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Rosewood Sao Paulo Exterior

Weekly digest: Hotel openings, wellness trends & colour in 2022

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly digest: Hotel openings, wellness trends & colour in 2022

Hello, sunshine! Editor Hamish Kilburn here to brighten up your day with the weekly digest, which this week contains a Rosewood opening that will blow your mind, wellness and colour trend forecasts for 2022 and beyond, and COMO’s new island-within-an-island resort. Follow me, this way…

Rosewood Sao Paulo Exterior

This week, Hotel Designs recorded its highest pageviews in a day on record (with 3,901 pageviews on Wednesday and more than 10,000 views this week), and we’re not really surprised given the juicy news that’s landed on our desk. From hotel openings to trends of all different sizes and colours, the stories that have dominated the headlines this week include a colour moodboard, case studies and bold moves in hotel development, including one very special exclusive from Kerzner International and interior design studio Atellior.

Here are just some of the stories that we’ve picked out for you:

EXCLUSIVE: Introducing SIRO, the new holistic wellbeing brand from Kerzner International

SIRO Boka Place Rooftop

Image caption: Render of the rooftop that will open in SIRO Boka Place, designed by Atellior. | Image credit: SIRO

Kerzner International has launched SIRO (Strength, Inclusive, Reflection and Original), a new hospitality brand that’s purpose will be to offer a balanced wellbeing experience for guests aspiring to become a healthier, more energised and rejuvenated version of themselves. The forward-thinking aim will be nurtured by SIRO’s engaging environment, supported by experts in a suite of health-related specialisms and made especially memorable by opportunities to experience destinations urban –  from urban jungles to serene countryside – through the lens of fitness.

Read more.

Rosewood arrives in São Paulo

artwork and local crafts in the bedrooms at Rosewood Sao Paola Brazil

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

Centrally located in the heart of the vibrant city near the lively Avenida Paulista, Rosewood São Paulo, which featured in our top 7 hotels on the boards in 2020, is a metropolitan oasis set within the historical enclave of Cidade Matarazzo, a complex of elegantly preserved buildings from the early 20th century that have been carefully transformed into private residences, high-end stores and entertainment venues.

Anchoring the 30,000 square-meter mixed-used lifestyle hub, the hotel occupies the historic former hospital, Matarazzo Maternity, as well as a striking new vertical garden tower. The transformation of the heritage buildings is rooted in sustainability and makes Cidade Matarazzo Brazil’s largest upcycling project, with a focus on celebrating and protecting the country’s cultural heritage and natural environment. Sustainable features executed in the property’s design include a biodiversity program that repopulates the indigenous flora and fauna from the Mata Atlantica rainforest, including 250 trees up to 14 metres in height placed vertically on the Mata Atlantica Tower.

Read more.

COMO expands private island portfolio with ‘island within an island’

aerial view of buildings using natural materials at COMO Laucala island

Image credit: COMO Hotels and Resorts / Trey Ratcliff

COMO Laucala Island offers guests the perfect island escape in a unique and carefully protected ecosystem, and is as much about the signature COMO design as it is about the location and lifestyle on offer. This is a resort where space is luxury: 25 residences, each with their own COMO butler, spread out on private beaches, above lagoons, atop hills and mountains. With a private airstrip, this exclusive sanctuary has been designed to unparalleled levels of luxury living on the northern shore of the island.

Read more. 

Moodboard: Design & colour trends emerging in 2022

Newmor colour palette of bright jewel like colours

Image credit: Newmor

With the arrival of a new year and the ‘colour of the year’ being a hotly debated topic, this is also the time when we would all normally be heading to events and exhibitions such as Heimtextil to share product and trend predictions. Heimtextil 2022, however, has fallen victim to the virus, but the conversation about trends and colours continues undeterred. So, to keep the noise echoing around the industry’s arena, Pauline Brettell caught up with Rose Campbell from Newmor to chat about the predictions for 2022, and to take us through the process in developing these design and colour trends.

Read more.

How MEET UP London plans to tantalise your senses – early bird tickets now on sale!

Meet Up London 2022

On March 24, the team at Hotel Designs – along with a few industry friends – will unveil their interpretation of the theme ‘inspiring creativity’ at the Minotti London showroom in the heart of the Fitzrovia neighbourhood. Long regarding as London’s premium networking event for interior designers, architects, hoteliers, suppliers and developers alike, MEET UP London will pull out all the stops in order to ensure that the ambiguous theme is well and truly captured with meaning.

Read more. 

Wellness trends: The shifting shape of spas and wellbeing

natural textures and surfaces in spa at auberge beach residences

Image credit: TLEE Spas + Wellness

Following our insightful look at the design trends that are shaping hotels and hospitality, we spoke to TLEE Spas + Wellness President and Founder Tracy Lee to dig a little deeper into the trends that are specific to spa design and development, while looking more broadly into how we define and create a sense of wellness in hospitality moving forward into 2022.

Read more.

W Hotels plans to open in Macau

W Hotels, W Macau Studio City

Image credit: W Hotels

Marriott International has signed an agreement with Melco Resorts & Entertainment to bring the W Hotels Worldwide brand to Macau by the end of the year. W Macau – Studio City is expected in 2022 to become an iconic addition to the world-class leisure destination through its detail-driven, unexpected design, and signature whatever/whenever service.

Read more.

Since you’re here…

More than 60,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels and Resorts

Boka-Place-Rooftop

EXCLUSIVE: Introducing SIRO, the new holistic wellbeing brand from Kerzner

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
EXCLUSIVE: Introducing SIRO, the new holistic wellbeing brand from Kerzner

Kerzner International, the company behind One&Only, Atlantis Resorts and Residences and Magazan Beach & Golf Resort, has announced it is creating a pioneering new hospitality brand designed to sit at the convergence of travel, fitness, health and wellbeing. Here’s what we know about SIRO…

Boka-Place-Rooftop

Kerzner International has launched SIRO (Strength, Inclusive, Reflection and Original), a new hospitality brand that’s purpose will be to offer a balanced wellbeing experience for guests aspiring to become a healthier, more energised and rejuvenated version of themselves. The forward-thinking aim will be nurtured by SIRO’s engaging environment, supported by experts in a suite of health-related specialisms and made especially memorable by opportunities to experience destinations urban –  from urban jungles to serene countryside – through the lens of fitness.

The holistic wellbeing brand’s first property will be located in Boka Place, a new neighbourhood in the luxury marina destination of Porto Montenegro. Combining a 96-guestroom hotel and 144 managed residences, SIRO Boka Place is being designed by London-based design studio Atellior, and is slated for completion by the end of 2023.

“It is always very exciting to create the first property for a new hospitality brand and this is particularly so with SIRO because it is such a forward-looking concept – destinations of excellence forging an approach to fitness and wellbeing that meets the aspirations of modern, global lifestyles,” Una Barac, Executive Director of Atellior, told Hotel Designs. “We are also blessed with one of the most stunning locations in Europe, overlooking the breath-taking Bay of Kotor as well as Porto Montenegro, and with the Montenegrin mountains rising behind.”

