent recycled materials and are 100 per cent recyclable.

    Inspired by the evolution of the workplace to a more relaxed, social and mobile interior, the brand’s product portfolio offers a softer approach to working, with an extensive collection of seating ranges, stylish cafe chairs and modular space division systems.

    Kolho Series by Matthew Day Jackson

    Image credit: Made by Choice

    As hotel public areas become less defined by hotel branding, and more attuned with the behaviour of guests, there is a opening for suppliers to become more daring with their designs; to take a practical item, like a piece of furniture for example, and bring it to life to make a bold statement. Cue the launch of Kolho Series by designer Matthew Day Jackson. Sheltered at London Design Fair, the new range of tables and chairs take their inspiration from the Apollo landing and a small town called Kolho in Finland.

    “The serpent represents temptation and chaos which supports the flat plane of reason,” said Day Jackson. “The space between reason chaos is that of play. This is the space where our human animal truly shows its greatest self.

    Hotel Designs’ official LDF round-up will be published shortly.

    Main image credit: Made by Choice

    Circles and colours: Bette’s UK to launch new bath and basin at Sleep + Eat

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Circles and colours: Bette’s UK to launch new bath and basin at Sleep + Eat

    Bette’s new Red Dot award-winning basin and luxurious circular bath will be making their UK debut at Sleep + Eat…

    The circular BetteCraft basin, which gained a Red Dot Award 2019 for product design, will be unveiled at Sleep + Eat in just some of the hundreds of colours available.

    Also making an impact on the stand will be the new BettePond Silhouette freestanding bath. The spacious 150cm diameter bath is the first circular bath to be created in glazed-steel and takes the form to new levels of luxury and elegance.

    Image caption: BettePond Silhouette bath from Bette

    Bette’s baths, basins and shower trays/floors are made of glazed titanium-steel, are highly durable, easy to clean and come with a thirty year warranty. They are available in an extensive range of colours, including matt and gloss options. Bespoke colours can be created, along with bespoke sized products to fit a space perfectly.

    Bette UK 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 caption: BetteCraft washbasins

    The Brit List 2019: Shortlist unveiled

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    The Brit List 2019: Shortlist unveiled

    The shortlisted finalists for The Brit List 2019, who are considered to be the leading interior designers, architects and hoteliers operating in Britain today, have been announced. The annual award ceremony will take place on November 21 at Patch East London (tickets available here)…

    The wait is over. Hotel Designs has exclusively published the shortlist for The Brit List 2019. The finalists listed below will be invited to the annual award ceremony at Patch East London on November 21 where the The Brit List 2019 and the individual awards will be announced.

    It is here where 2019 edition of The List, which is made up of the top 25 interior designers, top 25 hoteliers and the top 25 architects in Britain today, will be unveiled as well as the individual winners crowned.

    The nationwide search to find the most influential designers, architects and hoteliers operating in Britain began months ago when Hotel Designs opened up nominations and applications to readers.

    Since then, an independent panel of expert judges have gathered to select this year’s individual award winners and also to confirm the 75 individuals who have made it into The Brit List 2019. “Yet again, I am overwhelmed by the number and quality of this year’s candidates who have either applied or have been nominated for The Brit List 2019,” said Hamish Kilburn, editor of Hotel Designs. “Despite Britain sailing into some of what I can only describe as ‘uncharted waters’ with Brexit dominating the headlines and conversations, the creative industry – and hotel development in general – continues to be booming in the UK.

    The Brit List was launched three years ago and continues to celebrate the leading figures operating in Britain today. This year’s chosen venue, Patch East London, is the perfect stage for the occasion. Adding an extra layer to the evening will be the currently confirmed 2019 sponsors: Crosswater (headline partner), Hamilton Litestat (event partner) and the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID – industry partner). “I am excited that Hotel Designs will once again provide an unparalleled networking opportunity,” added Kilburn, “further bridging the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers, owners, developers and key-industry suppliers.”

    Britlist_28-800x602

    The shortlisted finalists for The Brit List 2019 are: 

    Interior Designers

    StudioDesigner
    Wimberly InteriorsRachel Johnson
    GA GroupEdward Davies
    Scott BrownriggDavid Mason
    Dexter Moren AssociatesNeil Andrew
    RPW DesignAriane Steinbeck
    DesignLSMLisa Robertson
    CocovaraRebecca Blow
    Nicky Dobree DesignNicky Dobree
    Bright Space DesignSarah Antoniou
    Philip WattsPhilip Watts
    Ana Engelhorn Interior DesignAna Engelhorn
    IHGHenry Reeve
    Sibley GroveJeremy Grove
    WISH LondonCaroline Smith
    Scott BrownriggKate Jarrett
    David Collins StudioSimon Rawlings
    Russell Sage StudioRussell Sage
    GA GroupTerry McGinnity
    EnnismoreCharlie North
    MBDSMartin Brudnizki
    HBA LondonConstantina Tsoutikou
    1508 LondonAkram Fahmi
    MKV DesignMaria Vafiadis
    Rocco ForteOlga Polizzi
    Amanda RosaAmanda Rosa
    Harris & HarrisAlex Harris
    Space InvaderKatie Edgar
    Twenty2 DegreesJoe Stella
    Twenty2 DegreesNick Stoupas
    Goddard LittlefairJo Littlefair
    Project OrangeChristopher Ash
    Project OrangeJames Soane
    Shawn Hausman DesignShawn Hausman
    Muza LabInge Moore
    Richmond InternationalTerry McGillicuddy
    Soho House DesignMarcus Barwell
    Soho House DesignScarlett Supple
    B3 DesignersStephanie Riedl
    Jack Irving StudioJack Irving
    studioisleIlse Crawford

    Architects

    StudioArchitect
    Emil Eve ArchitectsRoss Perkin
    Falconer Chester Hall ArchitectsAdam Hall
    East ArchitectureJulian Lewis
    Ben Adams ArchitectsBen Adams
    EPR ArchitectsGeoff Hull
    Orms ArchitectsSimon Whittaker
    Jestico + WhilesJames Dilley
    WATGGina Langridge
    Foster + PartnersLuke Fox
    Zaha Hadid ArchitectsMichele Salvi
    GenslerTom Lindblom
    Conran + PartnersSimon Kincaid
    Hawkins/BrownDarryl Chen
    Yasmine MahmoudiehYasmine Mahmoudieh
    jmarchitectsLaura Turner
    Holland Harvey ArchitectsRichard Holland
    RPP ArchitectsSimon Robinson
    Tate HarmerLaurence Pinn
    Moxon ArchitectsScott Gibb
    EPR ArchitectsMark Bruce
    Goddard LittlefairDavid Lee-Hood
    LDS ArchitectsCatarina Pina-Bartrum
    Simpson HaughSarah Matheou
    Jane Duncan Architects + InteriorsJane Duncan
    3D ReidGordon Ferrier
    Consarc ArchitectsLiz Pickard
    Dexter Moren AssociatesJohn Harding
    Aukett SwankeNicholas De Klerk
    Divercity ArchitectsDimitris Travasaros
    Allison Pike PartnershipPaul Dunlop
    HOK LondonFemi Oresanya
    ReardonSmith ArchitectsJonny Sin
    ITOLabBarbara Bochnak

    Hoteliers

    HotelHotelier
    The GrandRobert Richardson
    Cliveden HouseFrancisco Macedo
    Bespoke HotelsRobin Sheppard
    Hotel GothamMario Ovsenjek
    Hard Rock Hotel LondonIan Fletcher
    The LanesboroughMarco Novella
    Rosewood LondonMichael Bonsor
    Nadler HotelsRobert Alam
    CuckoozCharlie Rosier
    CuckoozFabienne O’Neill
    Doyle CollectionPat King
    Carbis Bay Hotel & EstateStephen Baker
    Carbis Bay Hotel & EstateJose Baker
    Starwood Capital GroupBarry Sternlicht
    The StandardBruce Robertson
    Wyndham Hotels & ResortsDimitris Manikis
    Café RoyalGuillaume Marly
    Corinthia LondonThomas Kochs
    Eccleston Square HotelOlivia Byrne
    GleneaglesConor O’Leary
    The ConnaughtSandeep Bhalla
    LaLiTKeshav Suri
    Great Scotland Yard HotelSholto Smith
    The DixonHasham Soliman
    Heckfield PlaceOlivia Richli
    Whatley ManorSue Williams
    InhabitNadira Lalji
    Ham Yard Hotel LondonLaura Sharpe
    Cottage In The WoodNick Davies
    The London Bridge HotelJulio Marques
    Limewood Group & Home Grown Hotels (The Pig)Robin Hutson
    Milsom HotelsPaul Milsom
    Sway ManorTim Holloway
    Watergate Bay HotelWill Ashworth
    Exclusive Hotelsdanny Pecorelli
    The GallivantHarry Cragoe
    The Good Hotel GroupMarten Dresen
    The AthenaeumJoanne Taylor-Stagg
    Hotel: Georgian House HotelSerena von der Heyde
    Hotel Indigo Stratford Upon AvonCarl Davies Phillips

    The Eco Award

    Carole Collet
    Harris & Harris
    Heckfield Place
    Inhabit London
    Naturalmat
    Sibley Grove
    Zuri Zanzibar

    Best In Tech

    Criton
    Eccleston Square
    Electric Mirror
    FUTURE Designs
    Hamilton Litestat
    Laufen
    Ruark
    STAAH

    Best in British Product Design

    Anthology
    Bisque
    Chelsom
    FUTURE Designs
    Harlequin
    Knightsbridge
    Panaz
    The Monkey Puzzletree
    Vaughan
    Naturalmat

     

    There is no shortlist for the award for Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry, which will be the final award presented at the exclusive ceremony.

    To purchase tickets to The Brit List 2019 Awards, click here. If you would like to discuss various sponsorship packages available, please contact Katy Phillips via email, or call 01992 374050.

    #TheBritListAwards2019

    Headline Partner: Crosswater

    Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

    2019 Industry Partner: BIID

    London Design Festival medal winners announced

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    London Design Festival medal winners announced

    London Design Festival has announced the four winners of the 2019 London Design Medals…

    Launched with the aim to recognise the contribution made by the leading design figures and emerging talents in London and the industry, London Design Festival historically kicks-off the week-long design event by presenting four London Design Medals awarded.

    The 2019 medals were presented yesterday at The House of Commons, Westminster, while the capital came to life for the start of this year’s design spectacular.

    And the winners are…

    London Design Medal: Tom Dixon OBE
    Design Innovation Medal: Daniel Charny
    Emerging Design Medal: Ross Atkin
    Lifetime Achievement Medal: Dame Vivienne Westwood

    A panel of established designers, industry commentators and previous winners met to debate and judge the possible recipients of the four medals. This year’s jury members were: Ozwald Boateng OBE, Ian Callum CBE, Sheridan Coakley, Njusja de Gier, Es Devlin OBE, Sarah Douglas, Ben Evans CBE, Dr Tristram Hunt, Domenic Lippa, Jay Osgerby OBE, Raoul Shah, Joff Sharpe, Justine Simons OBE, Sir John Sorrell CBE, Dr Paul Thompson and Jane Withers.

    “Each year the jury selects four eminent people who have made a major contribution to design in the UK,” said Ben Evans CBE, London Design Festival Director. “This year the winners are as interesting and deserving as ever.”

    Tom Dixon OBE

    The London Design Medal, supported by British Airways London City, is the highest accolade bestowed upon an individual who has distinguished themselves within the industry and demonstrated consistent design excellence.

    This year’s winner, Tom Dixon, rose to prominence in the mid 1980s as a self-taught British designer. He set up the creative think-tank space, which acted as a shop front for himself and other young designers. By the late 1980s, he was working for Cappellini, for which he designed the iconic S chair. In the late 1990s, Dixon became Creative Director at Habitat and was responsible for rejuvenating the brand while maintaining Terence Conran’s vision of enriching everyday life through simple, modern design.

    His works have been acquired by museums across the globe, including the V&A, MoMA and the Pompidou Centre. In 2002 Dixon established his own eponymous brand with own stores in New York, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Milan and Tokyo. More than 600 products are created by the company, ranging from lighting to furniture, from tableware through to fragrance, and are distributed to over 90 countries.

    In 2007 Dixon launched Design Research Studio, an interior and architectural design studio. High‑profile projects include the Restaurant at the Royal Academy, Shoreditch House, le Drugstore in Paris and Alto in Hong Kong. In 2018, Dixon opened the Coal Office, his new London Headquarters, in King’s Cross. Created by Design Research Studio, the Coal Office functions as a multi-displinary hub, including an office, restaurant, design studio and shop all under one roof.

    “I’m still confused as to why I won’t be getting the ‘Emerging Design Medal’,” said Dixon on the news of his win, “as it still feels very much like I have only just started – I’ve so much left to design! But I’m very touched to be noticed by this super Jury, thank you very much.”

    Daniel Charny

    Design Innovation Medal, supported by SAP, celebrates entrepreneurship in all its forms, both locally and internationally. It honours an individual for whom design lies at the core of their development and success.

    Daniel Charny is a creative director, curator and educator with an inquiring mind and an entrepreneurial streak. He is co-founder of the creative consultancy From Now On, where clients include Dartington Hall, the Design Museum, Google, Heatherwick Studio, Nesta and U+I. His most recent initiative is the creative education think-and-do-tank FixEd.

    Charny is best known as curator of the influential exhibition Power of Making at the V&A, which drove him to found the award-winning learning programme Fixperts, now taught in universities and schools worldwide. Other projects include the Aram Gallery, the British Council’s Maker Library Network and the Central Research Laboratory accelerator. As Professor of Design at Kingston University he is interested in the roles of design and making for social benefit.

    Charny is active internationally as a speaker and expert advisor, advocating his vision of design, creativity and making as essential tools to unlock a better future.

    “Engagement, education and access to design are all critical to assuring the creative responses to a changing world that we all need,” said Daniel Charny. “I’m proud to represent this idea and delighted to be recognised for it in London, a city of unparalleled creativity.”

    Ross Atkin

    Emerging Design Medal supported by Storey, recognises an impact made on the design scene within five or so years of graduation.

    Ross Atkin is a designer and engineer based in east London. His work focuses on two areas: helping disabled people to live more independently, and introducing design and engineering to children.

    He maintains his own design and development practice, creating assistive technology and accessibility-focused products that span the digital-physical divide. These include: Sight Line, a system for improving the accessibility of roadworks developed in partnership with The Royal Society for Blind Children and Transport for London; MSE Genie, an app and connected hardware that allows a sensory room to be tailored around the needs and capabilities of the person using it; Responsive Street Furniture, a system created in partnership with Marshalls that enables pieces of urban infrastructure to provide assistance automatically, such as by making street lighting brighter, or by lengthening the duration of road-crossing signals; Smartibot, the world’s first A.I. enabled carboard robot; and LiftCheck, a system that allows lift users to see if the lifts they need to complete their journey are operational before they set off.

    Atkin’s design practice is heavily informed by observational research. He regularly conducts participatory shadowing of disabled people as they make journeys around cities.

    “I never thought the kind of work that I do would be recognised, so I feel doubly honoured,” said Ross Atkin. “It’s beyond my imagination to be in the company of true legends of design, and it also is an amazing privilege to be representing the world of inclusive design on such a prominent platform as London Design Festival. I look forward to more designers from that world being recognised in the future”.

    Dame Vivienne Westwood

    Lifetime Achievement Medal Winner supported by Fortnum & Mason, honours a significant and fundamental contribution to the design industry over the course of a career.

    Vivienne Westwood was born in 1941 and moved to London 17 years later. She began designing in 1971 along with her then partner, Malcolm McLaren. In 1984, she launched her own fashion line and in 2004 the V&A hosted a Vivienne Westwood retrospective to celebrate her 34 years in fashion – the largest exhibition ever devoted to a living British fashion designer.

    Westwood has always used her collections and catwalk shows as a platform for activism. She has personally spent many years speaking out about the effects of climate change and over‑consumption – and inaugurated the ‘Climate Revolution’ at the 2012 London Paralympics closing ceremony.

    Along with husband and design partner Andreas Kronthaler, Westwood actively supports the charity Cool Earth in its efforts to halt rainforest destruction. She has also campaigned for a number of NGOs and charities including the Environmental Justice Foundation and Friends of the Earth, and is an ambassador for Greenpeace: in 2013 she designed their official ‘Save the Arctic’ logo.

    Since 2011 Westwood has worked with the International Trade Centre – a joint body of the UN – to produce accessories through their Ethical Fashion Initiative. The programme currently supports the work of thousands of women from marginalised African communities. Westwood has written her ideas in a manifesto called ‘Active Resistance to Propaganda’, rooted in culture as a stimulus to save the planet, and more recently designed a set of playing cards to set out a global economic strategy to stop climate change.

    Main image credit: LDF 2019

    Michaelis Boyd unveils plans for ‘Social FlexAbility’ bar scene at Sleep & Eat

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Michaelis Boyd unveils plans for ‘Social FlexAbility’ bar scene at Sleep & Eat

    Award-winning architecture and design studio, Michaelis Boyd, has revealed a glimpse into its vision for this year’s pop-up bar at Sleep & Eat 2019…

    Sleep & Eat has unveiled the first teaser of Michaelis Boyd’s Sleeper Bar, which will be unveiled at this year’s event that takes place on November 19 – 20 at Olympia London. With the area at the show designed anew each year to embody the show’s theme, this year the challenge for Michaelis Boyd is to interpret ‘Social FlexAbility’.

    “Our Sleeper Bar has drawn inspiration from The Man Who Planted Trees, a short story by Jean Giono which celebrates the power of the natural environment,” said Tim Boyd and Alex Michaelis ahead of the show. “The tale describes a shepherd’s long and successful effort to single-handedly reforest a desolate valley in the foothills of the Alps in the first half of the 20th Century. Working primarily in timber, our bar is a study in sustainability; investigating the afterlife of the materials through scale, layering, adaptability and recycling. This has led us to create a space that will cater to all walks of life, adjusting to the needs of each individual, and making the bar a rich experience for each visitor.”

    This year’s bar follows in the memorable footsteps of Sleeper Bars which have explored such diverse topics as tales of wonder, social tribes and guest loyalty. The theme for 2019 is intended to explore hospitality’s unique place in balancing our desire for human interaction with our need for privacy, an issue made all-the-more pressing by our digital age. Visitors to Sleep & Eat can expect to find a bar buzzing with people doing business, catching up with friends, quietly checking emails, or simply resting weary feet, especially during the late evening networking on day one.

    As you might expect of an event recognised worldwide for nudging the hospitality design and development conversation forward, The Sleeper Bar will not be the only space at Sleep & Eat to be specially designed by an international design firm. Plans for this year also include the introduction of a Social Hub together with a new-look VIP Lounge.

    Hotel Designs is a proud media partner of the show. This year, the exhibition will be open from 10am on November 19 with an evening drinks reception until 20:30pm, and from 10:00am-18:00pm on November 20.  To register for a complimentary pass, visit registration.

    Main image credit: Michaelis Boyd

    The Luxury Collection announces opening of eighth hotel in China

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    The Luxury Collection announces opening of eighth hotel in China

    With a design narrative that celebrates Chinese culture, the 290-key Na Lotus Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, has opened… 

    Following Marriott International’s plans to open more than 30 luxury hotels in 2019, the hotel group, which has recently debuted the W Hotels brand in Oman, has announced the opening of Na Lotus Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Nanning. Strategically located in the business district of the Guangxi Province, the opening marks the global brand’s eighth property in China.

    The contemporary setting merges the rich heritage of the Zhuang Minority Group and showcases their history through beautiful décor, evocative catering and magnificent surroundings.

    “The hotel’s interiors echo strong elements of the Zhuang culture.”

    “We are excited to introduce Nanning to our Global Explorers, allowing them to discover the destination, also known as the Green City and it’s abundance of lush foliage,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, The Luxury Collection. “As a culturally rich ethnic minority area in Guangxi Province, the destination is a perfect gateway for travellers to experience through the lens of The Luxury Collection.”

    Each of the 290 guestrooms, including 26 suites, takes inspiration from the lotus flower, and feature floor-to-ceiling windows offering panoramic views of the city as well as the Yong River and Qingxiu mountain. The hotel’s interiors echo strong elements of the Zhuang culture such as farmlands, symbolizing happiness and prosperity. Na Lotus Hotel also features a 1,100 square metre Ballroom, state-of-the-art fitness centre, and an indoor pool overlooking the skyline.

    Indigenous and international cuisines are celebrated at Na Lotus Hotel’s four signature dining venues, including Na Lian, a Chinese restaurant offering a journey of flavors with an emphasis on fresh Guangxi and Cantonese cuisines. Sky Lounge is a popular social hub serves exclusive cocktails, wines and spirits accompanied by distinctive sweet treats. Elsewhere, The Clouds features an all-day dining experience showcasing international delights, while Yun Yue, a Thai and Vietnamese fusion restaurant,  focuses on signature seafood and meat dishes prepared with local and seasonal produce.

    Image credit: Marriott International

    “As the first Marriott International luxury hotel in Guangxi Province Na Lotus hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel invites the guests to explore the charm of Nanning,” said Henry Lee, Chief Operations Officer and Managing Director, Greater China, Marriott International. “Na Lotus Hotel is a rare gem of the Zhuang Minority, and we are thrilled to uncover this hidden treasure for our global travelers who are sure to develop a deep connection with this fascinating destination.”

    The opening of the hotel follows the hotel group unveiling its three year plan in March of this year. The strategy included adding 1,700 hotels, which would result in between 275,000 and 295,000 more rooms by 2021, supported by the strength of its record 478,000-room pipeline, including roughly 214,000 rooms that were already under construction when the press release was published.

    Main image credit: Marriott International

    Boom in UK hotel sector drives supply growth

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Boom in UK hotel sector drives supply growth

    Recent data shows that Edinburgh, London, Brighton, York and Birmingham are the five most attractive cities for hotel investment and development…

    The UK hotel industry saw the opening of 15,500 new hotel rooms in 2018, representing a 2.4 per cent increase in UK hotel supply, with 2019 expected to continue this uplift in development, with 19,300 new rooms forecast to open, an increase of 2.9 per cent, according to the latest research by global property adviser Knight Frank.

    The annual UK Hotel Development Opportunities 2019 report, which was published after it was reported that the UK had the third most hotels in the pipeline in Europe, reveals that the composition of new supply is altering. Whilst the development of new build hotel rooms constitutes the greatest proportion of new supply, during 2018 there was a significant rise in hotel conversion, with a 42 per cent year-on-year uplift.

    Hotel conversion constituted 34 per cent of new bedroom stock, as developers capitalised on increased vacancy rates from other asset classes, resulting in the greater availability of assets deemed suitable for hotel conversion. Nevertheless, for the full year 2019, hotel conversions are set to constitute only 20 per cent of new supply, whilst programmes of asset management, in the form of hotel extensions and refurbishments, will constitute a further 17 per cent of the UK’s new hotel supply, and new build hotel rooms expected to continue to form the majority of construction projects, making up 63 per cent of the new supply.

    The budget hotel sector continues to dominate the market, with 7,500 new rooms expected to open by the end of 2019, which equates to a five per cent increase on the previous year. However, the continued rise of both branded and independent mid and upscale hotels, partially as a result of the growing trend for lifestyle hotels, has led to a continued decline in the market share of new budget hotel rooms. As such, the market share for new hotel rooms opening in the budget sector accounted for 49 per cent of total new supply in 2016, which is set to decline to 39 per cent for the full year forecast 2019.

    There was over £1.1 billion of investment in hotel development projects in 2018 owing to increased investor confidence and the desire for long-term secure income. London attracted 60 per cent of investment volumes, which is fuelling its future pipeline, with supply set to increase by 4.2 per cent in 2019, constituting 38 per cent of the total UK pipeline.

    “The hotel sector is undergoing robust levels of development activity, despite the continued uncertainty that Brexit brings,” said Shaun Roy, Head of Hotels at Knight Frank. “This is occurring both in London and the UK more generally and is particularly evident in those markets which have a diverse business mix, with a thriving leisure market such as Edinburgh, Birmingham and Brighton.

    “There are clear opportunities for investors in the hotel sector nationwide at the development stage, which presents a long-term strategy providing a guaranteed stream of secure income.”

    The Knight Frank UK Hotel Development Index identifies which major UK towns and cities pose the best prospects for hotel investment and development and has named Edinburgh, London, Brighton, York and Birmingham as the UK’s top five most attractive cities.

    Unsurprisingly, Edinburgh topped the rankings whilst London leapfrogged the index, climbing ten places up the rankings to second, owing to its solid fundamentals and long-term market strength. Brighton retained its place in the top three whilst York represents this year’s rising star, jumping up 15 positions to enter the top five, as a result of its growth of supply and high occupancy rates of 80 per cent, followed by Birmingham, ranked in fifth place, which is set to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022.

    Main image credit: Pixabay

    INDUSTRY INSIGHT: The changing colour of hotel bathrooms – going greener

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    INDUSTRY INSIGHT: The changing colour of hotel bathrooms – going greener

    In the second part of our colour series (click here for part one), Recommended Supplier UKBathrooms explain how and why designers should opt for greener designs in bathrooms…

    Bathrooms make up a huge proportion of a hotel’s water and energy usage, which on average is 84 to 173 gallons per room per day, far higher than the average daily household usage of 66 gallons per day.

    This explains why they’ve become the focus for many hoteliers looking not only to save money, but also to minimise their impact on the environment.

    However, any environmental worries have to be balanced with the needs of guests. The seamless blend of sustainability and luxury, with little compromise to guest experience is the aim for hotel owners and trends show that this will be the case in the years to come. And ‘green’ considerations go way beyond the bathroom space, with materials used in bathroom products, transportation, waste produced during manufacture and subsequent biodegradable components all being important.

    UK Bathrooms, is the leading, independent supplier of designer bathroom products and as such is seeing a change in trends of sales to hoteliers in the UK and internationally. “We’re seeing a trend to natural materials, as well as reclaimed and recycled, such as timber from sustainable forests and stone,” said Graeme Borchard, director of UKBathrooms. “We’re a leading supplier of premium brands. As a company they are ‘a champion of the value of water’, pioneers in environmentally friendly, luxury, bathroom products. Their ongoing research, and development in technology and design, means that hansgrohe produces superb products which are beautifully designed, highly efficient and sustainable.”

    A great example of this is EcoSmart. Hansgrohe showers and taps equipped with EcoSmart technology use up to 60 per cent less water than traditional products, not only using less water, but also needing less energy to heat the water.  The Hansgrohe Raindance EcoSmart overhead shower provides guests with a relaxing and therapeutic experience whilst being eco-friendly.

    By implementing greener practices, and ensuring guests are aware of these, hotels can make being eco-friendly even more attractive. Hotel bathrooms have a certain ‘luxury’ which people then like to emulate in their own homes, the choices that hotels make end up being reflected in homes around the world.

    UKBathrooms 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.

    Parkside launches Barneby Gates Collection of tiles

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Parkside launches Barneby Gates Collection of tiles

    Parkside has collaborated with leading design duo Barneby Gates, on a collection that brings the pair’s stunning wallpaper patterns to porcelain tiles…

    In the Barneby Gates collection, the trusted tile specification company, Parkside, has translated eight bold and courageous designs onto extra-large format porcelain tiles measuring 1000 x 500mm or 2500 x 1000mm, creating the effect of wallpaper on a high-performance, commercial-ready tile. Ideal for features in bar areas, spas, bathrooms and hotel lobbies; the range faithfully recreates designs such as Watermelon, Pheasant and Bolt from Mars.

    With backgrounds in the home lifestyle press and decorative arts, Vanessa Barneby and Alice Gates (Barneby Gates), have forged a reputation for forward-thinking fabric and wallpaper designs that have received widespread acclaim. Whether reinventing traditional motifs for modern interiors with Deer Damask or taking on trends with Pineapple and Watermelon; the pair’s distinctive designs are notably outside of the norm. In collaborating with Parkside, Barneby Gates is bringing its unique style to a commercial finish that offers moisture-resistance, durability and easy maintenance.

    “Our designs celebrate the life-affirming positivity of pattern and colour and we’re delighted to have worked with Parkside to bring our style to a broader range of environments,” said Barneby and Gates. “The notion of wallpaper on a tile is a great way to bring continuous pattern to areas where its traditionally been off-limits and we look forward to seeing our designs in commercial interiors wanting to make a statement.”

    The Barneby Gates collection has launched at the opening of Parkside’s new Design Studio in the Cotswolds and will be on display throughout London Design Festival (14-22 September) at the company’s Chelsea Design Studio.

    “We’re thrilled to be bringing Barneby Gates’ designs to the Parkside portfolio,” added Mark Williams, sales and design director for Parkside. “The pair’s designs are certainly uplifting and have been at the heart of many fearless schemes, so we’re ready to see how they can be embraced in commercial locations with the practicality of a porcelain tile construction.”

    At just 3.5mm thick, the Barneby Gates tile collection is suitable for internal walls, is easy to install and available to order exclusively from Parkside.

    Parkside 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

    Roca inspires with new Escuadra brassware range

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Roca inspires with new Escuadra brassware range

    Roca has added to its brassware offering with its latest collection, Escuadra. With its contemporary single lever design, Escuadra creates a stylish impression in any bathroom space…

    A versatile choice, Escuadra is available in a range of brassware options, including basin, bidet, bath and shower mixer styles. “When it comes to brassware, there is now more choice than ever before. Many homeowners are moving away from the traditional mixer in favour of something more contemporary”, comments Claire Gay, Marketing Manager at Roca.

    “Escuadra meets that demand, its sleek and minimalist design complements a range of basin shapes, making it a functional yet sophisticated choice for homeowners, installers, specifiers and retailers.”

    Escuadra features many of Roca’s latest innovations, including the exclusive Roca EverShine® finish. The hardwearing coating ensures the tap retains its shine, along with discouraging limescale build up and preventing stains. Additionally, the ceramic disc cartridge has been thoroughly tested with over one million movements to assure customers that their brassware will continue to function for many years to come.

    The basin and bidet mixers are equipped with Roca’s Cold Start technology; this prevents unnecessary energy consumption by only activating the boiler when the handle is turned to hot, this conserves energy and provides a cost-effective solution for homeowners.

    To further enhance the sustainability of the range, Roca has utilised many water-saving functions. Soft Turn technology provides the highest levels of precision and puts the homeowner in complete control, with the ability to set the desired water flow and temperature. Furthermore, the integration of flow limiters restricts the water flow, which prevents wastage.

    Roca 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: Roca

    SPOTLIGHT ON: September’s features announced

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    SPOTLIGHT ON: September’s features announced

    Hotel Designs has officially dropped its September editorial features, which are Lobby Design and Furniture… 

    Inspired largely by the upcoming London Design Festival (LDF), Hotel Designs’ September features will delve into two areas are arguably mostly influenced by the social changes and trends in hotel design. In addition to attending the capital’s celebration of design, the editorial team will also lead an exclusive roundtable, in collaboration with Arte Wallcoverings, to public areas and the hotel lobby firmly under the spotlight.

    Lobby Design 

    In addition to publishing a series of editorial around the changing face of the hotel lobby, Hotel Designs has collaborated with Arte Wallcoverings to host an exclusive editorial roundtable ahead of the company unveiling its latest collection at Focus 19. The session entitled: Adding personality in public areas will be attended by leading designers and architects from the likes of Richmond International, 1508 London, IHG, Scott Brownrigg, RPW Design and GA Design among others to be confirmed.

    Image credit: Image credit: Virgile Simon Bertrand

    Furniture

    As well as covering the latest news from its relevant Recommended Suppliers, such as Curtis Furniture, Knightsbridge, Style Library, Roundwood of Mayfield and Morgan, Hotel Designs will also be on the ground at LDF ’19 in order to publish, live and direct, the latest furniture product launches on the international hotel design scene.

    If you wish to find out more about Recommended Supplier packages, or know of a product that we should be talking about, please email Katy Phillips

    Main image credit: Rosewood Bangkok

    The BIID announces LDF ’19 movements

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    The BIID announces LDF ’19 movements

    As part of London Design Festival (LDF) 2019, The British Institute of Interior Design (BIID), which is an industry partner for The Brit List 2019, will be participating in a range of exciting talks and events across the capital…

    Taking place from September 14 – 22, London Design Festival (LDF) brings together trade professionals and design enthusiasts from all over the world. The BIID is supporting some of the key trade shows that are taking place, with BIID members taking part in thought-provoking and informative discussions throughout the week.

    “It’s a pleasure to be involved in London Design Festival again this year,” comments BIID President Harriet Forde. We are so excited to see our members participating in discussions, workshops and events throughout the week. This allows us not only to support our talented BIID Members, but the wider community of industry professionals and creatives working in the city.”

    Focus/19 at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour

    September 15 – 20, 2019

    Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour is once again hosting Focus/19. The annual event has a packed programme of engaging talks, meet the designer sessions, discovery tours and workshops.

    On Friday September 20 at 4pm, BIID Member Anna Burles of Run For The Hills will be hosting a design workshop titled, ‘Designers of the World Unite’at the Espresso Design showroom. Anna will be speaking on the importance of eco-sensibility within the design sector and encouraging fellow designers to do their bit for planet earth, offering a range of practical tips and insider insight into things big and small that we can all do to make a difference, whilst still delivering exciting, unexpected and original schemes for clients.

    100% Design at Olympia London

    September 18 – 21, 2019

    Returning to Olympia for its 25thedition, 100% Design is renowned for showcasing emerging talent in the capital, featuring a number of new projects and collaborations that celebrate the best in design and innovation.

    As part of 100% Design’s four-day seminar programme, Talks with 100% Design, BIID Past President Daniel Hopwood will be chairing a panel discussion titled, ‘20 ways to achieve #DesignGoals’. Taking place on Saturday September 21 from 12:00pm – 12:45pm in the auditorium, Daniel will be joined by BIID Registered Interior Designers; Anna Burles of Run For The Hills, Dee Gibson of Velvet Orangeand Mathew Freeman of Goddard Littlefair.

    The lively discussion will see panellists share their tops tips to help you achieve your #designgoals. Panellists will draw on their own personal experiences to provide design insights and advice to inspire their audience.

    designjunction at London’s Kings Cross

    September 19 – 22, 2019

    Designjunction presents the breakthrough brands having a direct impact on the future of design. Hosted in London’s Kings Cross, the four-day event includes an exciting talks programme and over 200 exhibitors.

    On Friday September 20, BIID President Harriet Forde will be hosting a BIID Members’ breakfast at Blueprint Café from 9:00 – 11:00am. The breakfast will provide members with an informal tour of the event highlights and the opportunity to network with fellow designers.

    4 reasons why hotels should consider 3D photography

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    4 reasons why hotels should consider 3D photography

    In a response to the industry insight on styling a hotel for design press article, Hotel Designs’ official hotel review photographer, ACT Studios, argues that 3D photography is where the future of hotel marketing is heading…

    Predictions for trends over the next couple of years in the hotel and hospitality sector abound. But there is general consensus that technology will continue to play a greater role in both the stay of a guest as well as the booking process itself.

    Virtual tour photography has an essential part to play here, enhancing the anticipatory experience of the traveller in advance of their stay, as well quickly and easily answering guest’s questions and concerns about location, layout and facilities.

    So just how exactly can virtual tour photography enhance the guest experience? And what value can it add to your website?

    What is virtual tour photography?

    Virtual tour photography is essentially an immersive, three dimensional digital means of bringing a room to life for the viewer. 3d tours are created using a special type of Matterport camera, which produces a 360 degree image of a room, which users can then browse online at their leisure.

    Users simply click on the image itself to then ‘step in’ to the picture, with the option to turn in any direction to explore a feature in more detail. Want to view the room from the other side of the bed? It’s Easy. Using your mouse (or a touch screen) you can simply click (or tap) on the picture and spin the view in a direction to suit you. Fancy a peek in the bathroom? Maybe to check if it has a walk in shower? Again, just click or tap on the direction you would like to take.

    3D photography even lets you leave the room to explore different rooms on another floor. And essentially look round the whole property, which can be really helpful if you need to check if the bedroom is on the ground floor. Or see if the bathroom has a shower over it. Or where your nearest fire exit is.

    The real beauty of 3D virtual tours is that they are incredibly simple to use. And extremely intuitive.

    4 ways in which 3D photography can help your hotel business

    1) 3D photography can improve your guest experience and ratings

    Image credit: Hotel Designs’ interactive hotel review of Oddfellows On The Park. Read full review here.

    Positive feedback and ratings count and anything that helps improve the customer journey for a guest deserves serious thought. And when it comes to the hotel guest’s customer journey, 3D photography can play a pivotal role in the consideration phase.

    Once a customer is aware that you exist – perhaps via a touch point such as a post on social media or an article in a third party publication – the next phase in the customer journey is consideration. This is when they arrive at your website and look through it in detail before deciding to make a purchase.

    It is well known how financially competitive the hospitality industry is and not every accommodation provider wishes to differentiate on price. Therefore, having the ability to see a building in all its dimensions – from a floor plan, to a dollhouse view to stepping into any of the key rooms – can positively influence their decision to buy in your favour. And most importantly, take them away from your competitors.

    2) 360 photography can refresh your brand image

    Image credit: Hotel Designs’ interactive hotel review of University Arms, Cambridge. Read full review here.

    “The quality of the imagery is second to none.” – Mario Ovsenjak, General Manager, Hotel Gotham.

    Guests have long come to expect well composed, professionally taken, high resolution photography when it comes to browsing both on and offline.

    Which is why the supply of high quality hospitality photography remains a core service for ACT Studios, taking us throughout the UK and Europe to photograph some of the most incredible accommodation providers.

    But brands that already have great photography are rightly asking “what’s next?” when it comes to updating their brand image, differentiating their offering and setting themselves apart from the competition.

    The answer is 3d photography. Offering guests the ability to virtually ‘step into’ a hotel bedroom, dining room or lounge. To explore an area in minute detail. Or just get an overall feel for what they are about to book.

    “Adding a fully immersive experience by adding virtual tour photography can increase occupancy by 14 per cent.”

    3) 360 virtual tour photography can help improve your occupancy rates

    Image credit: Hotel Designs’ interactive hotel review of Hotel Gotham. Read the full review here.

    Recent research by TripAdviser shows that having at least one photo of your property on a property page actually increases the likelihood of a booking enquiry by 225 per cent. And that for properties with at least 100 photos, engagement levels rise to 151 per cent and likelihood of a booking inquiry rises to 238 per cent compared to properties with no photos

    In addition, a study by Matterport concluded that adding a fully immersive experience by adding virtual tour photography can increase occupancy by 14 per cent and yield a 15 per cent increase in online engagement.

    4) Virtual tours are an honest complement to photography that encourages trust

    By offering guests the option of seeing and freely exploring a given room or area in its entirety before they buy, guests can more easily and more quickly judge for themselves how suitable (or not) a hotel is for them. There is therefore genuine honestly in a 3d virtual tour. And as marketers know, honesty breeds trust, which then sees guests returning time after time.

    If you would like to find out more about how 3D photography can work alongside your existing photography – or perhaps how you can refresh both your still photography and your virtual tours, to produce a more consistent brand image – then contact ACT Studios here.

    Main image credit: ACT Studios

    Editor Checks In: Home comforts in hotel design

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Editor Checks In: Home comforts in hotel design

    In August 2019, editor Hamish Kilburn concludes that trends are overrated when a project close to his heart reaches its highly anticipated conclusion…

    I can’t quite believe it has been almost one year since we first started following the award-winning designer Nicky Dobree on her journey to complete her debut hotel design project. Before now, her undisputed talent was recognised for designing the interiors of 007-esqe luxury mountain retreats (Kevin McCloud’s words, not mine unfortunately).

    But this year, she has injected her effortless style to restore a 19thcentury building in Vejer, Spain, which is known as Plaza 18 – and Hotel Designs has been there every step of the way.

    Now that the season has ramped up to reach its peak, there’s no better time to put down the measuring tape, take a step back and reward Dobree’s “labour of love” as we cut the ribbon. More than 1,300 miles from Andalucia, the team in the London office are gathered around my computer screen as they impatiently wait for the folder to download, of which contains the final images of the new boutique hotel. Until now, you see, we have had to settle for shakey behind-the-scenes, unquestionably raw, photographs taken on location, as well as renders and sketches, which merely tease the luxury home-from-home concept in the making.

    You’d be wrong to assume it’s an easy task working on a project of this scale. What the hotel lacks in the number of guestrooms (six to be precise) it makes up for in personality. And if anyone could sensitively re-establish the heritage property in order to give it a new lease of life, it would be Dobree.

    “All that is missing is a luxury design-led hotel,” I think to myself as I run past the colourful beach huts (place your bids).

    ‘Home comforts’ feels like an appropriate theme for this month’s column. Four years after capturing my first solo metropolis memory, which then drove me to chase my career in a number of cities in the UK, I’ve hit a crossroads and have decided to take the right-hand turn, which has result in me hurtling back towards my hometown of Whitstable in Kent. Nestled on the north-east tip of the Garden of England, where home comforts – think sea views that stretch over the horizon and unparalleled sunsets – are never in short supply, this feels like ‘home’ to me. “All that is missing is a luxury design-led hotel,” I think to myself as I run past the colourful beach huts (place your bids).

    It seems I am not alone in chasing home comfort. Last year, a study published by Forbes showed that in the 10 cities with the largest Airbnb market share in the US, the entry of Airbnb resulted in 1.3 per cent fewer hotel nights booked and a 1.5 per cent loss in hotel revenue. But as damning as this statistic may seem, hotels are fighting back to offer more home-from-home comforts married together with one-off experiences to capture travellers’ attention.

    Examples of this can be found all over the Hotel Designs website this month, from our Miniview of room2’s ‘hometel’ concept in Southampton to a new ‘private members’ bar’-styled hotel that will open in London next year – and not forgetting the exceptional Plaza 18. Perhaps subconsciously, my year-long project with Dobree has led me to positively seek comfort in timeless style as opposed to chasing the short-term thrills of seasonal trends.

    Main image credit: ACT Studios

    LDF 2019 announces further festival commissions, projects and speakers

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    LDF 2019 announces further festival commissions, projects and speakers

    With weeks to go until the city comes alive for London Design Festival, new details have emerged of even more commissions, projects and speakers…

    The hotly anticipated London Design Festival (LDF) has revealed the finer details around a number of holistic design experiences, installations and insightful talks in order to make this year’s event an international destination of all things design.