SIRO Boka Place Gym cropped

Image caption: Render of the gym and fitness centre that will be sheltered inside SIRO Boka Place, designed by Atellior. | Image credit: SIRO

SIRO Boka Place will provide thoughtful environments for both guests and local residents. The public areas, we are being told, will emphasise the social aspect of wellbeing, providing a fully immersive experience and encouraging social interaction, with an overriding theme of ‘exploration’ and ‘play’ dictating the tempo. Sculptural bleacher seating in the lobby’s Amphitheatre zone will offer an informal and open place for people to relax and work, where leather cushions add comfort to the typical stadium experience and power points are hidden within integrated tables to provide numerous work hubs. The lobby is designed to come to life through sight, touch and sound, encouraging guests to linger.

Since nutrition is central to wellbeing and integral to connecting with the culture of the locality, the restaurant will provide a ‘mindful menu’ – balanced and nourishing cuisine crafted by SIRO dieticians and chefs using ingredients that are sourced locally and harvested seasonally. The restaurant’s design will have an urban vibe, with a grey conglomerate stone-effect floor and exposed service black-painted ceilings with a striking black mesh; a back-lit feature wall will create a dramatic focal point. In the centre of the space, comfortable lounge furniture in hues of grey, black and deep green surrounding low tables will lend themselves to a casual dining experience, whilst other dining tables will flank the perimeter and spill out onto the meticulously landscaped terrace.

> Designer Una Barac has joined several Hotel Designs roundtables. Since you’re here, why not check out the latest one she was involved in, on the ‘art of lighting’?

Adjacent to the restaurant will be another another pivotal feature of the ground floor lobby; the Juice Lab and After Work-Out Bar, where bar tenders will mix healthy and nutritious cocktails, juices and smoothies.

For those seeking a party vibe, a rooftop bar with live DJs will be a glorious rendezvous spot from day into the night. Contemporary furniture in cognac leather hues will occupy the space, offering a  variety of seating arrangements, from bar stools set around tall, communal tables through to comfortable lounge chairs. Striking, bespoke light features, inspired by sports’ physical movements will decorate the walls and hang as pendants. Contemporary outdoor furniture will grace the terrace together with lanterns and ample planting, creating a perfect al fresco experience and offering views across Boka Bay.

By contrast, the guestrooms are being designed as poised sanctuaries where guests can continue their fitness regime, recharge and sleep very well thanks to blackout and soundproof technology. Importantly, the rooms can transform quickly and easily between active and passive mode, pulse and restorative spaces. Each room comes with a range of fitness equipment, including punch bags, yoga balls and dumbbells, and there is plenty of space to work out or meditate. Another unique feature within the guestrooms will be the stretching bars, which form an integral part of the built-in joinery, enabling guests to exercise whilst also achieving a striking design feature. In-room mist showers, innovative furniture design and sustainable materials will work together to create a private retreat for rest, rejuvenation and recovery.

A high-performance fitness club will sit at the heart of the hotel. Featuring signature equipment and studios for workouts, yoga and dance, it will offer ample natural light thanks to the carefully designed see-saw roof, reminiscent of the industrial buildings that previously occupied the site. In addition, there will be the ‘Experience Box’ – an immersive studio with club-style lighting, sound and a large XL screen, and a smart climate-controlled 20-metre pool with a retractable roof which will allow guests to train freely regardless of weather, pausing only to take in the stunning views from the pool’s rooftop location.

Since rehabilitation is an important part of the SIRO experience, a ‘Recovery Lab’ will offer sports rehabilitation, innovative procedures, meditation classes and relaxing treatments. The Lab’s state-of-the-art equipment and procedures will explore new avenues to renewed, improved and harmonious health. Recovery facilities will include a selection of health spa services, ranging from cryo chambers, specialised massage therapies to meditation classes for mindful regeneration.

Igniting guests’ passions for exhilarating pursuits in the great outdoors, SIRO Boka Place will come complete with access to a number of demanding sailing circuits, plus cycling routes of varying intensity. Other outdoor activities will include hiking, boxing, climbing, kite surfing, parkour and, during the winter months, skiing, to name but a few.

SIRO will also be building TEAM SIRO, a team of key athletes from around the world who’ll each play an advisory role as SIRO develops the fitness and wellness elements at the heart of its immersive lifestyle experience. The first ambassador is GB Olympic gold medallist swimmer Adam Peaty – an Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth champion, and a favourite to win gold again at the next Olympics.

“SIRO is a gamechanger.” – Una Barac, Executive Director of Atellior.

Atellior’s aesthetic for the hotel has taken its cue from SIRO’s brand values, reflected in finishes that combine both traditional and contemporary materials such as oak, plaster, stone and aniline leather together with concrete, metal and glass. In this way, the contrast between the active and passive faces of SIRO, the physical as well as the mindful benefits that the experience provides, are expressed. The dramatic landscape background has inspired and defined the colour palette – tan leather and dark green upholstery combined with the softer tones of the warm ivory plaster, pale fabrics and light textured wood. Materials are being specified with great care to ensure they are ISO certified, regionally sourced and, where possible, incorporate elements of recycling within their manufacturing process.

The managed residences will range from studio apartments to three-bedroom duplexes and penthouses designed with a pared-back aesthetic. Clean lines and neutral tones will create an optimal environment for holistic wellbeing. Similar in aesthetic to the hotel guestrooms, they are designed with a calming and neutral palette inspired by the local limestone, with pops of colour in aniline cognac leather and striking artwork. Varying in size from 45 metre-squared to 170 metre-squared, the managed residences will all qualify for Montenegro’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CBIP).

“SIRO is a gamechanger,” says Barac. “Developing a unique concept with health, well-being and mindfulness at its core has never been more relevant and together we have the opportunity to achieve a benchmark of excellence that will be the bedrock of future SIRO hotels. It is also special to us, as a firm with studios in London and Zagreb, to work in Montenegro with such a forward-looking international team.”

> Since you’re here, why not read about One&Only’s first property in Europe (it’s a stunner)?

Main image credit: Kerzner International

rooftop with pool at The Lana Dorchester

Hottest hotel openings anticipated for 2022 (Q3 & Q4)

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Hottest hotel openings anticipated for 2022 (Q3 & Q4)

Keeping the momentum going and following hot on the heels of our list of hotel openings slated for Q1 & Q2, Pauline Brettell takes over, keeping a collective eye glued to the hospitality horizon with a list of openings that are planned for the second half of 2022, which have piqued our curiosity and titillated our design tastebuds…

rooftop with pool at The Lana Dorchester

If, like many, you are unable to schedule your personal life beyond a 24-hour window, looking forward to plans and proposals post-spring of 2022 might seem a little unrealistic. Thankfully, for those who find themselves in this situation, we have identified the movers and shakers on the hotel design stage who are planning for 2022 and beyond.

Despite all the setbacks and slowdowns, there are so many exciting and ambitious hotels on the horizon that is a challenge to narrow it down. However, rising to the task in hand – and following on from our first article in this series that looked at openings this side of the year – here’s a must-read list of some of the VIP arrivals that have caught our attention and which we plan to follow as they unfold in Q3 and Q4.

Locke at East Side Gallery, Berlin – opening in Q3, 2022

Locke at East Side Gallery Berlin

Image credit: Locke

Lifestyle aparthotel brand Locke is to expand further into Europe with two new German openings in 2022. The opening of Locke at East Side Gallery in Berlin plans to continue with the brand ethos by challenging convention, and partnering with unique up-and-coming designers and local food and drink partners to give this location its own distinctive character and style. The 2022 openings continue the rapid expansion of the home-meets-hotel brand, which has established itself as a leader in the hybrid hospitality movement.