    The week-long festival will welcome two new Special Projects: Idiosyncratic by Martino Gamper at Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross, coinciding with Festival commission Disco Carbonara; and a playful immersive installation, Take the Plunge, by Volume Creative at OXO Tower Wharf; as well as new keynote speakers Dame Vivienne Westwood, Claire Bergkamp, Fabio Novembre and Astrid Stavro for Global Design Forum, the Festival’s thought leadership programme.

    Idiosyncratic by Martino Gamper (supported by Samsung) at Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross

    To coincide with Martino Gamper’s London Design Festival Commission– Disco Carbonara at Coal Drops Yard – Samsung presents Idiosincratico: an exposition of the designer’s creative practice.

    The Samsung space will offer a unique vantage point on Gamper’s installation below. As well as viewing the exhibit, visitors can also interact with the latest technology, and take part in an ongoing series of events, workshops and performances.

    Image credit: Idiosyncratic by Martino Gamper at Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross

    Presenting three significant projects, Idiosincratico gives insight into Gamper’s creative process – exploring his distinctive and playful approach to dissembling and reinventing familiar domestic objects. At the heart of each of Gamper’s projects is the notion of thinking through making and examining how process informs the physical outcome.

    For Hookaloti, Gamper takes a single typology – the wall hook – and riffs on it, improvising with the form, material and expressive possibilities of a simple everyday object. In Metamorfosi, a project to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Italian furniture company Moroso, Gamper takes pieces from their catalogue and cuts and splices them to create a design mash-up. By contrast, Arnold Circus Stool is a project for the public realm initiated to support the regeneration of the landmark site on Shoreditch’s Boundary Estate, London’s first social housing project.

    Take The Plunge by Volume Creative (in collaboration with Virgin Voyages The Bargehouse) at OXO Tower Wharf

    Volume Creative, in collaboration with Virgin Voyages, invites visitors to Take the Plunge: a playful installation at The Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf. The interactive project shows the power of design to evoke curiosity, in a stand-alone immersive experience created for London Design Festival.

    Image credit: Take The Plunge by Volume Creative at OXO Tower Wharf

    Visitors are invited on a journey of discovery and asked to dive into a new experience. The minimalist exterior juxtaposes with the warmth that awaits within. Visitors step into an endless horizon, giving way to an extraordinary secondary space that depicts a sunset under the sea.

    The concept is inspired by a love of the sea – the great unknown with the promise of epic discoveries. Take the Plunge hints at this spirit of adventure and celebrates the endless possibilities of great design, using multi-sensory techniques to capture the joyful elements of an oceanic journey.

    Global Design Forum

    Global Design Forum is the Festival’s curated thought leadership programme, celebrating design and the minds shaping its future. The full 2019 programme has been announced and will explore the issues affecting the design industry itself but more importantly, how design can pave the way for workable solutions to some of the modern world’s most demanding challenges.

    The keynote sessions will include, British fashion designer and activist Dame Vivienne Westwood, discussing the role of activism in designing a sustainable future and how to take action; Claire Bergkamp, Worldwide Director of Sustainability and Innovation at Stella McCartney, on engineering a balance between innovation and sustainability in luxury fashion; and Astrid Stavro graphic designer and partner at Pentagram, speaking about the dynamic world of typography. They will join previously announced keynote speakers; Kengo Kuma, Yves Behar and Deborah Riley.

    Global Design Forum takes place at the V&A, the official London Design Festival hub, from Saturday 14 – Sunday 22 September 2019. Further information about the full programme and tickets can be found here.

    This year, there will also be an offsite keynote in Stratford at the future site of the new V&A East. Supported by INTERNATIONAL QUARTER LONDON and hosted at new shared workspace, Workable, Fabio Novembre, Director, Fabio Novembre Studio and Scientific Director, Domus Academy, will speak from his own experience followed by a panel discussion with industry experts on the importance of nurturing new talent in design.

    Main image credit: Disco Carbonara by Martino Gamper at Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross

    Independent Hotel Show 2019 announces this year’s talks

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Independent Hotel Show 2019 announces this year’s talks

    Editor Hamish Kilburn will host The Conscious Bedroom Report on the Innovation Stage at Independent Hotel Show 2019, which takes place October 15 – 16… 

    As proud a long-standing media partner, Hotel Designs, which recently lifted the lid on which trends will emerge during the event, shares this year’s major topics and sessions that will be explored during the Independent Hotel Show 2019, which takes place October 15 – 16 at Olympia London.

    October 15

    Innovation Stage

    Title: The No Commission Mission, presented by eviivo
    Time: 10:30am – 11:15am
    Host: eviio
    Description: Web tools have levelled the playing field for independent hoteliers when it comes to competing for bookings online, enabling savvy businesses to get more of their bookings direct and save on commission. However, with so many options available, how do you know which are the most effective and how can you ensure that your website is working as efficiently as possible? Ideal for: Owner-operators, Marketing Directors, Business Development

    Title: The Conscious Bedroom Report 
    Time: 11:30am – 12:10pm
    Host: Hamish Kilburn (Hotel Designs)
    Speakers Alex Harris (Harris & Harris), Olivia Richli (Heckfield Place), Sue Williams (Whatley Manor), Xenia zu Hohenlohe (Considerate Group)
    Description: In line with the emerging trends of modern, environmentally savvy hotel guests, we’re introducing a futuristic and boundary pushing hotel room – The Conscious Bedroom. Here our panel will review the feasibility of this statement room and discuss the accompanying research piece to provide insight on capitalising on the thoughtful guest. Ideal for: Guest Relation Managers, Design Directors, Owner-operators

    Three men on the Hotel Vision stage

    Image caption: Editor Hamish Kilburn leading panel discussion entitled ‘Designing for Bleisure’ at Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam 2019

    Title: Social Media 2020
    Time: 12:40pm – 1:20pm
    Host: Alison Battisby (Acocado Social)
    Description: We all know the world of communication evolves rapidly, so join our session to explore what you need to know to make your social media impactful and economical in 2020. With plenty of best practice examples, we’ll delve in to chatbots, stories and the latest advice on influencers! Ideal for: Marketing Directors, Owner-operators, Sales Managers

    Title: Unpacking the Wellness Traveller 
    Time: 1:50pm – 2:30pm
    Speakers: David Connell (South Lodge), Harry Cragoe (The Gallivant), Nadira Lalji (Inhabit Hotels), Rohaise Rose-Bristow (The Torridon)
    Description: As travellers show an increasing desire to maintain a healthy lifestyle whether they’re at home, on a holiday, or on the road for business, catering for guest well-being can also lead to a healthier bottom line for you. Discover how to make wellness a revenue stream without having to open a spa, and learn how guest well-being and customer engagement are intrinsically linked.

    Title: Discussing Design with SPACE 
    Time: 3:00pm – 3:40pm
    Speakers: Can Faik (SPACE Magazine), Russell Sage (Russell Sage Studio)

    Hotel Vision Stage 

    Title: Mental Health: Breaking the Taboo
    Time: 11:00am – 11:40am
    Speakers: TBC
    Description: Long hours, high-pressure working environments and increasingly worrying statistics, and yet mental health continues to be a largely silent issue across the hospitality industry. Thankfully, people are starting to talk about their experiences. Join us as Mitch Collier recounts his own battle and recovery under the employment of Raymond Blanc OBE. Ideal for: HR Directors, General Managers, Owners-operators

    Title: Hotel Dynasties 
    Time: 12:00pm – 12:40pm
    Speakers: Will Ashworth (Watergate Bay Hotel), Peter Hancock (Pride of Britain Hotels), Paul Milsom, (The Milsom Hotels)
    Description: There’s no denying that family businesses carry with them a special essence, unique and distinct from competitors. So, whether you own a family-run hotel or not, make sure to be a part of the discussion, to get access to vital intel on how to create a family culture, gain trust and loyalty from your employees and build a strong company ethos. Ideal for: General Managers, Owners-operators, Front of House, Customer Service Staff

    Title: Collaboration is Key: Building Successful Partnerships
    Time: 1:00pm – 1:40pm
    Speakers: Petra Clayton (Custard Communications), Laura Sharpe (Ham Yard Hotel), Chris Ward (Hotel Makers UK)
    Description: Brand partnerships, that’s clever collabs with other like-minded businesses, are a valuable way to accelerate the growth of your brand and uncover lucrative new revenue streams. But how do you find the ‘best fit’ and work together to create value? Our panel will discuss the opportunities, so you’re pre-armed with strategies for your own hotel business. Ideal for: Marketing Directors, Owners-operators, Guest Relations Managers, General Managers

    October 16

    Innovation Stage

    Title: How to Drive Direct Bookings, from those winning on the web
    Time: 11:30 – 12:10pm
    Speakers: TBC
    Description: Our panel of industry experts will provide practical tips on exactly how to present yourself online to maximise your direct bookings, and pioneering hoteliers highlight how taking the theory and putting it in to practice really works. No jargon, nothing too techy, just stuff you can go back and do straight away!’ Ideal for: Owner-operators, Marketing Directors, Business Development

    Title: The Dark Art of Digital
    Time: 12:40 – 1:20pm
    Speakers: Olivia Byrne (Eccleston Square Hotel), Julie Grieve (Criton), Steve Lowy (The Hotel Marketing Association)
    Description: Hospitality has long been one of the most underserved industries in terms of digital transformation, but now is the time for change. Join our expert panel to unpick how the hotel industry is embracing new digital products and technologies; from AI and automation, to biometics and virtual concierges, this A-Z of opportunity is sure to leave you inspired. Best for: Marketing Directors, IT Directors, General Managers

    Title: The Main Ingredients: Digesting the latest trends in F&B
    Time: 1.50pm – 2.30pm
    Speaker: Juan Diego
    Description: With the dining sector facing its own struggles, it’s harder than ever for hotel restaurants to rustle up the winning formula. We’ll be exploring the top trends in food and drink for 2020, as well as the management styles and mindsets that can help hotel restaurants thrive in the modern age. Best for: F&B Directors, Restaurant Managers, Bar Managers, Marketing Directors

    Hotel Vision Stage

    Title: Community Business 
    Time: 11:00 – 11:40am
    Speakers: Nick Davies (Cottage in the Woods), Tim Holloway (The Manor at Sway), Julio Marques (The London Bridge Hotel)
    Description: Owners and executives share how supporting and working with your local community can help you be an employer of choice, source talent nearby and support the local economy – and what to do when it backfires! Ideal for: Owners, General Managers, Heads of Operations, HR Professionals

    Title: Company Culture
    Time: 1:00pm – 1:40pm
    Speakers: Liz McGivern (Red Carnation Hotels), Julia Murrell (Firmdale Hotels), Adam Rowledge (Rowledge Associates)
    Description: New research by jobs website Glassdoor suggests most people believe a strong company culture will make them happier at work than earning a high salary. But if the solutions to the staffing crisis is as simple as having an engaged company culture, how do you actually creat and maintain one that works for your hotel? Ideal for: General Managers, HR Professionals, Heads of Department

    Main image credit: Independent Hotel Show 2018

    Sensitively carpeting Grade-I listed Hawkstone Hall Hotel

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Sensitively carpeting Grade-I listed Hawkstone Hall Hotel

    Brintons’ sensitive approach to hotel design was required when sensitively creating the timeless interiors inside Hawkstone Hall Hotel, a 37-key luxury abode that has emerged following a two-year restoration…

    Grade-I listed 18th century Hawkstone Hall, which is owned by The Distinctly Hospitable Group, has been sympathetically restored over a two-year period and has now opened as a hotel for the first time in its 550-year history.

    Located in the beautiful Shropshire countryside and set within 88 acres of gardens, the country mansion, which was originally built as a stately family home, features ceilings gilded with gold, sweeping staircases, four-poster suites and a private Chapel.

    The Distinctly Hospitable Group decided to undertake a multi-million renovation of the building and re-open it as a luxury boutique hotel, with designer Kay Petrouis overseeing the renovation. The interior styling results at the newly- opened hotel have been breathtaking, Kay used an English heritage colour palette throughout the property to suit the listed period details and the Georgian manor has been restored to its original splendour, with many original features being reinstated.

    The main hall hosts 12 sumptuous suites, all of which are named after British artists, writers, poets, and playwrights. Adjacent to the main building, The Orangery Wing has also undergone complete renovations, encompassing a further 25 bedrooms. Inside the rooms, colour tones mirror that of the main hall using the soft hues of duck-egg blue and calamine pink.

    Jane Bradley-Bain, Brintons senior creative designer created bespoke, contemporary carpet designs for the Guest Suites within Hawkstone Hall featuring a warm grey and blue colour palette. The chosen designs capture the latest trend by taking a traditional design form and then giving it an abstract treatment to create a distressed classic elegance. Jane also developed a timeless classic motif design for the Library room using a cool neutral palette, the custom designs complement the sophisticated and contemporary interiors bringing a modern element that harmonises with the period of the building.

    Amber Kashan from Brintons Renaissance stocked collection was selected by designer Nasim Köerting at Studio Köerting for the Byron Suite, the intricate large-scale design in bold, rich opulent colours is inspired by the golden age of Persian art and literature and compliments the mansions grand interiors. The design was also used in hotels bar area and snug.

    “It was an absolute pleasure to design in a exceptional Grade-I listed building like Hawkstone Hall,” said Köerting. “We were able to create a real fairytale space. Brintons were flexible and could work within our building constraints like creating beautiful edged rugs to protect the original timber plank flooring.”

    Traditional trellis patterns from Brintons QuickWeaveTM collection were chosen for key public areas including the Ceremony Room, corridors and reception, the trellis designs treated with texture provides a modern but contemporary feel.

    The designs throughout the hotel vary, so each fitted carpet suits the specific finished space accordingly. Designs are classic patterns which harmonise with other interior surfaces and materials.

    Main image credit: Aubadecreative

    SNEAK PEEK: B3 Designers lifts the lid on The Prince Akatoki Hotel London

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    SNEAK PEEK: B3 Designers lifts the lid on The Prince Akatoki Hotel London

    London-based hospitality interior design specialist B3 Designers is heading towards the finish line of completing the interiors for The Prince Akatoki London, a new hotel located on Great Cumberland Place near Marble Arch…

    Opening mid-September, The Prince Akatoki London’s newly designed spaces include 82 guestrooms and suites, a reception and sanctuary, a communal workspace for hotel guests, a Japanese restaurant featuring a sushi counter and robata grill, as well as a lounge and bar offering a tea ceremony room by day and a whiskey bar by night.

    The Japanese-owned Prince Akatoki London, the first of its kind, will bring Japanese luxury design and hospitality to the heart of the West End, and this will be reflected in the design throughout the entire hotel. The brief to B3 Designers was to create spaces that encourage guests to relax and recharge in a light, tranquil, mindful and minimalist environment that champions Japanese craftsmanship and unparalleled attention to detail.

    B3 Designers has fused quintessentially Japanese touchpoints into its minimalist and modern design to enhance and complete a luxury Japanese experience. The team has drawn inspiration from well-crafted simple joinery details, and has applied a strong use of natural materials, muted and light yet durable fabrics, crafted but modern seating, sleek metallic lighting, modern ceramics with rustic touches, and abundant use of stone and slate.

    Image credit: B3 Designers/The Prince Akatoki London

    The look and feel of the bedrooms, hotel reception and sanctuary (located adjacent to the reception) evoke a sense of calm through the use of lighter-coloured, fresh and tranquil materials. The use of decorative panels featuring Japanese landscapes, whether dark or light, help guests enjoy a unique, refined incarnation of Japanese hospitality and culture in the heart on London.

    The destinational public spaces including the restaurant and a tea ceremony room that transforms into a whiskey bar for evening guests, flaunt a darker colour palette yet still boast natural, well-crafted materials.

    The hotel is currently gearing up for its official unveiling, which is slated to take place next month.

    Main image credit: B3 Designers/The Prince Akatoki London

    PRODUCT WATCH: Criterion from Chelsom

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    PRODUCT WATCH: Criterion from Chelsom

    Criterion from Chelsom is one of the signature ranges from the lighting company’s latest collection, Edition 26…

    Last year, Chelsom presented to the world, Edition 26, an innovate range of elegant contemporary fittings with timeless appeal that would be an impressive addition to a wide variety of interior schemes. Among the products launched was Criterion, a classic and stylish wall and ceiling lighting option suitable for many, if not all, hospitality scenes.

    Available as part of a wider collection of coordinated wall and bathroom lighting, the Criterion ceiling fittings feature dimmable integral LED light sources which sparkle and refract through individual solid clear glass rods creating a striking light effect. Faux alabaster acrylic bottom diffusers create softly diffused downlight. The range is available in Polished Brass and Polished Chrome as standard with special finish options available on request for orders of over 50 pieces.

    Chelsom 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: Chelsom

    London to welcome ‘private members’ club’ hotel in 2020

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    London to welcome ‘private members’ club’ hotel in 2020

    Slated to open in Q1 of 2020, The Guardsman is a purpose-built luxury London boutique hotel that is expected to offer the atmosphere, discretion and personal service usually associated with a private members’ club…

    Presenting guests with what is being described as “a true home away from home experience”, the 53-key The Guardsman, which will sit on Buckingham Gate, London, and is being designed by architects Dexter Moren Associates and multi-disciplinary design practice Tonik Associates.

    The hotel will be sheltered in an intimate property said to cut the same style and atmosphere as that of a private members’ club. The top three floors will encompass six exclusive residences. Designed as the perfect London pied-a-terre, they comprise a selection of one, two and three bedrooms, along with sumptuous living spaces, dining areas and fully fitted kitchens. The Penthouse has a wraparound terrace, whilst two other residences feature a more expansive outdoor space with planting and seating.

    The hotel is set amongst some of London’s most historic and prestigiouslandmarks. The Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace are both a short walk away, while the neighbourhood has been the seat of government for a thousand years. The hotel extends down the quieter, more hidden, Vandon Street, giving the impression of a sanctuary.

    Image credit: Shiva Hotels

    From the moment guests arrive, they will instantly be made to feel at home by the discrete yet attentive service. Along with their choice of rooms or residences, they can request their preferred brand of drinks, menu items or bathroom products, all of which will be prepared ready for their arrival. The hotel has an unmistakably British feel that befits such a prestigious address. Interiors are contemporary and relaxed, complemented by a few carefully chosen, classic and sometimes quirky embellishments.

    Meanwhile, bespoke furniture will fill the intimate public spaces and curated art adorns the walls. The individually styled bedrooms are exceptionally comfortable. Meticulously considered interior design and clever use of space ensure each room feels spacious, whilst flourishes such as custom-made furnishings and free-standing baths combine with more classic features like herringbone parquet flooring to continue the unmistakably British feel. State-of-the-art integrated televisions and speakers with Chromecast ensure all travellers’ technological needs are met.

    Plush snug area

    Image credit: Shiva Hotels

    The spaces for dining and socialising are set over two levels, perfect for relaxing, reading, small gatherings or enjoying the carefully selected whiskeys and spirits as well as a sommelier curated wine list.

    At the core of the hotel’s personality is the exquisite restaurant, open to residents and their guests only. Although a few select dishes will always be available, menus are developed daily from seasonal produce sourced from carefully selected purveyors, London markets and organic farms. The kitchen will be open all day, and room service will be available around the clock.

    The Guardsman is owned and operated by Shiva Hotels and represents a new direction in this market for the group. “The Guardsman is designed for those who want the tailored, personal experience offered by a club, the flexibility and luxury of a hotel and the comfort and familiarity of a home,” said Rishi Sachdev, Managing Director, Shiva Hotels. “It will also have a conscience, wherever possible putting both its people and the environment at the centre of its decisions.”

    Main image credit: Shiva Hotels

     

    Violet armchairs by the window

    Laura Ashley Hotel The Iliffe, Coventry opens

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Laura Ashley Hotel The Iliffe, Coventry opens

    Laura Ashley Hotel The Iliffe, Coventry, formerly known as Corus The Chace Hotel, has opened its doors to reveal to reveal a quintessentially British and timeless transformation… 

    As part of the hotel group’s aggressive expansion, Laura Ashley Hotels has opened the doors to its second property, Laura Ashley Hotel The Iliffe, Coventry. The 17-key boutique hotel is sheltered in a stunning example of Victorian architecture surrounded by three acres of attractive landscaped gardens.

    Violet armchairs by the window

    The new design, led by the company’s in-house Commercial Designer, Kay Cullen, takes inspiration from the grand sweeping staircase, leading upstairs to the new guestrooms, which evokes the splendour of the past.

    The land, which the property is located on, boasts a colourful history dating back to 1257 and was once owned by King Henry VIII. Laura Ashley Hotel The Iliffe, Coventry is named after the family the property was constructed for in the late 1890s, Dr Charles Webb Iliffe, a well-respected figure in the local medical community, and his wife, a young debutante, Mary Ann Soden.

    Every part of the hotel has been redesigned drawing inspiration from the hotel’s Victorian heritage, with carefully selected rich colours which complement each other and luxurious furnishings to create an elegant space to entice comfort & relaxation.

    “To pay homage to the decadence this image portrays, I decided to bring back a sense of the past and to embrace the beautiful detail within this magnificent old building.” – Kay Cullen, Commercial Designer, Laura Ashley Hotels.