Maisons Pariente Paris – opening in Q3, 2022

a new maisons pariente scheduled for Paris Le Marais

Image credit: Maisons Pariente

After Crillon le Brave in Provence, Lou Pinet in Saint-Tropez and Le Coucou in Méribel, Maisons Pariente has chosen the heart of Le Marais for its new five star hotel. Le Grand Mazarin is located in the heart of the action in a buzzing district that’s bursting with creativity and constantly coming up with cutting-edge trends and avant-garde concepts. With its dream location on the corner of Rue des Archives and Rue de la Verrerie near Hotel de Ville, the collection’s first city-centre hotel embodies Le Marais’ signature bold and cosmopolitan eclecticism. Le Grand Mazarin is a place to meet and get together in a sophisticated setting that puts a playful spin on styles and periods. With 61 quirky guestrooms and suites, a spectacular restaurant with all-day service, a chic yet enigmatic underground bar, not to mention the largest private pool in Le Marais, Maisons Pariente are ready to make their mark in the City of Lights.

The Lana, Dorchester Collection – opening in Q4, 2022

Slated to open in the last quarter of 2022, The Lana marks Dorchester Collection’s first address in the Middle East. Taking its name from the Arabic expression ‘for us’, The Lana is a striking 30-storey tower designed by the award-winning architects Foster + Partners that perfectly captures the essence of its destination as an unparalleled luxury experience in Downtown Dubai. With its 225 guestrooms, it will be located in the heart of Dubai, in the Burj Khalifa District and overlooking the vibrant Business Bay area.

Como Le Montrachet  – opening in Q4, 2022

gardens and exterior at COMO Le Montrachet

Image credit: COMO Hotels and Resorts

COMO Le Montrachet will be the COMO Group’s first French property, and is set to bring its signature style and design to the Burgundy region where it will make its home alongside some of the regions most acclaimed wines and vines. Italian designer Paola Navone will be bringing her trademark contemporary touches to the historic 18th-century property in the sought-after Côte-d’Or. Arranged across four heritage buildings, 31 guestrooms and suites will be converted into chic sanctuaries over the course of 2022.

Six Senses New York – opening in Q4, 2022

calm natural tones at six Senses New York

Image credit: Six Senses

Six Senses New York, the group’s first North American property, will be housed in The XI – two unique, twisting towers designed by world-renowned architect Bjarke Ingels in an unparalleled location between Manhattan’s Hudson River and The High Line. Guestrooms and suites designed by Parisian firm Gilles & Boissier will be contemporary in style, while offering every modern convenience in a calm ambiance of natural-hued fabrics and furnishings. Two restaurants will showcase the brand’s popular culinary approach to wellness, while the Six Senses Spa will introduce its layered approach to wellness with treatments that are an intuitive mix of science and human awareness, and where a high-tech and high-touch approach is crafted around the individual.

Nobu Marrakech – opening in Q4, 2022

view over marrakech from planned Nobu Marrakech

Image credit: Nobu Hospitality

Nobu Hotel Marrakech will be the brands debut in the Red City, where it plans to bring its contemporary style to the design while keeping the city’s rich heritage as a reference and backdrop. The hotel will be located in the Hivernage district, steps from the historic heart of the city, souks and vibrant Djemaa el-Fna. Transformed into a luxury lifestyle destination, the hotel will house 71 spacious guestrooms and suites, a selection of dynamic dining venues and rooftop spaces, 2,000 square meters of luxurious spa and fitness centre, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and meeting and event space.

Ritz-Carlton Arizona – opening in Q4, 2022

Ritz-Carlton Paradise valley

Image credit: Ritz-Carlton

Set in 20 acres of lush, cooling landscape with the grandeur of Camelback Mountain on the horizon, The Ritz-Carlton, Paradise Valley is an exclusive sanctuary and retreat that will evoke a sense of playfulness and escape. Its modern accommodations and luxury amenities include secret gardens and citrus groves, world-class shopping and dining, all underlined by a statement 120 metre pool.

citizenM Chicago – opening in Q4, 2022

facade and exterior of new citizenM Chicago Downtown

Image credit: citizenM

citizenM is planning its first opening in Chicago with a newly constructed hotel that will be part of Sterling Bay’s mixed-use development at 300 North Michigan Avenue, situated between the Riverwalk and Millennium Park. The 280-room hotel sits within the 47-story tower which also includes 289 residential units and 25,000 square feet of retail space. citizenM Chicago Downtown will offer the signature brand experience, with an art-filled living room, 24/7 canteenM and three societyM meeting rooms. The hotel façade will feature a commissioned piece by New York-based artist Nina Chanel Abney, whose artwork will also appear in the entrance.

W Hotel Sydney – opening in Q4, 2022

Render of new W Hotel sydney australia

Image credit: W Hotels

The W Sydney is set to make its debut in the city later this year. It will be the third W hotel in Australia, following the W Brisbane and the W Melbourne. The hotel will mark the re-entry of W Hotels into Sydney, and will be part of ‘The Ribbon’ development The 25 storey build designed by HASSEL, will shelter 539 guestrooms, serviced apartments, along with an infinity pool, all with stunning views of the harbour.

Raffles Resort Sentosa – opening in Q4, 2022

artist impression of proposed Raffles Resort Sentosa singapore

Image credit: Raffles

And finally, ending in style, Singapore is about to get a second Raffles Hotel, this time on Sentosa, 135 years after the original now iconic colonial-style hotel in Beach Road opened its doors. The developers say they are taking Raffles ‘back to the beach’, as the original hotel, which opened in 1887, was conceived as a beach hotel and has long since been engulfed by the bustling city. Each of the 61 villas will feature its own private swimming pool, and will be set in more than 10 hectares of sprawling tropical gardens with beautiful views over the south China Sea.

Singapore Sling anyone…?

Main image credit: Dorchester Collection

Tapestry Collection hotel facade cosmopolita rome

Italy’s first Tapestry Collection by Hilton hotel will open in Rome

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Italy’s first Tapestry Collection by Hilton hotel will open in Rome

Slated to open in early 2022, Cosmopolita Rome joins eight Hilton hotels in Italy’s capital city and is the first hotel in Italy under Hilton’s newest European brand, Tapestry Collection. Here’s what we know…

Tapestry Collection hotel facade cosmopolita rome

With the agreement being signed and sealed, refurbishments have started on Cosmopolita Rome to transform it into Italy’s first Tapestry Collection by Hilton hotel, which will shelter 76 tastefully decorated guestrooms, designed to help guests immerse themselves in the architecture of Rome.

The hotel will also boast a scenic rooftop overlooking the historic city as well as a newly renovated gym and meeting space for small business meetings. In short, the unique hotel will be the ideal location to explore Rome for all ‘bleisure’ travellers.

wood and white decor in guestroom in Hilton Tapestry Hotel Cosmopolita Rome

Image credit: Hilton International

“In the coming years, we are due to open eight new hotels in Italy, significantly expanding our footprint in key cities and resorts,” said Patrick Fitzgibbon, Senior Vice President, Development, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Hilton. “Italy, like many of its European neighbours, has a large number of independent hotels that would benefit from visibility from Hilton’s 118 million Hilton Honors members, and as a result we’re seeing growing interest in Hilton’s Collection Brands. We’re looking forward to working with our partners at G&W Invest Srl to welcome guests at our first Tapestry Collection by Hilton in the heart of Rome.”