    “I was charmed by the beautiful building which once a grand manor house of late Victorian origin,” said Cullen. “The beautiful sweeping staircase takes you on a journey through the owner’s past with a portrait of the glamorous lady Mary Ann Soden as a debutante in the mid-eighteen hundreds. To pay homage to the decadence this image portrays, I decided to bring back a sense of the past and to embrace the beautiful detail within this magnificent old building.”

    The boutique hotel’s superior and deluxe Laura Ashley bedrooms have been designed to infuse a sense of tranquillity with an effortless style. Classic Laura Ashley design adorns every surface, from plush cushions, to Laura Ashley Glenmore chairs in marine velvet, floor-to-ceiling drapes to statement lighting and stylish Laura Ashley Constellation Champagne and Gold Constance Mirrors.

    Classic leather Hudson button back sofas add a touch of luxury and are a nod to the gentleman’s library that would have been cherished in a grand house by the Iliffe family. While a bespoke bookshelf separates the bar from the lounge space, with a secret pocket door which opens to connect both spaces when required. In the main restaurant there is a hand painted mural to reflect the surrounding grounds and to add a little country manor house romance to the space.

    The Laura Ashley Hotels portfolio, which also includes The Belsfield Hotel, Windermere, and is soon to include Burnham Beeches Hotel in Buckinghamshire, aims to offer guests an authentic home from home experience against the backdrop of the Laura Ashley Home range in characterful properties in the UK.

    Main image credit: Laura Ashley Hotels

    16th century shell transforms to open modern boutique design hotel

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    16th century shell transforms to open modern boutique design hotel

    The in-house design team at IHG, construction firm Stepnell and architecture practice Hitchman Stone Partnership have together completed a £13.2 million restoration projects on a Grade II listed building, which now sheltered the boutique 93-key Hotel Indigo Stratford-Upon-Avon

    Located in the heart of Shakespeare’s birthplace, a three-storey Grade II listed building, which dates back to the 16th century, now shelters Hotel Indigo Stratford-Upon-Avon.

    “It is a truly unique site, our first Hotel Indigo in a town, and what a town,” says Henry Reeve, Director of Interior Design at IHG. “We could not have picked a better site.”

    Hotel Indigo Stratford-upon-Avon, formerly known as The Falcon Hotel, has upgraded its internal facilities whilst preserving the heritage of its historic exterior during a comprehensive refurbishment. “It’s been amazing to work on such an interesting project, helping to preserve a piece of history that can be enjoyed by the public,” adds Paul Fish, operations manager at Stepnell. “The work was incredibly specialist from a refurbishment perspective, so we had a real sense of achievement upon completion.”

    Exterior shot of hotel

    Image credit: IHG

    Plans were originally laid out to refurbish the roof, but the job quickly grew in size when it was found to be beyond repair and had to be removed entirely, along with the internal plastering which was reinstated by a specialist company. Measures were also taken to preserve and replace the external beams and timber flooring in a bid to protect to the hotel’s defining features.

    “We used bold contemporary botanics to reflect the surrounding flora and add a punch of drama.” – Henry Reeve, Director of Interior Design at IHG

    Fish added: “We faced a few challenges during the build regarding conservation and access to the site due to the historic nature of the hotel, but the team managed to push forward with the works and the outcome is truly stunning.”

    The traditional timber build is now complemented by a contemporary interior and lavish decor to give guests a unique boutique hotel experience, with three style of rooms to choose from, including the Tudor room, Georgian townhouse and contemporary rooms. The hotel features 65 custom axminster rugs and 10 luxurious hand tufted rugs supplied by Brintons that are showcased in guest rooms and public areas.”Pattern and colour is reflective of the English countryside, deep rich greens and autumnal browns work together to create a space that feels instantly comfortable, familiar and welcoming,” explains Reeve. “We used bold contemporary botanics to reflect the surrounding flora and add a punch of drama and of course as it’s Hotel Indigo we have some perhaps surprising detailing hidden across the site.”

    Beautiful bar area with aimless interiors

    Image credit: IHG

    Newly equipped with a state-of-the-art gym, a private dining room, snug lounge, cocktail bar and modern meeting rooms, the hotel also offers a luxury dining experience for its guests. The Woodsman Restaurant has been created by restaurateur and chef Mike Robinson who has the only Michelin star pub in London. The Woodsman’s focus is on sustainable, wild British food, cooked over charcoal and wood. Customers can sit and eat delicious local produce while watching the chefs work their magic.

    With the aim to bring a building back to life, and to create a hotel that in Reeve’s words: “Felt truely English and reflective of the stunning surrounding Midland countryside,” Hotel Indigo Stratford-upon-Avon is showcases the tradition of a 16th century building through a timeless contemporary lens.

    Main image credit: IHG

    EDITOR CHECKS IN: Proud of diversity in British design

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    EDITOR CHECKS IN: Proud of diversity in British design

    As the world focuses its attention on amplifying equality in all forms, editor Hamish Kilburn believes now is the time to break down why diversity in British design is something the industry should celebrate and be proud of…

    We’ve come a long way, and although the journey hasn’t exactly been a seamless one, here we are in Britain in 2019 where we are free to love whoever we want. The next mission is now to work towards a society that campaigns for equal opportunities for all.

    Our colourful industry, which is full to the brim of creative people, can be at the best of times a forceful catalyst for good and I believe, together, we can significantly do more than our bit in order for that dream to become a reality – and it starts here.

    For a little more than a year now, since proudly joining the Hotel Designs editorial desk, I have tried perilously to understand what it is about the UK that makes it one of the major design destinations around the world. Despite its scale, Britain, the tiny little speck of land in the northern hemisphere, attracts the majority of the leading designers, hoteliers, architects and suppliers to train, flourish and go on to lead the industry forward into an innovative direction.

    What Britain lacks in size it certainly makes up for in style, creativity and diversity. It’s no coincidence, therefore, that a large handful of the world’s most premium international design fairs, such as Sleep + Eat, 100% Design, Independent Hotel Show and London Design Festival, among many others, take place here.

    Today, just two weeks after we officially opened nominations for The Brit List 2019, I’m seeing London from a completely unrivalled perspective – and it is a beautiful moment to witness. Peering over the edge of a rooftop bar, every colour of the rainbow is being amplified loudly on the streets below. As many as 1.5 million people have attended Pride London 2019, which is now being hailed the UK’s largest and most diverse Pride parade to date.

    “By celebrating and supporting the concept of diversity – and by not oppressing original ideas that challenge convention – we can allow new thoughts to emerge.”

    There’s an Albert Einstein quote that hangs on our office wall. It reads: “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” For some, it may signify the balance of designers, hoteliers, architects and suppliers thinking outside the box while also designing with purpose.  For me, though, it encourages one to take on a challenge and make it fun! That way, with the ability of adding your stamp to your work, you will not only throw intelligence at the problem, but also personality and individual ideas too.

    This, I believe, is where the UK flourishes on the international design scene. By celebrating and supporting the concept of diversity – and by not oppressing original ideas that challenge convention – we can allow new thoughts to emerge and evolve, which, as a result, gives original concepts a nudge forward in the right direction. Jack Irving is the perfect example. The fashion designer who has worked with the likes of Lady Gaga and The Spice Girls has just completed his first interior design project. Irving’s commissioned work for W London has resulted in introducing our industry to new, unconventional materials. On the other hand there’s Zaha Hadid Architects, with its firm footprint as an industry leader, that is turning new architecture chapters, with the likes of Morpheus, that create new elegant dimensions.

    The Brit List 2019, our annual awards event, is all about championing the most influential and inspirational designers, hoteliers, architects and suppliers. In order to keep the whole process as open as possible, we have ensured that applying for our nationwide search is completely free.

    It’s been a varied and colorful month at the helm of Hotel Designs and I for one am proud of our fabulous team. We started our mini July tour in Manchester for Meet Up North, where more 150 of us celebrated creativity outside of the capital. One week later, we further bridged the gap between suppliers and procurement specialists with our highly engaging meet-the-buyers event, Hotel Summit, which allowed me the great honour of interviewing Marco Novello, the Managing Director of The Lanesborough, on stage in front of our live audience. A quick 24 hours in Dusseldorf, Germany, opened up the opportunity for us to speak to Michael Struck, the CEO of Ruby Hotels, as well as Matthew Bolan, the brand’s lead designer, in order to understand more about Ruby Hotels’ aggressive expansion, which includes its highly anticipated debut hotel in London next year.

    In an industry full of leaders and visionaries, who are designing the cities of our future, it makes sense for us to also carve the path for others when it comes to celebrating diversity. Here are Hotel Designs, we are determined to continue to praise and offer a platform to people, projects, and plans on the boards that further challenge convention.

    Be proud and apply for The Brit List 2019 for free today!

    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

    Main image credit: ACT Studios

    Checking In: Down the rabbit hole in Devon’s Glazebrook House Hotel

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Checking In: Down the rabbit hole in Devon’s Glazebrook House Hotel

    In search for English eccentricity, editor Hamish Kilburn checks in to Glazebrook House Hotel to explore the Alice-in-Wonderland meets Rule Britania interiors, designed by Timothy Oulton

    When Peter and Fran Hamman, the owners of Glazebrook House Hotel, originally embarked on their tremendous journey to open a statement luxury boutique hotel in South Devon, they were faced with several key decisions to make.

    The first, and arguably the most important: who was going to design the interiors of the hotel to help turn bring to life their vision of an Alice-in-Wonderland-themed hotel? If there was anyone who qualified in sensitively making this dream a reality it was internationally renowned British revivalist designer Timothy Oulton, a somewhat obvious choice considering his quirky portfolio of work.

    Oulton’s alternative, somewhat edgy charm can be felt immediately upon entering the hotel’s lobby. Two statement chandeliers hang from the tall ceiling above a deliberately distressed-looking rug. On one side of the room, past a striking chesterfield sofa, is a white sculpture of a young Queen Elizabeth. On the other side, past two clashing metallic armchairs, and above the mantelpiece are the hulls of mini boats hang on wall, injects a subtle sense-of-place. Meanwhile, an oversized, eye-catching union jack curtain hangs behind an understated check-in desk.

    Image caption: The lobby | Image credit: ACT Studios

    Since opening in September 2014, the hotel has become as famous for its food and beverage offering as it has its award-winning design. The elegant, intimate F&B area is balanced precisely with refined parquet flooring and reclaimed British oak tables, which adds an element of welcome authenticity. Fun details such as British-made china and shining silverware trays create a bold yet brilliant choice of wallcoverings. Across the hall, an equally impressive bar area spills out onto a sun-trap terrace and connects to the cigar room, which features a sculpture of Winston Churchill smoking an illuminated cigar aptly positioned next to the liquor cabinet.

    While corridors in some hotels naturally become a dead space that lack design and inspiration, Glazebrook House the hotel embraces the unconventional. Bizarre artefacts hang proudly on the walls, such as traditional horns and Oulton-style bowler hats. The landing is also a clash of ideas working together in harmony. A feature wall of traditional street signs reflects the main staircase, while furniture designed to be a nod towards Britain’s equestrian style – think upside-down saddle-inspired armchairs – create a relaxed yet refined feel.

    “My nest for the evening, The Mad Hatter Suite, is full of idiosyncratic moments.”

    Nine individually designed en-suite guestrooms, all designed in homage to Lewis Carroll’s most famous work, have been given apt names, such as White Rabbit (the hotel’s design-led disabled access room) and the twin room Tweedle Deez to reference further the overarching theme down the rabbit hole. My nest for the evening, The Mad Hatter Suite, is full of idiosyncratic moments, which include topsy-turvy dollhouses on the walls above a brown studded-leather headboard and low-hanging chandeliers tied with thick rustic rope, which juxtaposes solid marble side tables that sit underneath. The spacious ensuites in each room offer minimalist luxury, complete with Geberit WCs, Villeroy & Boch basins and Pura shower units.

    Voted, among other award wins, as the best boutique hotel for 2018 by Visit England, the converted Georgian Manor house is full to the brim of personality and charm at every corner. Combining the best in British design with one-off quality elements thoughtfully thrown in to add new layers, the design story of Glazebrook House Hotel has been a methodical one. On the surface it seems that arbitrary objects have been paired together. But the realty is that every item sheltered in the shell of the building helps to create a seamless and unforgettable hotel guest experience for all.

    Main image credit: ACT Studios

    The Brit List 2019 Awards: Meet the judges

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    The Brit List 2019 Awards: Meet the judges

    Now that nominations have opened for The Brit List 2019 Awards, we would like you to meet our fabulous judges, handpicked in order to make this year’s process to find the most influential British designers, hoteliers, architects and suppliers the biggest and best yet… 

    The Brit List 2019 is back, once again launching its nationwide search to find Britain’s leading interior designers, hoteliers and architects. Nominations are now open (until August 9) and, what’s more, the process in which to apply remains completely free.

    This year’s judges, who have all individually been hand-selected, each come from a different sectors of design, architecture and hospitality in order to keep the process fair, creative and open to all.

    The judges for The Brit List 2019 Awards are:

    Harriet Forde, British Institute of Interior Design President (Industry Partner)

    Harriet Forde, BIID President

    Harriet Forde, who was recently interviewed by Hotel Designs,  is the founder and director of Harriet Forde Design, which provides a comprehensive range of interior design services predominantly based in the commercial property and hotel industries, as well as the high-end residential housing market. “The BIID are the UK’s leading professional body for interior designers and we are delighted to partner with the Brit List for 2019,” said Forde. “Our past president Gilly Craft had only good things to say about the process of judging the event and I am excited to participate this year.”

    Hamish Kilburn, editor of Hotel Designs

    Hamish Kilburn, who will also be hosting The Brit List 2019 Awards on November 21, is the editor of Hotel Designs, which is the leading international hotel design website.

    In 2014, Kilburn started his career in the industry when, as features editor, he helped launch a new international hotel design publication into the market.

    Since then, he has traveled the globe and has reviewed some of the world’s most impressive hotels. In his day-to-day role, Kilburn is responsible for curating the content for Hotel Designs, bringing his readers the latest happenings, reviews, and features in the world of international hotel design.

    Jacu Strauss, founder and creative director of LORE Studio

    Jacu Strauss, Founder of Lore Studio | Image credit: Emily Andrews

    Jacu Strauss, who was recently interviewed by Hotel Designs, is the creative director at LORE group and founder of LORE studio.

    A qualified architect with a demonstrated history of working in the design industry, Strauss’ portfolio of projects includes The Pulitzer Amsterdam and Sea Containers London among many others. The architect and designer is now dipping his toe into the world of hospitality and will soon be opening his first hotel in Washington D.C.

    Florence Rolfe, Former Deputy Decoration Editor, House & Garden

    Florence Rolfe, Former Deputy Decoration Editor, House & Garden

    Florence Rolfe, who is a regular contributor to Hotel Designs, is an interior stylist and art director based in London. Her career began with Condé Nast on House & Garden Magazine where she spent several years producing their monthly features, leaving after seven years as Deputy Decoration Editor. Since then she has worked with some of the most renowned interior photographers, producing & directing imagery for some of the biggest luxury brands including The One & Only Resorts, Nobu Restaurants, Heal’s, Habitat, Marks & Spencer, And So To Bed, Ballymore Homes, TH2 amongst others, and has had her work published in various national magazines including Vogue, GQ & Brides. With a background in publishing, Florence knows exactly how to style an image to make it appealing to editors and consumers alike.

    Edward Webb, Director of Development Management, Nuveen Real Estate

    Edward Webb, Director of Development Management, Nuveen Real Estate

    Edward Webb is the director of development management at Nuveen Real Estate, which is a premier global investment manager that has been helping clients meet their goals for more than 100 years, making the world a better place along the way.

    Mel Yates, Photographer 

    Mel Yates, Photographer

    Starting out as a portrait photographer working with a long list of subjects such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Javier Bardem, Jude Law, Keira Knightley, Tom Hanks, Mel Yates began to change direction and reconnect with his design background (originally trained as a product designer at Central St Martins) and now works internationally both as a stills photographer and video maker for numerous design related clients. In addition to photographing or filming designers such as Sir David Adjaye, Philip Treacy, Philippe Starck, Ron Arad, Tom Dixon, Yates shoots environments, people and objects for advertising, books, brochures, editorial and hotel clients, as well as interior and architectural projects. Hotel clients include The Four Seasons, ME and One & Only Resorts.

    The judges will select the final 75 most inspirational and influential people in British design, hotels and architecture, as well as selecting this year’s individual winners of the following awards:

    • Interior Designer of the Year
    • Architect of the Year
    • Hotelier of the Year
    • Best in Tech
    • The Eco Award 
    • Best in British Product Design – NEW CATEGORY FOR 2019
    • Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry

    On November 21, the shortlisted finalists of designers, hoteliers, architects as well as key suppliers to the industry will gather at Patch East, London where The Brit List 2019 will be unveiled along with the individual winners.

    Early-bird tickets for the award ceremony are now available to purchase: 

    Suppliers: £99 + VAT (£150 + VAT after early bird offer expires after August 4)
    Designers, hoteliers, developers and architects: £10 + VAT (£20 + VAT after early bird offer expires after August 4)

    Please click here if you are a supplier to the industry to secure your ticket NOW!

    Please click here if you are either a designer, hotelier, developer or architect and secure your ticket NOW!

    Headline Partner: Crosswater

    Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat:

    Industry Partner: BIID:

    Concept to completion: Stock Exchange Hotel, Manchester

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Concept to completion: Stock Exchange Hotel, Manchester

    As the opening date draws ever nearer, Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester is starting taking form. Hotel Designs caught up with architecture firm jmarchitects to understand how the company restored a historic city building so that it can shelter Manchester’s new kind luxury hotel… 

    The Manchester Stock Exchange building is a Grade II listed, fine example of Edwardian Baroque architecture.

    Built between 1904 and 1906 and designed by Bradshaw, Glass and Hope, this historically symbolic institution has been lovingly extended and refurbished to create a new boutique hotel with a restaurant headed by Chef Tom Kerridge and a luxury penthouse residence.

    When co-owners Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs first purchased the building, it comprised of three floors of office space which were converted in the 1980’s. These sat above a previously popular ground floor restaurant housed under a magnificent domed ceiling. Several trees had rooted themselves on the roof and had spread through the drainpipes, unfortunately causing water and material damage to the historic asset.

    Stripping the building back to its bare bones, retaining only historical features and carefully preserving rooms of historical significance was the necessary starting point for the restoration and refurbishment. This process provided the opportunity to sensitively strengthen the existing structure in preparation for a two-storey roof extension.

    Architect studio, jmarchitects began the design process with a thorough appraisal of the building and a brief to create a unique boutique hotel and restaurant with a luxury penthouse residence; focussing on the guest’s experience through the building while paying homage to its history.

    Artist impression of public areas

    image credit/caption: Artist impression of public areas,/Autoban

    “Several schemes to extend the building were explored with the client in virtual reality, arriving at an extrusion of the existing mansard roof form, set back from the building frontage and clad in monolithic zinc.,” says Laura Turner, Architect, jmarchitects. “A contemporary insertion routed into the building via a seven-storey sculptural staircase in place of the former 1980’s circulation core.”

    The complex nature of the historic building fabric was unveiled during the strip-out, which necessitated an ever-evolving design approach in adaption to the building’s needs. This was executed by working in close collaboration with a design team of engineers and specialists.

    Artist impression of guestroom/

    Image caption/credit: Artist impression of guestroom/ Autoban

    The interiors are designed by internationally renowned, Istanbul-based, multidisciplinary design studio Autoban. The finished designs are opulent yet elegant, drawing on the building’s material palette of original marble, brass and woodwork.

    “After three years testing and developing designs with the team we are thrilled to see this 100 year old building repurposed for modern use; bringing it up to date with current standards and technologies to see it through the next century,” adds Andrew Rogers, Director, jmarchitects. “We are confident that this sensitive, yet extensive refurbishment and extension will see The Stock Exchange become the first choice for hotel accommodation and dining in this fantastic city. We eagerly await the November opening and the excitement it will bring to those who visit.”

    The Stock Exchange will be welcoming guests once again on November 15,  2019 as the first ever Relais & Châteaux member in Manchester.

    Main image credit: jmarchitects/Stock Exchange Hotel Manchester

    MINIVIEW: COMO Metropolitan London

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    MINIVIEW: COMO Metropolitan London

    COMO Metropolitan London has announced the opening of ten luxury Residences, which all offer private apartment-style accommodation adjacent to the main 144-key luxury hotel… 

    Located in one of London’s trendiest neighbourhoods that is surrounded by discreet private members’ clubs, cult restaurants and a number of high-end boutiques. COMO Metropolitan London, like all luxury hotels in the area, has to work hard in order to stand out from the crowd and remain relevant to well-travelled guests.

    Since opening in in 1997, ‘the Met‘, as it became known has seen many minor renovations and redesigns – the most significant of which was in 2015 – in order to keep ahead of demand and trends. The mood has changed from the late-night antics once centred around the Met Bar to a more holistic experience that balances work, play and wellbeing while still underpinned by COMO’s commitment to passionate service.

    Most recently, the hotel has completed and opened of ten luxury Residences. Designed by Linzi Coppick of Forme UK, the Residences offer private apartment-style accommodation adjacent to the hotel on Brick Street, in Mayfair’s historic heart and opposite leafy Hyde Park.

    The two-bedroom Residences provide an ideal base for long or short stays in London, reflecting all the comforts of home living at its finest.

    Discretion is a significant draw, with the Residences benefitting from a separate entrance on Brick Street, as well as access to a courtyard designed by landscape architect Peter Curzon, shared only with the other Residences. The central feature of the courtyard is a strikingly crafted pergola, fitted with heaters for the cooler months and contemporary furniture from iSiMAR. Residences on the ground floor benefit from additional outdoor space, with private patios offering an unusual oasis in the heart of London.

    Inside the Residences, Coppick has prioritised a sense of home. Natural daylight floods the spacious apartments, augmented by contemporary design with subtle warmth and bespoke artwork by Marta Suarez. In the open-plan living and dining area, natural wood floors and furniture from BO Concept create a sleek entertainment area adapted to the modern traveller, whether guests are staying as a family or visiting for business. A fully equipped Lauren Nicholas kitchen blends a refreshing white palette with marble countertops, incorporating breakfast-bar seating for more laidback meals. For formal dining, a dark wood BO Concept table can extend to seat eight people, while a large corner sofa and a reading chair in warm grey leather ensures plenty of space for relaxation.

    Main image credit: COMO Hotels & Resorts

    Suppliers galore confirmed for Sleep + Eat 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Suppliers galore confirmed for Sleep + Eat 2019

    Sleep & Eat, of which Hotel Designs is a media partner of, announces exhibition packed with leading suppliers to hotels, restaurants and bars…

    Sleep & Eat, the eagerly anticipated event which showcases the innovative and the inspired in hospitality design, has revealed some of the exhibitors so far confirmed for this year’s show. The exhibitor line-up reflects the growing convergence between the hotel, restaurant and bar design industry.

    Exhibitors include: Ena Shaw Contract which designs, manufactures and installs soft furnishings; Tuuci, whose elegant outdoor umbrellas have re-defined shade technology and are designed to withstand the harshest environments; Arley House, creators of exclusive fabric collections;  Kriskadecor, creator and supplier of bespoke metal elements, from wallcoverings to lighting; Arte, the Belgian brand which specialises in trendsetting wallcoverings and Skopos Fabrics.

    Companies planning to present new products this year include: Morgan Furniture – its Rakino Collection of lounge chairs and tables designed by Tim Rundle, as well as a collection focused on “relaxed luxury”; Quasar Holland who will be launching “The Kabuki Collection” of room dividers, designed by Edward va Vliet; and Chelsom who will be previewing selected pieces from their Edition 27 Collection, officially launching in 2020, as well as showcasing Edition 26, an eclectic lighting collection that harnesses and refines the latest trends in finishes and materials.

    Sleep & Eat is also renowned for introducing a raft of outstanding companies that are new to the event each year. This November’s show will see the debut of Tarkett, the worldwide supplier of innovative and sustainable floor coverings; Yapiarti, the Turkish manufacturer and fit-out contractor behind a number of recent Park Plaza and Novotel projects in Europe; Catalano, the Italian manufacturer of ceramic collections combining cutting edge technology with traditional craftmanship; and, from the UK, The Fine Cotton Company.

    Sleep & Eat 2019 will take place in the National Hall, Olympia London, on November 19 – 20. To register, visit registration

    Main image credit: Kriskadecor: Mandarin Ducks & Noodles, Moscow

    Behind the scenes: Morgan’s Rakino Collection

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Behind the scenes: Morgan’s Rakino Collection

    Post-Clerkenwell Design Week, Hotel Designs’ editor Hamish Kilburn catches up with one of the designers of the moment, Tim Rundle, in order to understand how his new collection with Morgan developed…

    During this year’s Clerkenwell Design Week, Morgan launched a new furniture collection which juxtaposed soft sculpted upholstery with a strong, low line frame, the new family of lounge chairs and tables feature crisp timber detailing, emphasised by a clean linear structure.

    But how did the collaboration start, and what inspired the design? We caught up with designer Tim Rundle to discover all.

    Hamish Kilburn: Tell us more about the Rakino collection?
    Tim Rundle: Rakino is a collection of low lounge chairs that combines soft sculpted upholstery and CNC machined timber frames with an upright, somewhat architectural, attitude. The frame is all right angles and straight lines, save for the back support rail, which is bowed slightly, as if formed by the act of leaning back in the chair. The seat, in contrast, is a soft, shell-like form with a crisp single seam running around its edge.

    HK: What inspired your designs?
    TR: This project started in what I believe is the ideal way; with a trip to see production, and this is what really inspired the design. In Hampshire I discovered a factory staffed by some serious experts in upholstery and timber joinery. I really wanted to make the most of these capabilities, and maybe even push them a little to see what was possible. In terms of the chairs themselves I wanted to create something that felt quiet and inviting, that could feel right in your home, while obviously being appropriate for hard working contract environments.

    HK: Did you enjoy collaborating with Morgan? How was the experience/process compared to solo working?
    TR: None of my projects are just me. I think that’s a misconception, maybe brought about by the fact that in our industry, designers tend to have eponymous business names. Everything I’ve ever designed have been made possible by numerous other people, from engineers to marketeers, craftspeople to logistics managers. I guess the main difference this time was geographical proximity – this is my first project with a British furniture brand! This meant we could work really closely, with numerous prototype reviews as we refined the details.

    HK: Benefits of this collaboration?
    TR: Working with Morgan’s dedicated prototyping team (Jonathan and Dean) was a highlight. This meant we were able to make adjustments and modifications to our prototypes, effectively on the spot – and nothing was impossible. The whole team were always keen to push the limits of timber production, and the results can be seen in a frame that perfectly blends CNC technology with expert craftsmanship, and an upholstery element that tapers to an impossibly fine edge, something not normally achievable with cut foam.

    What inspired the name of the collection?
    TR: As Morgan have a product code system that uses place names, it felt only right we choose a New Zealand name – being designed by a Kiwi, albeit London based. Rakino is one of a cluster of small islands in the Hauraki gulf, the body of water surrounding Aucklands East coast, where people are able to escape the busy city, a short boat ride leaving you with a pleasant sense of isolation and calm. A comfortable low lounge chair in a busy hotel or workplace could, I hope, provide the same feeling.

    As Raikino is the result of a true collaboration, we asked Morgan a few questions too…

    HK: How did the collaboration start? How did Tim and the Morgan team meet?
    TR: We were looking to collaborate with a like-minded Designer who shares our passion for quality and integrity. Our Design Director came across some of Tim’s work and was impressed with his portfolio and the fine detail of his work. After the first meeting, it was obvious that Tim understood our brand and would be a good design partner, so we decided to give him the brief for a new product for CDW19.

    HK: What makes this collection stand out?
    TR: The Rakino collection stands out due to its striking timber architectural frame, with a strong, square, clean aesthetic, combined with a soft sculpted and slim line upholstered shell that is held within the frame. The frame is very open and honest and is a reflection of Tim’s eye for detail and our passion for precision CNC manufacturing and a hand-crafted finish.

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

    Main image credit: Morgan

    Hotel Summit 2019 bridges the gap between hotel buyers and suppliers

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Hotel Summit 2019 bridges the gap between hotel buyers and suppliers

    Forum Events’ premium meet-the-buyers event, Hotel Summit, put on yet another spectacular event with guest speakers including representatives from The Lanesborough, Great Hotels Of The World and Areen Design, among many others…

    Settling in a new home, located in the quintessentially British surroundings in the Oxfordshire countryside, Heythrop Park welcomed hoteliers, designers and suppliers alike for this year’s hotly anticipated Hotel Summit.

    More than 60 procurement professionals from leading hotels around the UK such as The Lanesborough, The Beaumont Hotel and The Gainsborough Bath Spa and 30 supplier partners attended The Summit that was sheltered within the 18thcentury hotel, which combines both elegant heritage design with contemporary areas, making it the perfect venue for one of Forum Events’ leading meet-the-buyers concept for the hotel industry.

    The two-day kicked off with an opening presentation with Rita Alves Machado, VP of sales and marketing for Great Hotels Of The World who joined editor Hamish Kilburn for a live interview on the topic of blesiure. “There should be more focus on public, intelligent areas when it comes to designing for bleisure guests,” Machado said. “For me, it’s about personalization, we look for that in our members, what they can do that will differentiate from others in an authentic way.”

    Andrew Linwood, Head of Hospitality Design at Areen Design, aptly followed with a presentation entitled: How Design Adds Value To A Hospitality Brand. “Branding is not only the name above the door,” he said to the audience. “It’s about good design and good service working together.”

    Meanwhile, Francisco Macedo, Operations Director for Clivedon House stood up in front of the audience to explain how to create a winning team, using personal anecdotes to explain how he has curated his army of staff in order to offer a seamless service within the hotel.

    After a morning of face-to-face meetings with suppliers, delegates joined to attend a speaker session with Marco Novella, Managing Director of The Lanesborough, followed by a short live interview where Kilburn delved into what it takes to be at the helm of one of London’s most prestigious luxury hotels. “It’s been important to react to the right trends,” explained Novella. “Wellness, for example, is a very important factor for The Lanesborough, and our aim with the club and spa was very much to lead wellness and wellbeing.”

    Following a lavish gala dinner and entertainment, delegates and suppliers gathered for a second day of pre-scheduled face-to-face meetings.

    Partners:

    ADI Trading Ltd, Airwave Europe, Alchemy House of Design, Birchall Team, Brushbox, Castrads, Discover Kangen Water, Elavon, Fortune Brands, Gallant, Good Energy, HCI, Hotel Champ, iBal Designs, Landmark Specialist Solutions, Ligne Roset Contract, Matrix Fitness, Mitre Linen, Out of Edan, Parkside, Phillip Jeffries, Portable Floormaker & Barlock Bars, Project Blinds, Riskmonitor Limited, Samsung Electronics, Tevalis Ltd, Timage, Toothbuckle, Virdor, Zennio

    Next year’s Hotel Summit will take place in April 27 – 28 at Five Lakes Resort, Colechester. If you are interested in exhibiting at the 2020 event, please contact Jennie Lane on 01992 374098 or j.lane@forumevents.co.uk.

    BIID announces new President

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    BIID announces new President

    The British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) has announced that Harriet Forde from Forde design has stepped up to become the 2019 BIID President…

    The British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) has announced its new president for 2019-20, Harriet Forde, founder of London-based practice Harriet Forde Design. Forde succeeds current president, Gilly Craft and officially took on the role at the BIID Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday July 4, which took place at The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

    Forde, who has recently been confirmed as a Judge for Hotel Designs’ The Brit List, is an experienced interior designer and a long-standing member of the BIID, having previously held the position of Chair of the Membership Committee. An active member of the Institute, Harriet regularly leads talks and discussions at industry events across the country, including participation at the most recent BIID Inside Knowledge Conference.

    “As president, I will continue to support our members in providing a high-quality and professional service to their clients.” – Harriet Forde

    Having begun her study of interior design at the London School of Furniture, Forde went on to graduate from the prestigious University Central St Martin’s with a degree in textiles.  Following more than 10 years’ experience in the hospitality design sector – working for the likes of Richard Daniels, Richmond International and Areen Design – Harriet eventually set up her own practice, Harriet Forde Design in 1999.

    “I am delighted to be president of the BIID, to continue the fantastic work already established by our hard-working BIID council,” she said. “As president, I will continue to support our members in providing a high-quality and professional service to their clients, to educate consumers on the benefits of using a BIID registered designer and to ensure that our talented community of BIID members continues to thrive.”

    The designer is influenced by an admiration for architecture, attention to detail and nature, and incorporates this within her designs through pattern and texture. She also has a keen interest in the influences of design on wellbeing and explores the way this can be developed within a space through the careful selection of materials, lighting and space planning.

    Forde is experienced in the commercial, hospitality and high-end residential sector and is regularly commissioned to work on projects across the UK, continental Europe and the Middle East. This has allowed her to build a successful business and client base, with an approach centred on the understanding of space and translating it into original concepts and design. Harriet continues to personally lead every client project and it is this commitment that has allowed the practice to thrive, with the studio recently celebrating an impressive 20 years in business.

    Main image credit: BIID

     

    Britlist_28-800x602

    Free to apply: The Brit List 2019

    800 602 Hamish Kilburn
    Free to apply: The Brit List 2019

    Calling all designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers who operate from or have a presence in Britain: The Brit List 2019, Hotel Designs’ annual awards, is free to apply for. Nominations/applications close on August 9.

    In an aim to ensure that Hotel Designs’ nationwide search to find the best interior designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers operating in Britain, The Brit List remains completely free to apply for.

    Simply click here to apply/nominate.

    Britlist_28-800x602

    The concept of The Brit List, which launched in 2017, results in 75 names, split into three categories (designers, architects and hoteliers), being listed as true movers and shakers. The list will be created around the nominations from the following awards that are up for grabs:

    • Interior Designer of the Year
    • Architect of the Year
    • Hotelier of the Year
    • Best in Tech
    • The Eco Award 
    • Best in British Product Design – NEW CATEGORY FOR 2019
    • Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry

    “Now with suppliers able to participate in the awards element, The Brit List has allowed us to physically bridge the gap between industry leaders,” said Hamish Kilburn, editor of Hotel Designs.

    On November 21, the shortlisted finalists of designers, hoteliers, architects as well as key suppliers to the industry will gather at Patch East, Londonwhere The Brit List 2019 will be unveiled along with the individual winners . “We have, yet again, deliberately kept nominations for The Brit List 2019 free for all to apply in order to maintain a fair opportunity for all designers, hoteliers, architects and suppliers who believe they deserve to be profiled in The Brit List 2019,” explains Hamish Kilburn, editor of Hotel Designs. “As a judge, I am personally looking forward to leading another nationwide search in order to find and platform exceptional creative thinkers who are operating or manufacturing in Britain today.” Patch East, London is a fabulous venue for our non-traditional awards ceremony, and we look forward to welcoming the industry’s finest for a night of celebration and high-profile networking.”

    Early-bird tickets for the award ceremony are now available to purchase: 

    Suppliers: £99 + VAT (£150 + VAT after early bird offer expires after August 4)
    Designers, hoteliers, developers and architects: £10 + VAT (£20 + VAT after early bird offer expires after August 4)

    Please click here if you are a supplier to the industry to secure your ticket NOW!

    Please click here if you are either a designer, hotelier, developer or architect and secure your ticket NOW!

    The judges for The Brit List 2019

    Last year’s winners of The Brit List, who were crowned at an exclusive drinks evening in London, included Martin Brudnizki from Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, Conor O’Leary from Gleneagles and Robin Sheppard from Bespoke hotels, among many others.

    Please note that there is NO FEE to nominate and/or apply for The Brit List 2019. 

    Headline Partner: Crosswater

    Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat:

    Industry Partner: BIID:

    IN PICTURES: Meet Up North 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    IN PICTURES: Meet Up North 2019

    Hotel Designs’ premium northern networking event, Meet Up North 2019, took place in Club Brass, Hotel Gotham’s spectacular rooftop private members’ bar… 

    Meet Up North 2019, which took place on July 1, took over Manchester’s iconic Hotel Gotham. Hotel Designs’ premium northern networking event, which was sponsored by Hamilton Litestat, Architextural and Atlas Concorde, returned to the city for the second time in a row as a result of the city’s bustling and constantly evolving hotel design scene that sees many innovative hotels on the boards.

    Meet Up North 2019 was attended by leaders from firms such as  Denton Corker MarshallGenslerAEW ArchitectsFusion by DesignLDA Design ConsultantsUtopia Projects and Abode Architecture.

    Here are the official images:

    If you have images from the event, please share on social media with the hashtag #HDMEETUPNORTH19

    UK predicts 130,000 new hotel rooms by 2025

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    UK predicts 130,000 new hotel rooms by 2025

    Prime Minister announces a new tourism sector deal that will prepare the UK for an extra 9 million visits per year, with commitment to build 130,000 new hotel rooms by 2025…

    The Prime Minister has announced the UK’s first ever tourism sector deal today (Friday 28 June), reaffirming the UK’s global role as a key player in the industry. The new deal is said to revolutionise the way data is used by the sector, through the creation of new Tourism Data Hub.

    The hub will collate regularly updated data showing  the latest trends and spends, allowing businesses to better target overseas visitors.

    “By 2025 experts predict that there will be an additional 9 million visitors to the UK.”

    The deal will also support the creation of an additional 10,000 apprenticeships for people building their careers in the tourism and hospitality sectors.

    Last year around 38 million people visited the UK, contributing £23 billion to the local economy. By 2025 experts predict that there will be an additional 9 million visitors to the UK. The new deal commits to building an additional 130,000 hotel rooms to respond to the increased demand for infrastructure.

    The deal also outlines the government’s ambitions for the UK to become the most accessible destination for disabled visitors, through improvement of disabled facilities and access to destinations across the country.

    “This deal recognises the important role tourism plays, and will continue to play, in showcasing what our great country has to offer.” – Prime Minister Theresa May

    Prime Minister Theresa May said:“As one of the most visited countries in the world, the UK is a world leader in international tourism and it is crucial that we remain globally competitive to meet growing demands.

    “That’s why today I am pleased to announce the UK’s first ever tourism sector deal, ensuring that we continue to innovate, boost connectivity and economic productivity, expand career pathways and breakdown barriers for visitors with disabilities.

    “This deal recognises the important role tourism plays, and will continue to play, in showcasing what our great country has to offer.”

    Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright said: “Today we have set out our vision for the future of UK tourism – a commitment to an industry that is vital for the prosperity of our communities, our businesses and our economy.

    “The UK is one of the world’s greatest destinations and this deal recognises the importance of maximising our natural assets. We are dedicated to supporting life-long careers for those that work in tourism, offering insightful data to help grow businesses and ultimately creating a better visitor experience throughout the UK.”

    Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “Tourism is one of our most valuable industries and it plays a vital role in our economy, with nearly two million people employed in the communities across the country and £23 billion pounds spent by visitors in the UK last year.”

    “As part of today’s ground-breaking Deal, new Tourism Zones will deliver a direct boost to holiday destinations across the country, helping create new jobs as well as supporting improvements in transport connections.

    “This is one of the many ways in which the Deal will be key in building a world-class experience economy, helping us deliver on the ambition we set out in our modern Industrial Strategy; Government and industry working hand-in-hand to build on our exceptional strengths in this sector, boosting productivity and further increasing the UK’s attractiveness as a holiday destination.”

    Other commitments in the Tourism Sector Deal include:

    • More than 130,000 new hotel rooms are set to be built across the UK, with 75% being built outside of London.
    • £250,000 to improve broadband connectivity in conferences centres across the UK for business visitors.
    • Pilot of up to five new Tourism Zones to drive visitor numbers across the country. Zones will receive Government support for growing their local visitor economy, through initiatives like targeted support for product and promotion development, mentoring support to businesses and digital skills training.
    • 10,000 employees in the sector to benefit from new mentorship schemes.
    • A new government strategy to grow the number of Business Events and Conferences, helping to drive off-season visitors.

    Developed in partnership with the British Tourist Authority and Industry, the sector deal forms part of the UK Government’s Modern Industrial Strategy supporting the continued growth of the tourism sector, ensuring the UK remains globally competitive as a top tourist destination.

    British Tourist Authority Chair Steve Ridgway CBE said: “This sector deal is a game-changer for tourism, one of the UK’s most valuable export industries, spelling a step-change in how we underpin the success of tourism for a generation, moving it to the top table as a leading industry for the UK Government’s future economic planning.

    “And it is a game-changer for the economy, growing the value of the industry and employment in tourism, fixing issues from skills and productivity to extending the season year-round, building stronger tourism destinations up and down the country and developing world-class experiences for domestic and international visitors.

    “Tourism is one of the most fiercely competitive global industries and this deal ensures we can continue to compete internationally as a top destination for visitors, driving major economic growth across the whole of the UK.”

    Main image credit: Corinthia Hotel London

    Dexter Moren Associates wins planning permission for a Cambridge hotel

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Dexter Moren Associates wins planning permission for a Cambridge hotel

    A planning win for Dexter Moren Associates will see Cambridge’s iconic Hobson House given new lease of life as an all-suite boutique hotel…

    One of Cambridge’s most iconic buildings is to be given a new lease of life following the decision by Cambridge City Council to grant permission for the conversion of the city’s historic former police and fire station into a 57 all-suite luxury boutique hotel and destination tearoom.

    Operating under the Rogue City Hotels brand, the hotel has been sensitively designed by established hospitality designer Dexter Moren Associates (DMA) for client Henley and will see key features of the Grade II Listed Hobson House preserved, restored and opened up to the public for the first time in decades.

    Hobson House, built in 1901 and located on St Andrew’s Street, sits on a site associated with the charity founded by Thomas Hobson, the 17th century Cambridge philanthropist from whom the phrase ‘Hobson’s Choice’ derives. Over the years, the building has functioned variously as a workhouse, a gaol for the university, a police and fire station and, more recently, as council offices.

    Through a sensitive conversion DMA’s design provides opportunities to enhance and reveal significant architectural features of the building, much of which had been lost or hidden through previous alterations. The design respects the important original spaces without significant alteration, whilst new build elements woven into the existing fabric will provide a visual lift to the character of Downing Place to the rear. DMA has proposed that the unique covered courtyard, the former Drill Yard, will be enclosed to become a destination tearoom and eatery in the very heart of the hotel, creating vibrancy and social interaction for both guests and local neighbours.