Located in the centre of Rome, guests will be within a 10-minute walk of some of Rome’s most popular sights, including the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and Colosseum. Rome’s many renowned galleries, museums and landscaped parks make it the perfect destination for international guests looking to explore some of Europe’s most celebrated attractions. By night, guests can explore Rome’s 54 Michelin star restaurants or visit nearby bars and cocktail hotspots.

Tapestry Cosmopolita rome is located in the centre of the city

Image credit: Hilton International

The new hotel is the latest addition to Tapestry Collection by Hilton, which is expanding rapidly in Europe. The continent’s first Tapestry Collection hotel opened in Spain this year, with four more due to open in France, the UK and Portugal. Known for their vibrant and unique styles, each Tapestry Collection by Hilton hotel encourages guests to immerse themselves in the local area, creating authentic connections with destinations while offering an upscale and comfortable hotel experience.

> Since you’re here, why not check out DoubleTree by Hilton Rome Monti?

Main image credit: Hilton International

The Brit List Hoteliers of 2021

Unveiled: The Brit List Hoteliers of 2021

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Unveiled: The Brit List Hoteliers of 2021

Sticking to tradition, each year Hotel Designs publishes The Brit List, which, following a nationwide campaign, profiles the top 25 designers, the top 25 architects and the top 25 hoteliers. Following the unveilings of both the designers and architects earlier this month, please meet The Brit List Hoteliers of 2021…

The Brit List Hoteliers of 2021

Each year, The Brit List Awards 2021 climaxes in November with an energy-filled awards ceremony. Traditionally, though, the campaign does not end until all 75 designers, architects and hoteliers have been profiled on the Hotel Designs website. For 2021, that time is now. We have referenced the interior designers, given nod to the architects, and it is now time to conclude our annual search, with (in alphabetical order) The Brit List Hoteliers of 2021.

Charles Oak, Hotel Director, The Londoner

Following much anticipation, The Londoner, the 350-key luxury hotel that has the power to change the social status of Leicester Square, has opened. Designed in collaboration with Yabu Pushelberg (design) and Woods Bagot (architecture), the hotel is part Edwardian Hotels London – and has a particularly noteworthy eco design narrative that is being told by Charles Oak.

The 16-storey hotel, which opened in September, 2021, includes six varying F&B outlets, including a destination rooftop bar, and shelters ‘unparalleled level of genuine hospitality’.

With a career within the hospitality arena that spans three decades, prior to joining Edwardian Hotels’ new flagship property, Oak held several senior management positions in numerous hotels within the group’s portfolio, including its five-star flagship The May Fair Hotel. A highly established professional within the industry, Oak has an exemplary background in luxury hotel management and fine dining, which includes positions at The Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, Hôtel de Crillon in Paris, The Savoy Hotel in London, and more recently the country haven of Heckfield Place in Hampshire.

Conor O’Leary, Managing Director, Gleneagles

Since being crowned Hotelier of the Year at The Brit List Awards 2018, Conor O’Leary has continued to perfect and expand the Gleneagles spirit that is often referred to as ‘the glorious playground’. As an effortless result of this, Gleneagles remains one of Scotland’s – if not Great Britain’s – most adventurous luxury hotel.

Set beneath the Ochil Hills, in the heart of Perthshire, the hotel has been a must-go destination for travellers for nearing a century. Beginning its life in the glamorous age of travel when guests arrived in great style at Gleneagles’ very own train station, the 850-acre estate epitomises the natural beauty for which Scotland is famed.

Now under new ownership with Ennismore, Gleneagles has enlisted the skills and expertise of some of the UK’s most acclaimed designers including David Collins Studio, Timorous Beasties, Macaulay Sinclair, Goddard Littlefair and Ennismore’s own in-house design studio – with the aim to create designs and spaces that celebrate the rich, glamorous heritage and beautiful architecture for which the hotel is famed.

Its latest venture that O’Leary is leading is opening the 33-key Gleneagles Townhouse. Designed by Ennismore’s in-house team of experts, the intimate hotel will shelter timeless charm that blends with today’s modern needs, while uniting Edinburgh’s ‘social souls’ – the people who make the city tick.

David Connell, General Manager, South Lodge

David Connell’s outstanding focus during 2019 was implementing and managing a brand-new spa and wellness facility to the already established and respected South Lodge.

Managing the spa build whilst also leading his hotel team, Connell expertly fronted the project despite delays and challenges, keeping the team motivated and on course to deliver. A huge amount of time and effort went into the £14.5 million build project over the last seven years to create The Spa at South Lodge and develop a different brand under the South Lodge name.

Outside of his main role, Connell is a very active member within the wider industry. A Master Innholder, St Julian Scholar and mentor, he never loses sight that hospitality is a ‘people business’ and loves to get out into the industry, meeting future leaders as part of the Master Innholders Aspiring Leaders Programme selection committee and acting as a St Julian Scholar ambassador.

Edward Workman, CEO, The Newt in Somerset

With a hotelier such as Edward Workman who ‘likes to have a narrative for everything’ he does, The Newt in Somerset, is a never-ending tale of hearty hospitality and thoughtful design. With magnificent gardens, indulgent guestrooms and a spa experience to match, the hotel experience is somewhat elevated by the fact that it is sheltered within a stunning set of Georgian limestone buildings.

The hotel’s ability to collaborate has allowed it to be an ever-evolving landscape that is always exiting. The gardens at The Newt, for example, have been shaped over the last 200 years by successive enthusiasts, including Margaret Hobhouse who elevated the gardens to a Victorian ideal, introducing colour, a greenhouse and many trees of beech, oak, pine, walnut and cedar. Renowned garden designer Penelope Hobhouse gave Margaret’s vision a new lease of life in the 1970s, followed by Nori and Sandra Pope, whose experiments with colour delighted and inspired thousands of visitors in the mid-1980s. The latest incarnation has been created by Italo-French architect Patrice Taravella, who believes a garden should be both beautiful and useful.

Elli Jafari, General Manager, The Standard London

Housed in the former Camden Town Hall Annex in London’s thriving King’s Cross neighbourhood, the 1974 Brutalist building was meticulously restored and set the perfect award-winning stage for The Standard’s first hotel outside America.

The Standard London shelters 266 guestrooms in 42 unique styles ranging from Cosy Core rooms to terraced suites with outdoor bathtubs overlooking St Pancras station. The lobby lounge, with a carefully curated library pays homage to the building’s original use, with a sound studio hosting weekly live music and talks.

Setting new standards, Elli Jafari was announced as the hotel’s General Manager, months before it opened. Two years on, Jafari continues to ensure that the hotel is the epicentre of energy and just the right kind of vibes – with star-studded events – to ensure the hotel is always in the spotlight.

Federico Ciampi, General Manager, The Mayfair Townhouse

Born in Italy, Federico Ciampi is a seasoned traveller having lived in Dubai, Scotland and the British Virgin Islands. He now calls London home, with his family of colleagues inside The Mayfair Townhouse, a new luxury hotel that emerged onto the scene last year.

The 172-key hotel, which joined the Iconic Luxury Hotels portfolio last year when it opened, shelters a design narrative unlike any other. Inspired by the whimsical characters of our past and present, it is is flamboyantly dressed, yet carefully understated when it comes to service.