    Given the historic and architectural significance of Hobson House, it is important that the building be respectfully converted to its new use. DMA’s inhouse conservation knowledge coupled with its planning expertise successfully navigated the design through a number of Pre-application meetings and a Design and Conservation Review Panel.

    “The building’s original stained-glass windows, ceiling plasterwork and wood panelling will be restored throughout.”

    The project has been led by DMA Partner Paul Wells. “Hobson House is an architectural gem located in Cambridge’s historic city centre, with many fantastic original features local people may be unaware of,” Well says. “Sadly, since its conversion to office use in the 1960s the building has suffered from chronic under-investment and its many of its original features have been denied the care they deserve. Now that our hotel proposal has been granted permission, Henley can give the building a new lease of life, not only helping to serve the needs of the city’s many visitors, but also preserving and restoring Hobson House for the local residents to embrace and be truly proud of.”

    DMA’s proposals will see the original ornate entrance hall and principal stone staircase retained and repaired to their former glory, alongside the first-floor Chief Constable’s Office which will also be restored with the existing timber panelling and bold ceiling pattern fully repaired. The building’s original stained-glass windows, ceiling plasterwork and wood panelling will be restored throughout.

    The exterior façade on St Andrew’s Street will be cleaned using methods that are appropriately sensitive to the stone exterior, to activate and ‘open’ the ornate and historic frontage and welcome visitors into the site.

    Nassar Khalil, Director of Hotels and Leisure at Henley and Chief Executive of Rogue City Hotels said “We are extremely excited to have secured planning consent for our next hotel in the heart of one of the UK’s most enchanting cities. As with all our hotels, our focus is to provide guests with design led luxury accommodation, exceptional service, comfort and convenience, and curate a special relationship with the local area. These summed up the key attributes of a Rogue City Hotel.”

    To introduce a meaningful and visually exciting new use to the central core of the building, the design creates a landscaped destination tearoom in the double height former drill yard. This will allow the public to access an otherwise ‘land locked’ part of the building, allowing visitors to enjoy the dramatic scale of the space.

    Main image credit: Dexter Moren Associates

    TRENDS: Eco-friendly design ideas for the hotel bathroom

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    TRENDS: Eco-friendly design ideas for the hotel bathroom

    In the wake of protests in London, designers and architects have responded by becoming more conscious in their design decisions recently. Crosswater explains some of the benefits of an eco-friendly hotel bathroom…

    Large or compact, traditional or modern, boutique or luxury, hotel bathroom design has become increasingly influenced by eco-conscious product innovations, in particular around the efficient output of water.

    The hotel bathroom space is constantly evolving and guests and designers are looking for more than just basic fixtures and fittings. From rainfall showers, high-tech digital valves and multi-outlet systems that include the likes of body jets, dual-function shower flows and additional handsets, each of these products require hotel bathrooms to work harder than ever and use more energy to run.

    In the current day and age, as energy is depleted at an increasingly alarming rate, it is more important than ever to find eco-friendly alternatives in hotel bathroom design that incorporate both water-saving and energy-saving features – designed to minimise the impact of the hotel industry on the environment. Although much of the waste is caused by bad habits, installing and maintaining water-saving bathroom fixtures is an enormously important step.

    When it comes to specifying eco-friendly designs, Crosswater advises hotel designers to opt for products that are WRAS approved, as it is a calculable way to guarantee that bathroom suites will not only be saving water but also utilising it in the most efficient way possible.  These regulations require water fittings, such as valves and taps that do not cause waste, misuse, undue consumption or contamination of the water supply. Crosswater is dedicated to ensuring all of its products are as environmentally friendly as possible and over 200 of its products already proudly wear the WRAS badge of approval.

    Designs such as the Neopearl shower flow regulators are the ideal option for hotels looking to make the next eco-friendly step. With amazing water-saving capacity, the functional regulator reduces water consumption to a maximum level whilst the unique flow regulator technology keeps the flow rate constant across the pressure and can be inserted directly into most fixed showerheads, handsets or basin monoblocs.

    Eco-friendly toilets are also becoming an increasingly popular option as an easy and immediate way to save water in many hotels across the UK and globally. Installing eco-friendly   WCs   will   assist   in   conserving   natural resources as well as being environmentally friendly. The Crosswater Kai collection conforms to – and exceeds – required British and European quality, performance, sustainability and water saving regulations. The Kai WCs consume 33% less water by using the latest flush systems making them incredibly environmentally friendly.

    The design of Crosswater’s Wild Rimless WC also makes for a fantastically economical option; the stunning collection of pure Italian designs are each expertly crafted with an innovative rimless bowl that is complemented alongside superior, tried-and-tested flush technology to ensure the very best in hygiene function, whilst reducing water consumption with an eco-friendly half or full flush. Featuring dual flush technology, it provides the option to regulate how much water is used, which helps to save even more water by simply adjusting the larger flush to the reduced water volume setting.

    With hotel bathrooms continuously developing and improving their technology, it can be difficult to monitor the high volume of water used within bathrooms by guests. Installing rimless WC models can be a great way of avoiding water wastage and the rimless model is cleverly designed to get more flushing power out of less water. Additionally there are many other small ways to reduce environmental impact in hotel bathrooms.

    Décor elements made of recycled material can assist in making bathroom spaces more eco-friendly as well as opting for taps and showers with aerators. The aerator is expertly designed to reduce the overall water flow by using pressure from air. It is also advised to swap bulbs with LED lights, this will help to save energy, and illuminated mirrors can also be used as a great alternative source of bathroom lighting. Crosswater’s Revive LED Illuminated Mirror is a highly innovative design that makes for a fantastic alternative to big lighting fixtures that consume far greater amounts of energy. In a hotel environment, this can be a great opportunity to create the option of mood lighting too.

    In summary, there are many ways to transform hotel bathrooms to take a more eco-friendly approach. From recycling to using less energy, every little improvement adds up to change the world for the better.

    Main image credit: Crosswater

    INTERACTIVE REVIEW: Oddfellows On The Park

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    INTERACTIVE REVIEW: Oddfellows On The Park

    Located on the fringes of Manchester, Oddfellows On The Park is quirky, timeless and in its own admission ‘a little bit odd’. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes about the hotel that was designed to be disobedient…

    By the looks of Manchester’s hotel development pipeline, creativity in British interior design and architecture is not limited to London. Despite Brexit uncertainty, this year alone, 835 new guestrooms will be introduced into the industrial city – with a further 11 more hotels slated to open between 2020 and 2021.

    The booming hotel design scene in the northern metropolis has resulted in more interest around the outskirts of the city, and it is here – less than 10 miles from the Manchester’s Piccadilly – where Oddfellows Hotels’ latest property is situated.

    A lamp shining from the head of a life-sized model of a horse and a chandelier made from bicycle chains hanging above the check-in desk is the first indication that Oddfellows On The Park doesn’t like to play by the rules. Tasked with the aim to stylishly go against the grain was design firm SpaceInvader, which is dedicated to creating spaces which fulfill their true potential, while unlocking the power to enhance human behaviour.

    Opened in 2017, the hotel is sheltered within an 1861 traditional Victorian Gothic building, which was named Bruntwood Hall. The shell of the now 22-key boutique hotel was designed originally by an industrialist, John Douglas, who was inspired by a Scottish home; the original ceilings in The Stud Room Bar are testimony to this with subtle thistle design. Today, the iconic structure stands in plain sight, nestled within endless playing parks which feature archery, a golf course, and even a BMX cycling track – hence the cycling chain chandelier in the lobby.

    In its history, Bruntwood Hall has served many purposes – from being a town hall during the war to becoming home to a film company and fashion designer. Now, though, for the first time in its winding narrative, the building has been redecorated, reconfigured and reborn to welcome guests into a luxury boutique hotel like no other.

    Katie Edgar who heads up hospitality at SpaceInvaders led the design throughout the project. She and her design team conducted thorough research into the history of the building, the location and the inhabitants of Bruntwood Hall, in order to understand how to thoughtfully reference the building’s past. “The approach focused on respecting the character and beautiful features of Bruntwood Hall,” explains Edger. “We were inspired by them, and wanted to enhance them to design a romantic scheme that celebrates the history of the building and its unique position.”

    Image credit: ACT Studios

    In addition to sympathetically restoring the building’s original features, the design firm worked with architect Tim Groom, in order to incorporate elements of innovative and playful design that has become a signature of Oddfellows Hotels. “The aim was to create a space that allows guests to lose themselves in their surroundings and feel that the Hall is theirs for the weekend,” adds Edgar.

    “Original 1860s encaustic floor tiles were uncovered in the reception area and revived to their former glory.”

    The public areas arguably give the most significant nod to the building’s heritage. While Edgar and her team were restoring the building as part of its transformation, original 1860s encaustic floor tiles were uncovered in the reception area and revived to their former glory.

    The Stud Bar, which is sheltered adjacent to the lobby area, is a small and intimate space dominated by the original statement ceiling complete with beautiful Jacobean-style decorative plasterwork. “The furniture here has been based around complementing, rather than competing with the overhead design,” said Edger. Comfortable high back chairs with fabrics supplied by Skopos and a soft approach to seating encourage guests to enjoy both the view out to the parkland and the historical building features.

    Meanwhile, the corridors that are staggered over three levels feature an array of abstract art, creating fun and creative moments throughout guests’ journey to their rooms and suites. Just like the corridors, the guestrooms and suites are layered with texture and each have their own personality. The Tower Suite, for example, is a two-tiered design gem that adorns contemporary finishes such as playful wallcoverings and portraits hung with human bodies and animal heads.

    The bathrooms in all 22 rooms and suites have been designed by Utopia Projects, which specified all of the sanitaryware for seven different room types and the spa facilities for the hotel. “Having worked with these designers before, and therefore having an idea of what they like, made this hotel a dream to spec,” said project consultant, Stuart Adamson. ” It’s truly genius how the designers have maintained the buildings country style but modernised it with complimentary elements like the hexagonal mirrors and tiles, although our favourite piece has to be the roll-topped, freestanding baths we supplied completely in white.”

    Image credit: ACT Studio

    On the top floor, the suites compliment the natural architecture of the building, featuring wooden beams and, with high ceilings, compliment natural arch shape of the roofing. The guestrooms feature over-scaled carpet designs, which are a stylish riff on the decorative plasterwork.

    In a nod to the building’s Scottish heritage, the design team included thoughtful elements throughout, including new tartan upholstery, wools and tweeds, and original decorative thistles that are on display. “Heritage colours were specifically chosen to accent walls throughout the bedrooms and public spaces,” explains Edger. “Muted shades of greens, blues, purples and blacks were considered room by room and provide a back drop to conversational artwork and decorative lighting.”

    The use of taxidermy would have been expected in the interior of the building’s previous iterations. And so to layer this sensitively within interior scheme was important, but as with everything in the hotel’s design, the use of taxidermy was anything by ordinary. “In a twist on this concept, we included elements such as bike handlebars mounted on elaborate wall plates,” explains Edger. “These have been utilised to provide another link to the activities that can be enjoyed within the building’s surrounding 100 acres of parkland.”

    The Pigsty is the hotel’s premium spa that sits in a separate building adjacent to the rest of the hotel. Fittingly, the intimate salon features its own mudroom as well as two treatment rooms and has an engaging atmosphere within the social salon quarter.

    Now managed by Bespoke Hotels, the UK’s largest independent hotel group that also owns Hotel Gotham, checking in to Oddfellows On The Park is a journey that celebrates oddities in spectacular fashion. With the combination of amplifying a unique style and through clever marketing to promote it, the Oddfellows Brand is taking its place in the northern hotel charts and it continues to push the boundaries of modern hotel design.

    Main image credit: ACT Studios

    In Conversation With: Senior designer Kate Jarrett on Hard Rock Hotel London

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    In Conversation With: Senior designer Kate Jarrett on Hard Rock Hotel London

    Since becoming a Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30, Kate Jarrett, senior designer at Scott Brownrigg has completed the Hard Rock Hotel London. Sitting down with editor Hamish Kilburn, Jarrett talks job satisfaction, preferred materials and the challenges that come with being a young designer in 2019…

    The early summer vibes are in full swing; the sun is out over the capital and its latest hotel, Hard Rock Hotel London, has arrived.

    Upon entering, the hotel is humming with activity. Guests are soaking in the iconic memorabilia hanging on the walls, while locals gather around the bar enjoying a post-work refreshment or two.

    The Lobby Bar feels like an apt place to meet Scott Brownrigg’s Kate Jarrett, the senior designer on the project, who earlier this year became a Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30. “This started with a passion for illustration, something I studied before moving to Brighton University to study Interior Architecture,” she says. “I then started as an interior designer and I haven’t looked back. I have worked across several sectors but my real passion is for hospitality design.”

    “We have used drumsticks to create unique lighting over the concierge desk.” – Kate Jarrett

    The completion of the new 900-key hotel, which is located a stone’s throw from Oxford Street, is the perfect stage for the designer to amplify what has become a milestone moment in her career. “We drew inspiration from the history of music and specifically instruments themselves, breaking them down in detail seeing how they have been made,” she says. “This was an unusual take on the obvious theme of ‘music’ and we never lost sight of this unique brief in our design. For example, we have used drumsticks to create unique lighting over the concierge desk.”

    Drumsticks used as lighting in the hotel's lobby

    Image credit: Philip Durrant

    The hotel’s walls are plastered with memorabilia that reference the legacy of legends who stayed in Hard Rock Hotels in decades past, including Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Diana Ross and Madonna. Balancing the history and heritage of the brand in a timeless style to avoid cliché moments was the first task for design firm Scott Brownrigg when confronting the motifs that will be sheltered in the new hotel. “We knew we had to represent the Hard Rock brand in an innovative way for the contemporary London market,” Jarrett explains. “The hotel scene here is competitive so we knew we had to create something that tied into London and Hard Rock’s music heritage, while still being completely contemporary.”

    Contemporary bar

    Image credit: Philip Durrant

    The F&B structure at the Hard Rock Hotel London originally took its inspiration from the original art-deco style ceiling of the Lyons Corner House that original stood on the site in the early ‘90s. “Great F&B and bars are key to the success of a hotel as they offer a destination for non-hotel guests too,” explains Jarrett. “For that matter, the expectations of hotel customers on what they want from the hotel experience has also changed. They want it to feel like a home, workplace and a space to socialise; the brief is more open than it used to be.”

    QUICK-FIRE ROUND

    Hamish Kilburn: If budget was no object, what product would you include in a project you are currently working on?
    Kate Jarrett: An incredible art collection

    HK: Best thing about being a designer in London?
    KJ: The constant source of inspiration

    HK: Where is next on your travel bucket list?
    KJ: Japan – it would be like an experiential mood board. I already have a list of places I want to visit

    HK: Where was the last hotel you saw that took your breath away?
    KJ: I recently visited the Beekman in New York, and it really impressed me. That central atrium is like something straight out of a 1920s novel.

    HK: What does luxury mean to you?
    KJ: For me it represents a space that I want to spend time in, a collection of pieces whether its furnishings, art etc. that make me feel like I can sit back and slow down.

    HK: What’s the last item that will appear on your bank statement?
    KJ: Most likely ASOS… or coffee, as I’m always running around at the moment!

    Without a doubt, it’s her ability to let the project do the talking that has made Jarrett the designer she is today. But the challenges of being a young designer in 2019 are far deeper than simply securing projects, or belonging to a leading firm. “London has a lot to offer, however it also means that you have to shout louder, metaphorically, to get yourself heard and to stand out in the industry,” says Jarrett. “Platforms like the 30 Under 30 I find career-affirming as they enable us to get our names out there and really help to showcase the talents of young designers.”

    With sustainability arguably as big a talking point as any other at the moment in interior design and trends, Jarrett is insistent, where possible, on using naturally sourced materials within her projects. “I really enjoy working with natural materials,” she says. “Specifically, I like working with the tactile qualities of natural timbers, stones and the effects achieves by a neutral palette.”

    “Scott Brownrigg has been really supportive and encouraging with the projects I have worked on.” – Kate Jarrett

    At the root of Jarret’s decisions and place in the market is a design firm that has incubated and supported the young designer’s creativity to ultimately develop better places to live, stay and work. “At Scott Brownrigg, we are all encouraged to enrich lives through the environments we design,” she explains. “Scott Brownrigg has been really supportive and encouraging with the projects I have worked on. As a young designer it can be hard to establish yourself in a company, but Scott Brownrigg has really been great at championing me every step of the way. We’re a friendly, social bunch so I have also make some great relationships with colleagues along the way which has really helped.”

    Aside from the Hard Rock Hotel London, current projects that Jarrett is working on that on the boards are firm proof that she is anything but a one-trick pony in the race. “We are working on an exciting hotel project in Stratford,” she explains. “This area is having a surge at the moment with lots of new developments, particularly in the hospitality sector. There are also some further Hard Rock projects we are working on; it’s great to get repeat work as it means we are doing something right!”

    The fresh and vibrant interiors that surround the new hotel that everyone seems to be talking about are a reflection of the designer that Jarrett is becoming, or arguably already become. Modest, calm-natured and enthusiastic, Jarrett is, in my opinion, a credit to the firm that has helped support her on her way.

    Main image credit: Tash Busta Photography

    Leading hoteliers and suppliers to attend Hotel Summit

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Leading hoteliers and suppliers to attend Hotel Summit

    Hotel Summit, which returns this year in a new home in Heythrop Park on July 8 – 9, provides hoteliers with direct access to leading hotel suppliers… 

    The latest suppliers to book on to this year’s Hotel Summit, which takes place on July 8 – 9 at Heythrop Park, include Elavon, Out of Eden, Ligne Roset, Tevalis, HCI, Phillip Jeffries and Castrads. These companies will join the likes of Mitre Linen, Airwave and Project Blinds among other leading suppliers that will benefit from the two-day premium networking event.

    In addition, delegates confirmed to attend the event include the likes of Browns Hotel, Great Hotels of The World, The Gainsborough Bath Spa, The Beaumont and The Lanesborough among many others.*

    The Summit, which this year celebrates its 21st anniversary, is specifically organised by Forum Events for senior professionals who are directly responsible for purchasing and procurement within their organisation, and those who provide the latest and greatest products and services within the sector.

    Over just two days, the highly focused event consists of pre-arranged one-to-one business meetings, interactive seminars and valuable networking opportunities throughout.

    Establishing shot of Heythrop Park

    Image caption: Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire, the venue for Hotel Summit 2019

    How to register 

    If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to meet top hotel professionals, contact Jennie Lane at j.lane@forumevents.co.uk– or click here to book your place.

    If you are a hotelier and would like to attend the Summit for free, please contact Liam Cloona on l.cloona@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

    *Please contact Liam Cloona for complete delegates list.

    Leading designers, architects and hoteliers to attend Meet Up North 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Leading designers, architects and hoteliers to attend Meet Up North 2019

    Meet Up North, which takes place on July 1 at Hotel Gotham’s Club Brass, will be attended by leading hoteliers, designers and architects…

    Following the success of Meet Up London in March, Hotel Designs is weeks away from heading up to Manchester with Meet Up North. The event, which is designed to bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers will this year carrying the theme of ‘Creativity Outside the Capital’.

    Directors and/or partners from the likes of Denton Corker Marshall, Gensler, AEW Architects, Fusion by Design, LDA Design Consultants, Utopia Projects and Abode Architecture are among the designers and architects that will be attending the evening networking event.

    In addition, general managers from the likes of The Stock Exchange Hotel, Hotel Indigo Chester and Hotel Gotham will be among the hoteliers attending the event.

    Meet Up North, which returns to Manchester for a second year following clear indications that the city continues to be a hotel development hotspot, will include an insightful talk and presentation by Tom Lindblom, Principal and Hospitality Leader at Gensler (London), which will be entitled Hospitality is way more than hotels.’

    How to purchase your tickets to Meet Up North

    If you are a supplier to the industry and would like to purchase your ticket to Meet Up North for £150 + VAT, click here.
    If you are a designer, architect or hoteliers to the industry and would like to purchase your ticket to Meet Up North for £20 + VAT, click here.

    In additionl, there are still various sponsorship opportunities and packages available for Meet Up North. If you would like to discuss these with our team then please contact Zoe Guerrier by either emailing z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk or calling 01992 374059.

    The inaugural Meet Up North took place last year at King Street Townhouse and was attended by more than 200 designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers.

    About the venue

    Hotel Gotham is sheltered in what is arguably the city’s grandest properties and is an exclusive city-centre sanctuary, previously a bank that was designed in 1935 by none other than architect Edwin Lutyens.

    The hotel, which opened in 2015, prides itself on offering a modern and comfortable experience in a unique and luxurious environment, with exquisite service all within a bespoke private club in the heart of Manchester.

    Global awards launches to challenge industry standards around accessible design

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Global awards launches to challenge industry standards around accessible design

    The Blue Badge Access Awards launches and questions why accessible design is not as large a talking point as sustainability currently is. Editor Hamish Kilburn attended the launch event in London and writes…

    Blue Badge Access Awards has launched raising some much-needed debates around the current industry standards around accessible design.