Curious, engaging, witty and effortlessly intuitive, the hotel is part of a new generation of lifestyle hotels that deliver the unexpected in the heart of Mayfair. A stylish, imaginative home for the modern traveller, The Mayfair Townhouse redefines what it means to be a London hotel.

 Frank Arnold, Managing Director, The Savoy

 In 2020, Frank Arnold was revealed as the new Managing Director of The Savoy, one of London’s most iconic luxury hotels.

During a career in hospitality spanning more than 30 years, Arnold has also worked with IHG, Four Seasons, Rocco Forte, Ritz-Carlton and independent hotels across Europe and North America.

Having arrived from the Ritz-Carlton in Toronto, Arnold stepped into the shoes of Philip Barnes at a time when hospitality was on its knees. Despite this, he was not afraid to bring down barriers in order to make the hotel relevant for the modern, post-pandemic traveller. For example, the hotel transformed its iconic forecourt into a trendy, seasonal F&B experience. Named Solas, the pop-up married colourful floral bursts to the Art Deco elegance of the hotel in order to create this summer’s must-visit dining destination.

Gareth Banner, Managing Director, The Ned

Gareth Banner has led a team of nearly 900 members of staff to launch and establish the most ambitious hotel opening in recent decades. By repurposing an iconic 1920s grade I listed building into a multi-faceted hospitality business, this architectural landmark in the City of London has been made relevant once again under Gareth’s leadership.

Over the past year, Gareth has used the lockdown to continue refining The Ned offering, with changes to an under-utilized members’ area on the lower ground floor into The Parlour – an intimate jazz and cabaret club boasting a weekly line up of highly regarded acts from both sides of the Atlantic.

Quickly recognising that the pandemic was set to change the way in which The Ned interacted with its members, Banner worked with parent company Soho House on a digital transformation of the business. This included the launch of an app that could be used to provide virtual experiences, digital content and contactless payments for members who showed unwavering support through the payment of their annual subscription during closure.

Working to support the charity Centrepoint, Banner was very keen for The Ned to work with Fare Share and The Bike Shed Motorcycle Club to provide meals to some of London’s most vulnerable individuals throughout the lockdown. A team of 42 members of staff from The Ned volunteered to prepare the meals in the hotel’s production kitchen. Motorcyclists from The Bike Shed’s 1,000-strong nationwide community of volunteer riders delivered over 100 meals a day to homeless young people living in Centrepoint hostels across town.

Grace Leo, Managing Director, The Relais Henley

Grace Leo is an award-winning and internationally recognised hotelier who specialises in the development of luxury hotels and resorts.

Most recently, Leo’s meticulous research over the last two years for the right opportunity led to acquiring several hotels for herself and her partners in upscale market-towns in the greater London region. She has identified the former Red Lion in Henley-on-Thames as the initial asset that has the combination of criteria and potential she has deemed essential for the redevelopment of the property into a successful business venture as well as the introduction of her ‘Relais’ branding.

The Relais Henley was launched as part of the Royal Regatta in August 2021, and has already received critical acclaim both locally and nationally. Henley was followed within months by the acquisition of The Cooden Beach Hotel near Bexhill-on- Sea, which is due to start its refurbishment towards the end of 2021.

The Relais brand underpins Leo’s key strengths, which are strong leadership skills, strategic and financial oversight, creative market positioning and branding and enabling workflows in different cultures whilst energising teams for deliverables and deadlines.

Guillaume Marly, Managing Director, Hotel Café Royal

Since 2017, Guillaume Marly has been the Managing Director of Hotel Café Royal. Constantly referred to as ‘London’s modern grand hotel’, the property straddles the elegance of Mayfair and the vibrant energy of Soho – and Marly ensures that his hospitality experience amplifies the best of both neighbourhoods.

Complete with stylish and contemporary rooms and suites, the design of the hotel answers the demands of modern travellers. Meanwhile, the grand F&B areas, with a unique Afternoon Tea experience, allows the hotel to stand out with its own personality.

The Set Collection, the parent group of the hotel, has recently celebrated a ‘soft’ re-brand as it sets its sights on growing the meaningful portfolio of properties. Despite the pressures of the pandemic, Hotel Café Royal continues to be one of London’s leading hotels.

Hector Ross, Managing Partner & COO, The Mitre Hampton Court

Despite all the turmoil since 2020, Hector Ross not only set up a brand-new hospitality business, The Signet Collection, but he then raised the funds to buy and completely revamp a historic building in need of rescuing called The Mitre Hotel in Hampton Court.

Ross based himself at the hotel alongside 30-plus builders during the first lockdown to conduct an extensive, multimillion pound refurbishment. The resulting new, although over 400-year-old, hotel is astonishing and has been phenomenally received well across both media and guests. The hotel consists of two restaurants, 36 individually designed bedrooms, two outside dining terraces, the world’s first ‘whispering angel bar’, new pamper suite spa and an events spaces, all envisioned by interior designer Nicola Harding.

Ross has preserved the authenticity of the buildings, while delivering unparalleled food, drink and service, alongside unrivalled experiences for guests such as boat trips and picnics. His home-grown and hands-on approach combines stunning designs within historically significant properties. The Mitre, the first hotel from The Signet Collection, was a bold, brave and risky move during the pandemic, but it has set the tone for additional hotels yet to come.

James Clarke, General Manager, Hilton Bankside London

James Clarke’s aims, as a leading General Manager, to challenge conventional hospitality led him and his team on many routes that include sustainable approaches to hospitality while sheltering a sensory design experience unlike any other.

The hotel is, with Clarke in the driving seat, anything but a conventional hospitality experience. In 2018, the hotel partnered with Bombas & Parr to create a unique multi-sensory meeting room inside its hotel, under the name The Agora.

From flooding the room with scented air at the push of a button to specially curated objects designed to increase productivity, mood-improving lighting installations and refreshments designed to recharge physiologically, every detail is based on the science and psychology of fruitful human interactions and innovation. The room takes inspiration from its location on Bankside, with a central table featuring inlaid ley lines pointing to important sites of creativity nearby, such as The Globe, The Tate and Royal Festival Hall.

John Scanlon, General Manager, 45 Park Lane

Since his arrival at 45 Park Lane as General Manager in 2015, John Scanlon has been committed to ensuring that guests have the best possible experience, and has a proven track record of maintaining an enjoyable environment for employees also.

Following a year of uncertainty – during which time Dorchester Collection donated £25,000 to Hosptiality Action – the hotel recently opened a new luxury wellness space, The Spa at 45 Park Lane, which takes it firmly out of the shadow of its sister hotel, and neighbour, The Dorchester. The spa has been designed by world-leading design agency Jouin Manku. The wellness space has been specifically created to bring a sense of the outside in, referencing artistic flora using traditional Roman style mosaics from Venetian artisans. Natural timbers and light coloured stone bring a sense of calm and tranquillity; while timber slatted ceilings have been integrated to create better acoustics within the pool, gym and relaxation lounge. The entire space has been generously arranged to maximise the sense of spaciousness – not an easy in a neighbourhood where space comes at a premium, but one that has been executed with style.

Julian Hudson, General Manager, Fellows House Cambridge –  Curio by Hilton Collection

 Julian Hudson is a devoted and experienced hotelier with almost 25 years’ hospitality management experience in the UK. As a personable manager, his passion comes from building and developing a passionate, well-trained, and close-knit team.

Most recently, he was appointed the General Manager of Fellows House Cambridge –  Curio by Hilton Collection, a new hotel that has opened with a deep design narrative and an unavoidable connection with creative art, which meaningfully hangs in celebration of its local history.

The 131-key hotel features unique pieces of artwork and sculptures, inspired by the fellows and historic city. The room types are all named after people associated with the city and notable Cambridge fellows such as Kipling, Newton, Gormley and Attenborough.

Marie-Paule Nowlis, General Manager, Sofitel London St James

 Marie-Paule Nowlis, who brings with her 30 years’ experience with the Sofitel brand, and a career shaped by international roles, joined Sofitel London St James as General Manager in April 2019. Nowlis led an extensive multi-million-pound transformation in 2019, which extended throughout the hotel’s 183 rooms and suites, restaurant and bar. The property is a flagship hotel for the Sofitel brand and a cornerstone of London’s luxury hotel scene, with the transformation and refurbishment overseen by Pierre-Yves Rochon ensuring it remains one of the most sought-after destinations in the city.

This year, Nowlis introduced a host of new partnerships in order to propel the hotel forward and make sure that it provides the very best for all guests. One partnership was with cycling brand Pinarello, allowing guests to book a tailored two-hour bike ride, enjoy a Tour de France inspired menu at Wild Honey St James and view the Pinarello bike and jerseys displayed in the hotel lobby.

In addition, Nowlis also aimed to promote ‘Culture in the City’, which lead to a partnership between Sofitel London St James and the Design Museum. The collaboration celebrated the launch of the acclaimed exhibition, Charlotte Perriand: The Modern Life and included a suite takeover allowing guests to truly immerse themselves in the Perriand culture.

Michael Bonsor, Managing Director, Rosewood London

Michael Bonsor has more than 18 years’ experience in luxury hotel management, working for brands such as Four Seasons and Claridge’s.

Throughout the pandemic, Bonsor worked tirelessly alongside his team to successfully re-open the doors of the award-winning luxury hotel, while also spearheading a number of key initiatives and campaigns.

Once restrictions lifted, alongside his team, Bonsor transformed the iconic courtyard into an outdoor oasis bringing the Scarfes Bar terrace for Summer 2021 on one side and a partnership with Macallan to create the Macallan Manor House on the other side where guests can enjoy an immersive alfresco dining experience inspired by the beautiful Scottish Highlands.

Additionally, to show Rosewood London’s appreciation for the NHS and all their hard work during the pandemic, Bonsor led the hotel to launch a competition, giving one NHS working couple the chance to win their dream wedding held at the hotel in 2021. He also included the hotel in the Hospitalitry4Heroes Social Challenge helping to raise more than £10,000 to support the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Appeal and organised Holborn Dining Room pies and meals for the NHS staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital who the hotel has supported for many years.

Murray Ward, General Manager, Soho Farmhouse

Set against untouched English countryside – after becoming the postcard for hospitality in the Cotswolds – Soho Farmhouse is where members go to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, to instead check in to enjoy a slower pace. Combining authentic British design with warm, non-fussy hospitality, the 40-key hotel on the farm is able to provide the perfect rural scene, complete with luxurious cabins, restored houses and shack-like ‘piglet’ rooms.

Murray Ward and his exceptional team work tirelessly in order to maintain every corner guests’ turn within the 100 acres of Oxfordshire countryside, lives up to the property’s esteemed reputation. Even the ‘check-in’ experience is a personable moment that has been carefully considered. After driving through the main gates, members leave their car with the staff to check in at the ‘Gate House’ before boarding a milk float, which takes them into the village-like setting.

The heart of the ‘house’ is in the Farm Yard – the ‘public areas’, if we were being conventional. Around this space, the hotel features an expansive spa, complete with an indoor-outdoor swimming pool, a lake, a plethora of dining outlets and even a state-of-the-art cinema – all of which makes the modern, British hospitality experience totally unmatched.

Olivia Richli, General Manager, Heckfield Place

Following a loyal career with Aman Hotels, in 2017, Olivia Richli was plucked from semi-retirement at her beachfront home in Sri Lanka by Boston’s Gerald Chan, who had bought Heckfield Place almost twenty years before. Richli’s youth spent amongst the farms and gardens of the British countryside, combined with her unique career in developing and operating eclectic luxury hotels within historic precincts, stood her in perfect stead to guide Heckfield Place into a grand new era.

The Georgian family home was lovingly restored from its classic origins and rewoven into a luxury hotel, which now stands in 400 acres of secluded Hampshire landscape.

The hotel’s sense of responsibility has inspired Richli onto the next level of stewardship, one that quietly leads by example and endeavors to establish an estate that will thrive and guide all those who visit. And thrive it did, with the hotel winning The Eco Award at The Brit List Awards 2019.

Paul Bayliss, General Manager, Hotel Brooklyn, Manachester

Awarded an MBE for services to hospitality in 2006 as well as being named Independent Hotelier of the Year in 2017/18, General Manager Paul Bayliss’ wealth of experience allowed him to navigate the Hotel Brooklyn’s opening successfully during the challenges of a global pandemic to critical acclaim, reflected through the host of national awards the hotel has received so far.

The hotel stands out as a beacon of excellence worldwide, as the only UK luxury property that is truly accessible for all and has been named the most accessible hotel in Europe. The hotel’s unique design is leading the Gold Standard in accessible design, with 18 of the 189 rooms fully accessible offering both wheelchair access and ambulant accessibility and the first hotel in Manchester to offer ceiling track hoists for guests. The hotel is an industry game-changer as the first to make a step change in whole society inclusivity within luxury hospitality. Notwithstanding its remarkable recruitment process and CSR credentials.

The inspiration behind accessibility for all came from the hotel’s President Robin Sheppard, whose own disabilities helped him identify a need for positive change in the hospitality industry. Bayliss has carried out Sheppard’s wishes tremendously, leading the hotel to win three Blue Badge Style Ticks for accessibility, as well as winning the BeFactor Awards 2020 Accessibility Award.

With many more Hotel Brooklyn properties in the pipeline, Bayliss continued work with the brand will ensure ‘accessibility for all’ to luxury full scale hotels finally becomes the norm.

Paul Skinner, General Manager, DUKES LONDON

Tucked away in a private courtyard in the heart of London’s West End, the 87-key DUKES LONDON has become a British hospitality landmark, celebrated for its famous martinis and exceptional service as well as its prime location overlooking Green Park and St James’s Park.

Following Covid-19 and the various lockdowns implemented in the UK over the past year, the tourism and hospitality industry has taken a huge hit. DUKES LONDON’s management team, led by General Manager Paul Skinner, had to manage expectations of owners and investors, whilst leading and supporting its team through disruption and uncertainty.

While keeping a close eye on his staff’s mental and physical wellbeing, Skinner also ensured that DUKES remained rooted in its community during this difficult time – offering beds to key workers via the Small Luxury Hotel initiative to reach out to those in need and to help ease the strain on the NHS during the crisis. The team also participated in the “Golden Friend Scheme” designed by Hospitality Action which was created to support elderly people in the community with hourly phone calls each week to keep them entertained during the stricter parts of lockdown. Additionally, the team took part in the 5km for £5 social media campaign, where all proceeds went to the NHS.