    The launch of Blue Badge Access Awards – a combining of two major design competitions – the Bespoke Access Awards and the Blue Badge Style Awards – took place at Home Grown Club in Marylebone. The occasion explained the purpose of the new global competition, which is to celebrate thoughtful and stylish inclusive design worldwide. It aims to inspire designers, architects, operators and developers to work together in order to build exceptional business and venues that make everyone feel like a “first-class citizen.”

    “No one would have dreamed that sustainability would be so high on the agenda as it is now and we want access to be high on the priority list.” – Robin Sheppard.

    Speaking at the event was Robin Sheppard, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels, Hotel Sector Champion for Disabled People and in turn the winner of The Brit List 2018’s Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry. “It is important to make access a permanent addition to the agenda,” he said during a thought-provoking speech. “No one would have dreamed that sustainability would be so high on the agenda as it is now and we want access to be high on the priority list.”

    With the support of charity Leonard Cheshire, the Blue Badge Access Awards aims to accelerate much-needed progress. This follows studies that show inclusive design gives businesses and venues access to a market of more than one billion people across the world, a group of more than 13 million people in the UK along with spending power of more than £250 billion.

    Inclusive design has a history of inspiring great innovation, from the invention of the first typewriter, which was built to help a blind Italian countess write legibly, to the remote control, which was created to make life easier for people with limited mobility.

    Categories include:

    • Arnold Fewell Award – The Most Inclusive Building/Interior Design
    • Best Hotel x 2 (Upmarket and Boutique, Bespoke Award)
    • Best Bar x 2 (Upmarket and Budget)
    • Best Restaurant x 2 (Upmarket – Conran award – and Budget)
    • Best Accessible Toilet
    • Ludicrous Loo
    • Above & Beyond (Includes Hospitality & Corporates)
    • Euan’s Guide Award
    • Best Venue in a Listed Building
    • Inclusive Employment Award (Leonard Cheshire)
    • Employee of the Year

    “Nowhere can be 100 per cent accessible, but everyone can start somewhere,” said Fiona Jarvis, founder of Blue Badge Style. “There is a tremendous public interest in the area of accessible design, with a strong desire to honour and recognise businesses that go the extra mile for their customers.”

    With categories ranging from Best Hotel and Best Bar, to the Leonard Cheshire Inclusive Employment Award, the Blue Badge Access Awards recognises the variety of ways that businesses can become more inclusive. The prize that nobody wants to win, ‘Ludicrous Loo’ demonstrates the challenges faced in a light-hearted manner, revealing bathrooms where accessibility is an afterthought.

    Nominations of the Blue Badge Access Awards, which are open to anyone, anywhere in the world, are now open and close on June 30. Visit to website to cast your vote.

    Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on October 7.

    Main image credit: Blue Badge Access Award/Bespoke Access Awards

    EDITOR CHECKS IN: Running on empty in Clerkenwell

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    EDITOR CHECKS IN: Running on empty in Clerkenwell

    Editor Hamish Kilburn explains some of the benefits that come with being a runner on the editorial desk – especially during Clerkenwell Design Week… 

    I believe that nine problems out of 10 within this ever-evolving industry can be solved with a fresh perspective. Whether the issue is a lack of inspiration or perhaps you can’t decide which soft furnishings to purchase for a fussy client, there are times where you – and your project – could benefit from taking some time out so that your ideas and thoughts can authentically mature.

    For most, the obvious ‘time out’ would follow booking 10 nights away in bare-foot luxury, and I must conquer that the undisturbed nature of this thought also appeals. However, if it’s simply a case of a blockage of traffic in the brain, then I suggest you hop onto the pavement. For me, it is often only after a gentle jog – at any time of day or night – where most of my editorial ideas for Hotel Designs stem from – or at least final decisions are made.

    This month, I went one step further in my fitness therapy and signed myself up to complete what will be my third marathon. But while I have been there, done that and got the T-shirt twice before, one thing has changed – I am the busiest I have ever been. And so, like so many amateur runners who have or are pacing in my footsteps while balancing a career, finding the time to train is often the hardest challenge – a test that carries great unparalleled rewards, including being able to juggle time wisely.

    “What’s running got to do with hotel development, design and architecture,” you may ask. Well it turns out, this month in particular, being able to confidently trot around town was an essential skill for those for those of us attending Clerkenwell Design Week as ‘Press’. Entering double digits, this year’s volume of celebrating of design, which witnessed hundreds of showrooms opening their doors to the public, was turned up to the max – and it was, undoubtably so, a fabulous festival to amplify to our readers. For the 10th year, it recognised the UK once more as an incubator for incredible design, architecture and ideas. Despite this, at times it was also like hitting the dreaded wall during a marathon, each showroom becoming more of a fuel station as we got further through the course. Passed the finish line, though, and we were able to reflect on the journey, which was like every long-distance race, full of unforgettable moments including witnessing art outside the frame at almost every turn.

    Brick wall with loud and colourful mural of shapes bursting out

    Image caption/credit: One of the many art installations at Clerkenwell Design Week 2019 | Sophie Mutevelian

    In addition to clocking up the miles around the design hub that is Clerkenwell, my mini adventures on foot have allowed me to experience some pretty incredible places from an unmatched perspective; from the sandy beaches of Barbados to the cobbled streets of Amsterdam – and sprinting through New York’s Time Square at 5am. With the right pair of trainers – and the will power to get out whatever the weather, travelling to – and seeing – these places has been extraordinary.

    “Each time I head out for a run in Manchester, usually between exhibitions or events, I notice a new building taking shape.”

    Closer to home, Manchester is within my top five locations to go for a run in and around. Having spent a year living in the beehive, I fell in love with the ‘on the boards’ skyline and at times juvenile personality locked within its ever-expanding city walls. Given its striking façade, and spirited soul, it is no coincidence, therefore, that hotel development up north is booming. Each time I head out for a run in Manchester, usually between exhibitions or events, I notice a new building taking shape. Top Hotel Project recently reported that between 2020 and 2021, 11 new hotels will open – the majority of which will be for the luxury sector. In response to this, we’re taking our Meet Up North networking evening back to the city that everyone is talking about, this year taking over Hotel Gotham’s much-admired rooftop bar, Club Brass.

    Today, my running shoes have taken me back to my hometown of Whitstable in Kent, a beautiful rustic and trendy town – think Shoreditch style but by the sea and with oysters. The gorgeous weather combined with a steady westerly breeze was all the motivation I needed to add a totally unplanned half marathon (13.1 miles) into this week’s training plan. It was all the motivation I needed to write and complete this column.

    During June, Hotel Designs will be putting Hotel Groups and Software & Controls under the spotlight. If you would like to contribute to these topics, please do not hesitate to email me.

    Editor, Hotel Designs

    MINIVIEW: Hard Rock Hotel London

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    MINIVIEW: Hard Rock Hotel London

    In spectacular fashion, as expected, Hard Rock Hotel London has opened its doors, adding 900 stylish rooms to the Capital’s hotel scene. Hotel Designs took a peak inside…

    Positioned on the corner of Oxford Street at Marble Arch, Hard Rock Hotel London has arrived, catering to the needs of both business and leisure travelers from around the world. Designed by award-winning design firm Scott Brownrigg, the concept for the interior design was inspired from the heritage of the existing building, which was built in the mid 1700’s.

    Drawing on the legacy of legends who stayed here in decades past, including Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Diana Ross and Madonna, the new venue pays homage to the site’s rich history through stylish interior design and carefully curated music memorabilia displays. It also is an inspiration to those who have yet to write their own story – Hard Rock Hotel London stands alone as a hotel haven for music lovers everywhere.

    Image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

    Hard Rock Hotel London accommodates two vibrant bars and a lively Hard Rock Cafe – the second Hard Rock Cafe to open in the Capital City. With 370 seats, the hotel’s Cafe is set to be the ultimate Central hang out. Combining elevated food and drink offerings with weekly live music performances that celebrate both local London and international talent, the Cafe offers an electric atmosphere, perfect for all occasions – from lunch meetings to after work drinks.

    “As the original birthplace of Hard Rock, we are delighted to open a new hotel in London, the brand’s spiritual birthplace,” said Ian Fletcher, general manager of the hotel. “In true Hard Rock style, the property offers stylish and contemporary design, incredible in-room amenities, fantastic food and unparalleled service, with the thread that unites them all – music. We know all our guests have an unforgettable experience.”

    Image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

    Meanwhile, the 42-seat Lobby Bar takes its inspiration from the original art-deco style ceiling of the Lyons Corner House, which originally stood on the site in the early 1900’s. As well as celebrating the site’s unrivalled heritage, the bar embodies Hard Rock’s musical roots, with an abstract installation designed to reflect a master disc and record player. Memorabilia, in true Hard Rock fashion, is suspended in the bar from the walls through guitar strings to replicate a ‘larger than life’ fret board.

    ‘It has been a great experience working with two established brands, glh hotels and Hard Rock International,” said Kate Jarrett, Interior Designer at Scott Brownrigg who was also credited as a Hotel Designs 30 Under 30 earlier this year. “We have enjoyed collaborating with them to create a unique and sophisticated offer for the London market. Combining the history of the central London location with the iconic musical heritage of the Hard Rock brand.”

    With venues in 73 countries including 184 cafes, 237 Rock Shops, 28 hotels and 11 casinos, Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognised companies – and the hotel brand’s most recent opening fittingly returns to where it all began.

    Main image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

    Sony reveals how TV has impacted the living room through the decades

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Sony reveals how TV has impacted the living room through the decades

    Sony’s ‘Evolution of the Living Room’ report reveals how (TV) inch size does indeed matter for guests who are checking in… 

    Despite changing décor, consumer behaviour, streamed content taking a leap forward and hoteliers wanting to steer guests to utilise public areas, the TV is still the heart of the guestroom according to the ‘Evolution of the Living Room’ report, released in conjunction with a survey of 6,000 European consumers and commentary from industry experts.

    Informed by experts including Italian design duo Stefano Mich and Alessandro de Pompeis,Sonia Solicari the director of the Geffrye Museum of the Home and psychologist Emma Kenny, the report reveals how the living room has evolved to fit in with our modern-day lives and is centred around the TV, which has evolved with it – as have the designs of modern hotel guestrooms as a result.

    The findings demonstrate how the modern-day television set now completes a living space, while also exploring the modern phenomenon of on-demand and streamed services, as well as the growing inch size of televisions.

    Covering off topics such as how streaming has infiltrated the living room, the continued increase in TV size despite the increase in popularity of smaller, portable devices, it provides a unique insight into how technology and society have shaped its development.

    “64 per cent of people said that they watch just as much or more TV now than they did 10 years ago.”

    Since the first Sony TV was created in 1960, it quickly became a central and integral part of the living room as the popularity of TV grew – with a third (32 per cent) of people saying it is the most important item, coming second only to the sofas they watch it on. This trend is showing no sign of slowing down either, as 64 per cent of people said that they watch just as much or more TV now than they did ten years ago.

    Sixty years ago, families huddled around an 8inch TV set but present-day living rooms now have a cinema-style feel – with TVs going up to 75 inches in size.

    The report also found that people now prefer streamed content over watching scheduled TV. Reasons given for this include the flexibility streaming offers rather than be restricted to the show on TV (50 per cent), fitting programmes in around longer working hours (32 per cent) and being able to watch with friends/or a partner (31 per cent).

    “Television isn’t simply a medium that enables you to enjoy a variety of content,” said UK TV psychological expert and media commentator, Emma Kenny. “It represents so many different variables, and reaches individuals in completely unique ways.”

    While society has changed significantly since the introduction of the first TV to the present day – along with design innovations of the TV as a result of seamless collaborations – many of our social behaviours remain the same. We’re still social beings who value family time, and with a certain nostalgia linked to ‘TV time’ across Europe, it doesn’t surprise me that families continue to enjoy TV together as a shared experience.

    Despite the increase in popularity of portable devices, TVs are getting bigger, with more than a third of people now wanting a TV more than 55 inches and 16 per cent desiring a 65+ inch set.

    Almost half (48 per cent) of people want a bigger TV than the one they have now, but men are 10 per cent more likely than women to want a bigger TV.

    Kenny adds: “Like it or otherwise, we associate owning items that really ‘stand out’ as a marker of success. The market for large TV’s has grown, and this has made it a competitive environment. If you want your home to appear modern and your lifestyle to seem successful, then status symbols are important. This bigger is better belief system has never been so prominent than in the world of TV.

    “Living rooms are transported into home cinemas, making the viewing experience the best that it has ever been. Whilst for many of us affording a season ticket to watch your favourite football team is out of reach, yet you can feel as if you are at the match when you have a large, quality TV screen in front of you”

    *Research of 6,000 Europeans carried out by One Poll in April, 2019

    Main image credit: Sony

    GROHE and Mosa partnership celebrates success at Clerkenwell

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    GROHE and Mosa partnership celebrates success at Clerkenwell

    GROHE enjoyed its second taste of Clerkenwell Design Week in partnership with tile manufacturer, Mosa…

    Following a successful collaboration in 2018, GROHE and Mosa reunited once again to celebrate their common heritage around the topic of sustainability. “We are delighted to be able to share our passion for delivering sustainable solutions to the architect and design industry with a like-minded brand such as Mosa“, says Glenn Payne, Head of Projects UK at GROHE.

    “Our partnership at Clerkenwell Design Week has highlighted our commitment to sustainability to key figures in the industry, whose influence could pave the way to more eco-aware specification in the future. We felt we offered a real point of difference to the customers and visitors who joined us across the three days, and are excited about the new prospects the event will bring“.

    GROHE‘s dedicated projects team met with hundreds of visitors at the festival, from self builders and specifiers to architects and designers, generating some promising new business leads. The festival proved an excellent platform for the brand to leverage its already strong position in the A&D community, to reach new heights. As well as opening its showroom to the thousands of visitors who flocked to the festival last week, GROHE and Mosa also hosted several evening parties and events, including an exclusive dinner presented by GROHE’s partnering chef, Ed Baines.

    The bathroom manufacturer has an ever-growing presence in Clerkenwell and thanks to the permanent displays newly revealed at Mosa’s showroom last week, the brand has now firmly cemented its place in the design-centric district.

    Hotel Designs recently caught up with Grohe’s Vice President of Design, Michael Seum, following the company exhibiting at ISH 2019.

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

    New ‘super boutique hotel’ in London to become leader in sustainability

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    New ‘super boutique hotel’ in London to become leader in sustainability

    Edwardian Hotels London has secured a £175 million Green Loan from HSBC UK that will help make its new ‘super boutique hotel’, The Londoner, one of the most environmentally friendly in the UK, with sustainability at its core…

    Edwardian Hotels London has secured a £175 million Green Loan from HSBC UK to ensure its new super boutique hotel, The Londoner, situated in Leicester Square will be one of the greenest hotels in the UK.

    The deal with HSBC UK breaks new ground in sustainability for the hospitality industry. It is the first Green Loan in the sector that meets the Green Loan Principles, which were set out in March 2018 to encourage and facilitate environmentally-friendly economic activity. The funding will be used to ensure the new hotel doesn’t just meet but exceeds the BREEAM Excellent category in building environmental and sustainable performance.

    Thanks to the Green Loan, The Londoner’s impressive green credentials will range from use of construction materials with a low environmental impact, to new technologies including an innovative liquid film which will reduce evaporation and energy loss from the hotel’s swimming pool.

    The hotel is also aiming to contribute to the sustainability of its neighbours by including a heat network connection. Initially, this will be linked to the Edwardian Hotels London-owned hotel next door to The Londoner, The Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire, but could also be extended to the surrounding area in the future. In total, the hotel is set to use 30 per cent less carbon than regulations demand.

     “Since its inception we have always had bold ambitions for The Londoner to write itself into the very fabric of the city, said Jasminder Singh OBE, Chairman and Founder of Edwardian Hotels London. “We have been dedicated to delivering a high-quality, sustainable, integrated hotel and this Green Loan supports that vision. We are delighted that this new property, designed to celebrate the character of the capital, has become the first in the hospitality industry to secure this.”

    Rob King, Head of Sustainable Finance at HSBC UK, said: “HSBC has made a commitment to provide US$100bn of Sustainable Finance by 2025 to help businesses transition to a lower carbon economy. We are very pleased to have supported Edwardian Hotels London with a Green Loan to support the construction of this high profile hotel with very strong sustainability credentials.  Green Loans are an exciting development in Sustainable Finance which will encourage the investment urgently required to meet our carbon emission reduction targets.”

    The Londoner is in a new hotel category of one. Boutique in feel, yet staggering in scale, at 15 storeys, the property will offer a multifaceted experience through its 350 exquisite rooms and suites, signature restaurants and dining offerings and with the bespoke meetings and event spaces infused with London character. It is scheduled to open in Spring 2020.

    Main image credit: Edwardian Hotels

    Lincoln_Plaza_Fileturn-122-800x534-768x513

    HOTEL OPENING: Lincoln Plaza London’s design inspired by London Docklands

    768 513 Hamish Kilburn

    By taking note of the exciting and vibrant spirit of the London Docklands area, RPW Design was the design firm that sensitively designed the 129-key Lincoln Plaza London… 

    Based in the heart of Canary Wharf, RPW Design has announced the opening of its most recent project, Lincoln Plaza London. Conveying its location into the hotel, the experienced RPW Design team, led by Nicola Romanelli and Richard Snow, has maintained a unique and luxurious experience through the guestrooms, function and meeting spaces while staying true to the location. RPW Design took Canary Wharf as a treasure trove of inspiration; from the historic shipping and dockland past to the present day, high tech, modern, business, luxury residential living and extraordinary architecture.

    When approaching the design for a property in such a vibrant area of the city, RPW Design was inspired by a quote from the design brief for the new Hilton Curio Brand: “Hotels with a special character you can’t duplicate. They’re part of the fabric of their cities: true locals, each embodying the spirit of their home”.

    For Richard Snow, Senior Designer at RPW Design, this quote really stood out and inspired the design story for Lincoln Plaza London. “We drew on the rich industrial past of the area using rusty tones and finishes alongside the design of joinery and FF&E pieces with exposed metal framework,” he told Hotel Designs. “At the same time, conscious of the hotel brand and surrounding residential developments, we included quality finishes such as natural stone in the bathrooms and on joinery, as well as statement pieces like the rusty/burnished gold wall covering to the bed head wall.”

    Image credit: Main image credit: Lincoln Plaza London/Curio Collection by Hilton

    Lincoln Plaza London’s focus on luxurious lifestyle facilities has been seamlessly translated throughout the 129 guest rooms. The layout of the rooms was creatively developed to move away from the standard hotel offering by incorporating the vanity into the main lobby area of the room, creating a sense of space and openness in the room. A decision to remove the traditional hotel room desk was made, and instead RPW designed a multi-use table at the right height for either a work space or dining table whilst seated at the armchair. These changes allow a more residential feel. From the bespoke shelving units made of blackened steel and antique brass, through to the marble rainfall showers, all elements work together harmoniously. The guestroom artwork was carefully curated in collaboration with RPW Design’s Art Consultant, Peter Millard and Partners, in order to show some of the East End’s most famous and unique artists: Gary Hogben; Julian Bray; Kyra Cane; and Tom Clark. Meanwhile, individual sculptural pieces by Simon Bingle, positioned in every floor lift lobby, hark back to the industrial landscape still visible around the hotel. This particular bespoke artwork conveys RPW Design’s attention to details that is inherent in their projects.

    Canary Wharf is a more recent business hub for London, and the Hilton Curio offers 465 square metres of event space that is distributed across seven meeting rooms.  With sleek design details, RPW Design implemented a blend of “old industrial” and contemporary design. RPW Design has created a popular new space in this centre of commerce and it is a truly unique destination for the Docklands.

    Image credit: Main image credit: Lincoln Plaza London/Curio Collection by Hilton

    The reflection of the historical and industrial shipping dock is continued throughout the hotel, from the lower-ground meeting and function spaces to the fitness centre. Lincoln Plaza’s fitness centre is designed to be simple and modern, reflecting the location’s industrial heritage with a concrete reception desk formed out of concrete and rusty metal effect laminate in the joinery.

    Lincoln Plaza’s meeting areas can be reached by a feature staircase that is formed of shuttered concrete, poured in situ, with an exposed timber imprint remaining on view, contrasted by a polished concrete floor. The rough concrete is offset by a luxurious brushed brass handrail and stair treads, with concealed lighting to add drama. This is diffused into the pre-function space, with a concrete render-effect wall covering and rich, dark timber doors.

    Image credit: Main image credit: Lincoln Plaza London/Curio Collection by Hilton

    The function areas are versatile spaces that may be configured dependent on the client’s needs and meeting planners’ specifications. The large function room can be divided into thirds when required and the buffet counters housing TV and tea/coffee facilities in the individual meeting rooms can also be concealed, thus enabling various uses from one space. A central area with a communal work table, features iconic pieces of furniture from Poltrona Frau, Walter Knoll and Porada. The cranes, such a familiar sight in the Docklands, are reflected in the pattern of two large metal work screens, dividing the pre-function area. The walls of the function rooms are designed with contrasting finishes, featuring geometric patterned wallpaper and bespoke lighting, continuing the theme.