Robin Hutson, Founder, THE PIG Hotels

There is arguably no one who has done as much as Robin Hutson in highlighting the plight of the hospitality industry in the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic, through his ‘Seat at the Table’ campaign.

With 45 years’ experience, Hutson has led some of the world’s most famous hotels, including, but not limited to, Claridge’s, The Berkeley, Hotel de Crillon and Hotel de Vin, and between 1995 and 2008, he was Chairman of Soho House Group, assisting Nick Jones shape the ambitious expansion of the game-changing brand into Europe and the US.

Hutson is now Chairman and CEO of the much-applauded Lime Wood Group and Founder of another ground-breaking and some would say, ‘Britain’s best loved collection of country hotels, THE PIG.

The much-loved leader has tirelessly championed for more help for hoteliers, railed against government ineptitude, and brought together those in the hospitality industry to try and create a voice for a formally unrepresented industry – which delivers so much to the coffers of the Treasury, and so many jobs to the people of the UK. While doing that, he kept on all of his 1,000 or so staff – without making anyone redundant – and then opened a new PIG in Cornwall (in the summer of 2020), and another one year later in the West Sussex countryside.

Sérgio Leandro, Regional General Manager, Lore Group

 A passionate and experienced hotelier, Sérgio Leandro currently manages the London Region of the Lore Group portfolio. In his role, Leandro is responsible for overseeing Sea Containers London and the soon-to-launch One Hundred Shoreditch (the former Ace Hotel London).

Leandro has extensive experience within the hotel industry, having worked with the likes of Marriott (Starwood) and sbe and holding the role of General Manager of Sea Containers London since its launch as Mondrian London (the first Mondrian in Europe) in 2014. Leandro was instrumental in ensuring a successful transition, not only for the brand, but also for his team – all of whom remained in place as the hotel entered a new era and the next step in its story.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Leandro was determined to show support towards the NHS, so he spearheaded the Sea Containers London ‘NHS Nominate Your Hero’ campaign and gave away 545 overnight stays to NHS staff from around the country, as well as lighting up the building in a rainbow to show support and appreciation. This is an ongoing initiative and as the hotel has re-opened its doors, Leandro and his team continue to invite NHS staff into the hotel for their stays and other activities such as NHS movie nights.

Stuart Geddes, Managing Director, The Lanesborough

In 2019, Stuart Geddes left his position as General Manager of The Goring Hotel to join The Lanesborough as Hotel Manager, with the aim to help the Oetker Collection property ‘reinforce its position as a market leader’ on the luxury hospitality scene in London.

Two years later, Geddes has recently been promoted to Managing Director of the quintessentially British hotel (some might even say landmark). Following the most challenging 18 months the industry has perhaps ever experienced, the promotion came a time when the industry as a whole was recovering in the wake of the pandemic. The hotelier’s ‘respect for heritage’, while ‘constantly pushing for creativity and innovation’, puts him in good stead to navigate the unavoidable challenges that lie ahead.

Geddes responded the promotion by calling it ‘both a pleasure and an honour’ and is full committed as well as passionate to lead the 93-key hotel into a new chapter of hospitality.

Thomas Agius Ferrante, Hotel Director, The Grove of Narberth

Following his appointment as General Manager in early 2019, Thomas Agius Ferrante was promoted in August 2020 to become Hotel Director of The Grove of Narberth, the five-star hotel nestled in the Pembrokeshire countryside in South West Wales.

The hotel forms part of the Seren Collection which includes the one Michelin starred Beach House Restaurant on the Gower Peninsular, and the highly regarded Coast Restaurant in Saundersfoot.

Ferrante started his career as a kitchen chef before moving into senior management roles first at One Aldwych and then at The Berkeley where he spent seven years latterly as the Food & Beverage Operations Manager. Prior to joining The Grove of Narberth, the hotelier was the Hotel Manager of The Phoenicia in Malta, an iconic five-star, historic hotel that flanks the main gates of the capital Valletta and is a member of ‘The Leading Hotels of the World’ consortium.

Will Ashworth, CEO, Watergate Bay Hotel

Will Ashworth, who is no stranger to The Brit List first came onto Hotel Designs’ radar in 2004 when he became the CEO of Watergate Bay Hotel, which he took over from his parents.

Since then, the young yet established hotelier has been able to flex his design muscles to ensure that the hotel stands out as an exceptional luxury experience.

The latest design narrative at Watergate Bay Hotel is told when checking in to one of the seven new beach-front suites, designed to take the accommodation at the hotel to a ‘new level’ with a quirky interior scheme that oozes sense of place and personality, while framing some of the most spectacular coastal views. Ashworth worked with Cornish design studio Dynargh Design to create the rooms that shelter barefoot luxury with a distinct local charm.

Despite creating a new room category that will ‘pave the way’ for future projects within the Watergate Bay Hotel portfolio, Ashworth’s pioneering stance in the hospitality arena is unequivocally highlighting how independent hotels can indeed shelter innovative, eco-friendly design that doesn’t intrude on the guest experience. For example, all electricity that the now 69-key boutique hotel uses comes from 100 per cent renewable suppliers.

The application process (free of charge) for The Brit List Awards 2022 will open in Q2 of 2022. 

Main image credit: The Brit List Awards 2021

Hamish Kilburn, Editor, Hotel Designs

Editor checks in: A sense of change in hotel design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor checks in: A sense of change in hotel design

Making the best out of a disruptive situation – day eight of 10 into quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19 – Editor Hamish Kilburn finds the time (and the words) to explore in his final editor’s letter of 2021 how sensory design and togetherness could help fuel hotel design and hospitality into a new yet-to-be-written chapter…

Hamish Kilburn, Editor, Hotel Designs

Can you feel, smell, hear, touch or taste it? Don’t worry, this isn’t a new variant symptoms check. There’s a transformation happening. It’s affecting the way we work. The way we communicate. Even my tone seems dissimilar (perhaps more honest) as I write this, uncomfortably pessimistic, in day eight of a 10-day quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19 the day I landed back from reviewing a recent cluster of hotel design projects in Spain.

Whether we like it or not, we have no choice but to embrace new ways of living and working. As frustrating as this ‘new world’ may feel at times, we cannot always alter our surroundings. What we can adjust, however, is how we react. In great depression comes new prospects. When we accept a remodelled status quo, we can move past the practical hurdles and start to see how a change in landscape creates a transformation in behaviour, which in turn can lead to new breakthroughs in design, architecture and hospitality.

If you are struggling to see it, look no further than The Brit List 2021, which was unveiled in November at a spectacular, glitter-filled awards ceremony. The publication includes 75 individual examples of people at the forefront of our industry who are utilising this situation, which is becoming to feel more long-term as the months draw on. Take Robin Hutson, the Founder of The PIG Hotels, for instance, who won Hotelier of the Year at The Brit List Awards 2021. During a time when hospitality was forced to be on hold, Hutson started A Seat At The Table campaign in order to give the industry – formally under-represented – an unapologetic voice.

Another example is Tina Norden, Partner at Conran and Partners, who recently completed projects include the new five-star Park Hyatt hotel in Auckland; FEAST within Hong Kong’s iconic EAST hotel and the Peninsula Boutique and Café in Hong Kong. Norden was crowned Interior Designer of Year because of these projects as well as her selfless efforts to support the industry through lockdown, saying ‘yes’ to any opportunity to help raise the profile of British and global hospitality and design at its best. And instead of wallowing in self-isolation despair, I’ve just realised that I am interviewing both leaders in just a few days (note to self: use this time locked away from the world wisely in order to work on thought-provoking questions).