    Andrew Hart, Chairman of interior fit-out contractor Fileturn, commented: “This project was one which used all the skills of the team on site to incorporate the new designs within the existing structural shell. The fit-out areas designed by RPW included public areas, conference and meeting room facilities as well as bedrooms. The end results have produced a striking hotel in keeping with its surroundings and one the team here at Fileturn can deservedly be proud of”.

    RPW Design worked alongside Fileturn to make the design become a reality, creating the perfect addition to the Curio Collection by Hilton.

    Main image credit: Lincoln Plaza London/Curio Collection by Hilton

    MEET UP LONDON: 3 weeks to go

    800 418 Hamish Kilburn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Agenda for Meet Up London: 

     

    How to attend Meet Up London 

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

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

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

    Sustainable design transforms London boutique hotel

    800 533 Hamish Kilburn

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Image credit: Sibley Grove

    Key materials used in the project:

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

    Reading lighting on side of headboard

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

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

     

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

     

    FIRST LOOK: Apex unveils Insta-worthy London suite

    800 534 Hamish Kilburn

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

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

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

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

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

    Image credit: Apex Hotel

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

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

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

    Image credit: Apex Hotels

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

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

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

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

     

    Morgan makes a colourful splash

    800 545 Hamish Kilburn

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

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

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

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

    Image caption: Chevy by Morgan Furniture

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

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

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

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

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

    Image caption: Goodwood range by Morgan Furniture

     

    London School of Architecture confirmed as headline speaker for Meet Up London

    816 497 Hamish Kilburn

    James Soane, Director of Critical Practice at the London School of Architecture, will speak at Meet Up London which takes place on March 28 at Minotti London…

    Meet Up London has confirmed James Soane, Director of Critical Practice at the London School of Architecture, as its headline speaker for the networking event which takes place on March 28 at Minotti London’s showroom.

    In addition to welcoming leading designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers of all ages, Meet Up London will also carry a light theme to support young creatives. Attending the evening, courtesy of Hotel Designs, the 40 shortlisted finalists for Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30 initiative will find out on the night who among them have made the final 30 Under 30.

    “Our aim for this event has always been very clear; to support young designers and architects who are proving themselves to be rising stars on the international hotel design scene,”  said Hamish Kilburn, editor of Hotel Designs. “It is therefore my honour to invite James Soane to speak at the event in order to share his experience of working with and supporting young talent within in our industry. We hope that by having James speak at this event it will help to further bridge the age gap between designers, hoteliers, architects and suppliers.”

    About Meet Up London

    More than 200 hospitality professionals are expected to attend Hotel Designs’ highly anticipated Q1 networking event, Meet Up London.

    Following the success of previous networking events, such as The Brit list 2018 and Meet Up North, Hotel Designs’ Meet Up London will adopt the theme of 30 under 30. The leading hotel design website has asked its readers to nominate designers, architects and hoteliers of the age of 30 and under who are fast climbing the ranks to become leading practitioners.

    Meet Up London, which is being styled exclusively by Minotti London, will provide a unique opportunity to network over drinks and canapés with the largest names in hospitality, interior design and architecture.

    Address: 77 Margaret St, Fitzrovia, London, W1W 8SY

    Evening agenda:
    18.00: Guests arrive
    18.30: Welcoming speech from editor of Hotel Designs’ Hamish Kilburn
    18.45: Unveiling of Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30
    19:00: Presentation by London School of Architecture’s James Soane (topic TBC)
    19:15 – 21.00: Networking over complimentary drinks and canapés

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

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

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

     

    Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

    Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

     

     

     

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

    1024 576 Hamish Kilburn

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

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

    1) Jason Bradbury reviews Eccleston Square Hotel, London

    Image credit: Eccleston Square Hotel/Twitter: @JasonBradbury

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

    > Click here to read the full review

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

    Exhibition hall

    Image credit: MAISON&OBJET

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

    > Click here to read the round-up

    3) W Hotels arrives on The Palm, Dubai

    Image credit: W Hotels Worldwide

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

    > Click here to read the story

    4) Deadline for 30 Under 30 applications announced

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

    > Click here to apply/nominate

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

    Birdseye render of the site

    Image credit: Foster + Partners

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

    > Click here to read the story

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

    Hotel Designs closes January with online traffic record

    600 303 Hamish Kilburn

    The leading international hotel design website closes January with a record-breaking 67, 792 readers…. 

    By exploring hotel openings and spas as its Spotlight On features during January, Hotel Designs has smashed its online monthly traffic record, which was previously hit in November, by amassing more than 67,000 readers to the website.

    Hotel Designs, which last year attracted more than half a million readers, engaged readers with the following most-read stories during January:

    Spotlight On: Major hotel openings for Q1 & Q2 2019
    Inside the world’s first hotel room that determines room rate based on social media addiction
    Nobu Hotels to arrive in Warsaw
    In Conversation with Yasmine Mahmoudieh
    Hotels at New Heights

    “This is a fantastic start to 2019,” said publisher Katy Phillips. “I am absolutely thrilled that, yet again, I am being asked to comment on Hotel Designs smashing another online traffic record. As well as showing that our editorial team have their finger on the pulse when it comes to covering hot topics in our industry, this is a clear indication that this market is engaging positively with the content we publish.

    “One area that Hotel Designs has always been strong in is having a face-to-face relationship with our audience. We are therefore looking forward to our next networking evening, Meet Up London: 30 Under 30 on March 28, which are aim will be to bridge the age gap in international hotel design.”

    The news comes as the website steers its Spotlight On features to cover Surfaces and Architecture and Construction, two widely debated topics within international hotel design.

    Click here to read editor Hamish Kilburn’s ‘Editor Checks In’ where he spends some time reflecting on January as a time when two worlds seamlessly collide.

     

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

    800 593 Hamish Kilburn

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

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

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

    dark bathroom design

    Image credit: SIBU

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

    > Read more about the trends here

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

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

    Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

    Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

    > To book your tickets, click here

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

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

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

    > To read more about the study, click here

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

    render of the exterior of a manor-like building

    Image credit: SUSD

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

    > To read more about the plans, click here

    5) Editor Checks In: January ’19

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

    > To read my editor’s letter, click here

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

    Main image credit: ITC Natural Luxury Flooring

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

    970 403 Hamish Kilburn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    To purchase your tickets, click here.

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

    Date: March 28, 2019

    How to apply for the 30 Under 30 list

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

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

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

    How to attend Meet Up London: 30 Under 30

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

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

    Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

    Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

    Suite

    A new boutique-lodge hotel’s Asian nod in Cumbria

    1024 605 Hamish Kilburn

    The Black Bull is a family owned boutique hotel in Cumbria in the Yorkshire Dales with a Japanese twist. Talk about an unmatched hotel concept…

    Hospitality runs through the blood of James Ratcliffe and Nina Matsunaga who as well as owning The Black Bull in addition to the successful Three Hares in Sedbergh. The property has been renovated with the task to build on the inn’s storied history and connection to the local landscapes by using local materials and crafts to create a hotel, a restaurant and a bar. Somewhat of a USP for the hotel competing with others in the Dales, Nina’s Japanese background was an integral component of the project. As a result, Patrick Thomas, the founder of Up North Architects, used the five elements, clean lines and neutral tones to link everything back to Japan’s strong design and culture.

    modern stylish room

    The hotel has 18 elegant guestrooms, none of which are the same in regards to their size sizes and their décor, each named after a local fell. The luxe bathrooms come complete with large rain showers, large standalone baths and even Japanese tubs as well as bespoke furniture using local materials, hand-woven blankets made with Howgill Fells wool.

    The restaurant has been designed so that guests can find a cosy and warm environment thanks to the wooden panels created with the reclaimed wooden floors from the old bedrooms, the stunning landscapes pictures by Rob Withrow and a great triptych hand screen printed mirror by Phil Constable. Japanese elements also appear with the use of slate and suspended plants.


    The Black Bull’s bar is the appropriate social hub. The actual bar is bespoke and sits at the entrance to welcome guests. A warm stylish bar with fireplaces, cosy booth sitting with comfortable red leather seats is the perfect setting for locals and guests alike to enjoy pints of local craft beers from the Cumbrian Fells’ brewery or wines from the hand selected list made by James and eat simple and hearty dishes such as pork scratchings or Venison with chocolate pie with red cabbage and chips.

    All image credits: Rob Whitrow

    Modern hotel in a timeless shell, Heythorp Park Hotel completes refurbishment

    800 534 Hamish Kilburn

    The grade II listed country estate, Heythrop Park Hotel, completes refurbishment to 48 guestrooms balancing a timeless look with clever injection of bespoke furniture…

    Curtis Furniture has recently completed a refurbishment of 49 guestrooms at the four-star Heythrop Park hotel in Oxfordshire. Operating in a 17th century grade II listed country estate, the newly renovated hotel now adorns a modern look and feel while remaining sensitive to its heritage.

    Light and airy guestroom

    The age of the building provided a challenge for the furniture specialists as the bedrooms were small and ergonomically difficult. The tired guestrooms required refurbishment whilst complying to an exact specification and budget.

    The Brief

    The clients specified that the rooms had to meet the high standard of the estate whilst complementing the ambiance of the location. The refurbishment was approached firstly by listening to the client’s needs, then establishing a strategy and finally a solution which would deliver the required results on time, whilst remaining within the given budget.

    The Solution

    Curtis provided various pieces of bespoke furniture which were used to solve the problem of the smaller sized rooms. Pale colours were used to make the rooms appear larger, floating bedsides provided more floor space, curved desks saved space whilst providing a functioning workspace and mirrored wardrobes which had sliding doors were used to prevent pinch points. The project took 8 weeks from the first site visit to delivery.

    The client’s problem was solved, and the Heythrop Park team were proud to open their doors and a new chapter for the property as well as the hotel it shelters.

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

     

     

    1950s-style boutique hotel slated to open in former Coventry Telegraph offices

    800 600 Hamish Kilburn

    The new Telegraph Hotel, which will be operated by Bespoke Hotels, will retain much of its original features…

    Bespoke Hotels, which manages 9,500 hotel rooms in 21 countries from Australia to America, has reached an agreement with Developers Complex Development Projects (CDP) to operate a 1950s-style boutique hotel at the former Coventry Telegraph offices.

    Construction is planned to commence at the end of the year on creating 100 guestrooms, a ground floor restaurant and bar, meeting rooms, penthouse suites and a rooftop bar after planning approval was granted by Coventry City Council on July 16. Final approval from the Council is awaited for long lease extensions necessary to deliver the project.

    The original features of the building, which include the panelled Board Room and Lord Iliffe’s apartment, will be retained as unique features of the building’s former life. Around 130 jobs will be created when the hotel opens which is scheduled to be ahead of Coventry being UK City of Culture in 2021.

    The project is unique and we needed an operator that embraced our vision for something that will be truly Coventry

    “This is an iconic building charged with much recent history of the City of Coventry with a really strong tone of voice from which we hope to deliver a rich narrative with nods to the 1950s heyday of the building and a cool contemporary twist,” said Chairman of Bespoke Hotels, Robin Sheppard, who founded the business with Haydn Fentum. “This will be a destination hotel with tons of character and a cheeky smile.”

    A perfect example of this is Hotel Gotham which is a five-star hotel that was named World’s Best New Hotel and Coolest Boutique Hotel following its opening in 2015 because of its attention to detail ranging from its art deco design to providing a luxury chauffeur service.

    Image caption: Interiors of Hotel Gotham

    “The project is unique and we needed an operator that embraced our vision for something that will be truly Coventry,” said Ian Harrabin, Managing Director of CDP. “We took advice from national hotel experts and Bespoke was our first choice of partner. We have been working with them for the past six months on the detail of the project and are happy that they share our enthusiasm for Coventry and recognise the opportunity of this unique building. We want to create a style of hotel that is not offered anywhere else in the area – a style that is truly bespoke. Their experienced team bring out the heart and soul of hotels with their professionalism, experience, flair and individuality.”

    Partnered with CDP’s track record of delivering creative developments that break the conventional mould such as FarGo Village and Electric Wharf, the new Telegraph Hotel is siad to be be unlike any other.

    Harrabin continues: “We want to give the city an hotel that Coventry can be proud of and provide a focus for the City of Culture status that has been bestowed for 2021. We have been delighted to have received such strong support from all local stakeholders, not least within the council and are determined to create something special with our chosen award-winning hotel operators.”

    The project is supported by West Midlands Combined Authority through the Collective Investment Fund managed by Finance Birmingham. Designers and Architects that will be working on the project are yet to be confirmed.

    Holiday Inn Stonehenge

    BGAM acquires Holiday Inn, Stonehenge for £12.5million

    850 450 Daniel Fountain

    Bowling Green Asset Management (BGAM) is announcing its second branded hotel acquisition of 2017, a luxury 103-room Holiday Inn, located close to Salisbury and Stonehenge, for £12.5 million, reflecting a net initial yield of 9.25%.

    The property has been sold by Colliers International’s Hotels Agency team on behalf of the off-shore based Fiesta Enterprises Limited. It is located situated six miles from the Stonehenge UNESCO world heritage site and benefits from newly refurbished accommodation and the acclaimed onsite Solstice Bar and Grill. BGAM will be looking at various asset management opportunities on site, whilst continuing the good work of the previous owner.

    BGAM will also be keeping the current senior management team, as well as all existing employees.

    Bowling Green Asset Management (BGAM) is announcing its second branded hotel acquisition of 2017, a luxury 103-room Holiday Inn, located close to Salisbury and StonehengeBGAM directors (Jamie Levy & Nicholas Rubin) said: “This hotel has been a target of ours for some time, so we are pleased to complete the purchase. The hotel has been run on a sound footing previously and we have no intention of upsetting the applecart. Many of the staff have been with the hotel for a number of years and we hope they remain with us for the foreseeable future. We will be looking to expand the hotel offerings, along with continuing the hunt for potential acquisitions”.

    The interest expressed follows a pattern of increasing demand for UK provincial hotels, particularly for global branded stock. We are seeing an emerging trend of increased demand for quality provincial hotel opportunities from a diverse buyer set, including international investors, who have been attracted by weaker sterling; and from private buyers, attracted to the benefits of a lifestyle opportunity, to corporate investors attracted to favourable returns and real estate alternatives. Since the beginning of 2016, over 20 per cent of UK hotel sales completed by Colliers were to international buyers.

    “This is a great end to the year and we are looking forward to an improving level of hotel transactional activity in 2018”

    Work Completes on New hub by Premier Inn Hotel for King’s Cross

    Work complete on hub by Premier Inn King’s Cross

    1000 562 Daniel Fountain

    TowerEight, the leading independent project and cost management consultancy, has completed its work as project manager on the latest hub by Premier Inn hotel at London King’s Cross with Axiom Architects.

    Whitbread PLC is the UK’s largest hotel operator, behind some of the UK’s most successful and well known hospitality brands. hub by Premier Inn Hotels feature innovatively designed hi tech bedrooms reflecting the needs of modern, dynamic city living.

    Work Completes on New hub by Premier Inn Hotel for King’s Crosshub by Premier Inn Kings Cross is a major new build hotel and retail development on York Way in the heart of King’s Cross. The site is adjacent to Regents Canal and Granary Square overlooking the Kings Cross St Pancras transport hub.

    Toby Wait, Director at TowerEight, said: “hub is a dynamic hotel brand that is targeting savvy travellers who like the integration of technology into the space but are looking for value.

    Work Completes on New hub by Premier Inn Hotel for King’s Cross“The hub strategy has been a great success with six hubs open in London and two in Edinburgh, all focused on customer experience and giving consumers choice in the style of accommodation.

    The new scheme includes a 389 bedroom hotel with bar, restaurant and meeting room facilities with 292m2 of retail floor space. Strong articulated volumes in yellow London stock and smooth blue brickwork with expressed industrial steelwork reflect the area’s industrial heritage. A zinc clad penthouse storey enjoys views across North London.

    Work Completes on New hub by Premier Inn Hotel for King’s CrossThe tiered building form rises from three to seven storeys, sympathetic to the changing scale of the surrounding streetscape. Recessed shopfronts, and sliding-folding glazing provide active frontages on all sides.

    “This is a wonderful project in a part of the capital that has changed radically in a short period of time, and our approach to hub reflects that,” explained Luke Bray at Axiom Architects.

    “hub represents a new generation of compact, smart tech, modern city centre hotels. It’s about taking the comfort, convenience and consistency of a Premier Inn hotel and putting it into a smaller package. Through integration of leading technology and extensive research, we have reduced the room size without compromising comfort and promoting a distinct experience and sense of style.”

    Internal courtyards faced in glazed white brick drop light into the heart of the building on down to the lower basement levels. Following a 21 month demolition and construction programme the hotel is now open and continues to trade beyond expectation with a restaurant and barbers shop shortly to occupy the retail space.

    TowerEight and Axiom are working on a further 9 hub sites that are either currently on site or in planning.

    Project Name: hub by Premier Inn, Kings Cross
    Sector: Hotel & Retail
    Project size: 9681m2 Gross Internal Area
    Status: Existing – Completed 20th June 2017
    Location: King’s Cross
    Owner/Developer: Legal & General / Whitbread PLC
    Project Manager: TowerEight
    Architect: Axiom Architects
    Main Contractor: McAleer & Rushe

    Victory House Hotel, London Leicester Square

    Opening: Victory House, London Leicester Square

    1024 682 Daniel Fountain

    Victory House, London Leicester Square – MGallery by Sofitel has opened, offering a cosy escape in the heart of the vibrant West End.

    Overlooking Leicester Square, the luxury boutique hotel is steps away from London’s iconic red carpet and renowned cinema scene, offering a front row seat to the city’s major film premieres as well as making it the ideal location for spotting celebrities on the red carpet.

    Victory House, London Leicester Square boasts 86 stylish and contemporary bedrooms, including nine suites, which are fully soundproofed to create a quiet haven in the buzz of London’s film district. With an unparalleled view over Leicester Square, each room also offers a luxurious and memorable front row view when one of the red carpet’s many film premieres is taking place below.

    Designed by renowned architects Michaelis Boyd, the hotel’s interiors reflect the rich cinematic history of the surrounding area. Each room features 1950s film icons with black and white Art Deco interiors and soft teal, grey and beige furnishings. Portraits of the stars of 1950s black and white movie feature in the hotel’s corridors, while silent movies will be projected in the lift and lobby. The hotel also offers the opportunity for guests to film their stay in London, which will be professionally edited to create their own movie.

    Located on the ground floor, the hotel features restaurant Petit Bistro which offers French-inspired cuisine using local produce and an extensive list of cocktails.

    Victory House Hotel, London Leicester SquareEach MGallery has a unique story to tell and a deep-rooted local history. Victory House’s 19th century terracotta façade is one example of the hotel’s rich heritage and its status as an unwavering icon within the ever-evolving Leicester Square. Designed and built in early French Renaissance style in 1898, by leading theatre designer Walter Emden, Victory House was previously known as Hôtel de l’Europe, with a Parisian brasserie renowned in its heyday as a popular dining spot in the West End.

     

    MGallery will expand its collection with captivating new hotels in the coming months including MGallery Doha, Qatar; MGallery Tarcin in Sarajevo and MGallery Istanbul, Turkey.

    www.victoryhouselondon.com

    ibis London Canning Town

    ibis Hotels contributing to Canning Town regeneration

    998 602 Daniel Fountain

    Offering unrivalled access to a host of London’s most bustling business and leisure hubs, the new 196-bed ibis London Canning Town hotel delivers style, comfort and affordability to all travellers, in one of the capital’s most exciting emerging locations.

    The hotel is a key element of the newly-established Hallsville Quarter – a £600 million town centre project established in conjunction with the London Borough of Newham and property development company Linkcity. The hotel and surrounding residential and retail properties form a key part of the much wider £3.7 billion Canning Town and Custom House Regeneration Programme, which aims to transform and establish the east London area as a thriving and prosperous community.

    ibis London Canning Town (5)ibis’ commitment to the local area includes the creation of 25 jobs at the hotel and supporting local food and beverage providers where possible – including trendy east London coffee roasters Climpson and Sons, who will provide beans for the hotel’s Chill #08 café bar and restaurant. The café and bar will act as a food and beverage hub for the area, for hotel guests and visitors alike.

    Commenting on the opening, James Wheatcroft from ibis Hotels says: “When you think of cool areas in London you naturally look east. Canning Town is a brilliantly located, up and coming area, so we’re delighted that our hotel is an integral part of its regeneration. Our Chill #08 café bar and restaurant will attract hotel guests and local visitors alike, making it a real go-to destination in the community. We’re committed to offering all our guests access to incredible experiences and this new hotel is perfectly located to provide this, being a stone’s throw from The O2 and within easy reach of all our capital’s main attractions and key transport hubs, such as London City Airport and even Heathrow.”

    ibis London Canning Town (4)Guests staying at the hotel can expect a good night’s sleep thanks to soundproof, air-conditioned rooms and revolutionary bedding concept, Sweet Bed™ by ibis. Free super-fast fibre Wi-Fi and 24-hour reception service will keep guests connected at all times.

    ibis Canning Town will also feature ibis’ unique guest welcome initiative introduced in 2017. In all ibis hotels, guests are greeted on arrival by staff with room keys in hand who are linked to the ibis online fast check-in and check-out service via smartphones. This has replaced check-in desks and unnecessary waiting times with smiling faces and stress-free experiences, allowing even more time for guests to enjoy a stay in the city around them.