Logically, design and creativity during this period should have suffered, when human interaction and supplies chains have been damaged. Okay, it’s taken longer, and designers have been forced to, at times, sacrifice global FF&E, but it has allowed our community to do what it does best; find solutions to problems. Interior designer Álvaro Sans was tasked to steer one of Seville’s most iconic hotels, Meliá Gran Hotel Colón, into a modern era at a time when it was illegal for citizens to leave their houses. The delivery times of materials was a great task to manage,” he told me. “We had to change some furniture items because they did not arrive after five months of delay.” Sans recently unveiled this project, and it is, in my opinion, genuinely one of the most impressive public area renovations in recent history.

So, you see, change on this kind of scale can be a pivotal part of the overall narrative – we are turning the page of a gripping novel. Well, I have a confession to make. I read ahead and skipped a few chapter, and – spoiler alert – I have to tell you what I found before I read backwards. Waiting for us on the other side is an industry, scarred and not broken, which sets a holistic and more meaningful setting. The textured scene is layered with colour for personality, sound to create atmosphere, touch to make it personal and the smell of fresh bread from the bakery. It’s a sensory fusion of all the things we lost during dark times – a coming together of new skillsets we learned when restrained to the parameters of our homes. I’m not the only one who is reading ahead. At a recent panel discussion I moderated at Independent Hotel Show, Mark Bruce, Main Board Director at EPR Architects; Sound Designer Tom Middleton and Marie Soliman, Co-Founder of Bergman Design House discussed all the possible senses that will take hospitality forward – and no area, even the often forgotten hotel corridors, were off limit. “The gaps between the experiences are just as important as the experiences themselves,” said Bruce. “Those few metres can be thoughtful in themselves.”

The answer to many (if not all) of our problems comes in the form of collaboration, which has long been a fuel for the sector. I’m not talking about interior designers working with lighting designers or architects forming partnerships with sound architects. Instead, I’m suggesting two (or more) interior designers – AKA competitors – actually working together on a brief.

We saw this recently at HIX, in a wonderful display by the three design studios worked together to create Hotel Tomorrow. In this space, Conran and Partners injected the energy of community. Meanwhlile, Areen Design created an art installation-style safe cocoon nest that brought down the heart rate. stroop design, very much inspired by its own situation of launching recently with no physical base, was inspired by nature – and unveiled its co-working pod as a walk-in-the-park experience. Outside these three pods, the studios worked together, using visuals and sounds as tools for transformation from one area of the show to another – and as a result, intentional or not, they helped redefine the traditional trade show into an insightful experience.

Elsewhere in the show, a new revolution came to the surface in the wellness ‘living moodboards’ that were created by Sieger Design, Studio Carter, and Studio Corkinho – think hemp walls, spa-like suites and silent architecture. These concepts that were inspired with the 12 principles of design by Nestwell proved that the world is truthfully our oyster, and there is little we cannot achieve through constructive research and development (R&D).

“Yes, close the laptop lid and prepare to round-off another year on the international hotel design scene with a sense of pride from what we have created in a difficult year.” – Hamish Kilburn, Editor, Hotel Designs.

Render of organic guestroom designed by Studio Carter

Image credit: Studio Carter’s concept explored organic materials as well as soft architecture to create an authentic sense of wellbeing. | Image credit: Studio Carter

I would like to evolve R&D to add a new ‘R’: ‘rest’, which is unreservedly an integral element with innovation in design and hospitality. It’s the same with writing. Leaving an idea or an article to mature is all part of the process, which cannot sometimes be rushed, nor forced. Resetting the scales allows you time to exhale. When the writer returns, the space they’ve created allows the opportunity to add value to whatever was created previously.

And with that, several drafts later of attempting this column, it’s time to ‘switch off’ and turn on our Out of Office automatic replies. Yes, close the laptop lid and prepare to round-off another year on the international hotel design scene with a sense of pride from what we have achieved in a difficult year. I hope that when we return in 2022, we will find it in our hearts to embrace togetherness; to take on, in harmony, new opportunities and challenges.

To spur on this sense of change, I pledge to amplify on these pages bold, genius and non-conforming concepts next year and beyond. Revise the recipe – we’re craving spice and flavour here on the editorial desk – and please help us take hotel design and hospitality forward in beautiful, authentic, and disruptive ways. So, who will feature in the next chapter, I wonder?

Stay tuned…

Editor, Hotel Designs

Main image credit: Dish Creative/James Munson

New collections from Moooi Carpets to put on your 2022 watch list

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New collections from Moooi Carpets to put on your 2022 watch list

Moooi Carpets, which never fails to deliver an endless mix of colours, has just unveiled four new collections, which have been designed by individual artists – all with the aim to add personality in hotel design. Editor Hamish Kilburn takes a look…

All rugs at Moooi Carpets combine an endless mix of colours thanks to the use of a ground breaking high definition Chromo jet printer and its accurate tones, which generate a playful illusion of depth – just take a look at the Liquid Layer collection if you need convincing.

When Marcel Wanders (Founder of Moooi in 2001) came across the technique of digital printing on carpet material, more than 10 years ago, he realised that it was so ground breaking that he felt it needed its own space to grow, without being absorbed by/in something else. Moooi Carpets was launched by Moooi in 2015.

Since then, each collection launched has, in its own way, challenged conventional design with meaningful patterns – and the brand’s latest collections are no exception. Cue the arrival of ‘Pluck Their Petals’, ‘Lint’, ‘In the Meadow’ and Bisanto.

Pluck their Petals by Ferry Schiffelers

Ferry Schiffelers founded his eponymous womenswear label at the age of 25. In 2018, Schiffelers graduated Cum Laude from the design department at AMFI (Amsterdam Fashion Institute). His graduation collection ‘Défilé de Deuil’ ensured that he won the Lichting prize and was named the most promising graduate of 2018. In September 2019, Schiffelers presented his first independent collection ‘Ladies Who Lunch’ during AFW (Amsterdam Fashion Week). Prior to AMFI, he followed the four-year Fashion / Bespoke tailoring course to develop himself in the field of tailoring and techniques. Schiffelers has successfully completed internships in the couture atelier of Viktor & Rolf and Antwerp designer Tim van Steenbergen. His work is being published in Vogue, ELLE and Mirror Mirror magazine.

Moooi Carpets: Tumbling petals by Ferry Schiffelers-300DPI copy

Image credit: Moooi Carpets

Combining fashion with design – a concept we can’t get enough of at Hotel Designs – Schiffelers designed the ‘Pluck their Petals’ colleciton, which was inspired by the greatest love tragedy whether he loves me – or not. Multiple layers of tulle petals build up a gradient of colour causing a mysterious, yet romantic and dramatic dimension. The technique of layering creates more depth and darkly shadowing in the creases, turning the carpet into a fantasy like destination somewhere between a dream and a nightmare.

Lint by Visser & Meijwaard

Visser & Meijwaard is a design studio focused on product- and scenographic exhibition design based in Arnhem, The Netherlands. The studio is run by Dutch designers Vera Meijwaard and Steven Visser who met at ArtEZ University of the Arts. As a design duo they create distinct but minimalistic products from an aesthetic world of material, colour and shape. Their working method is associative. By playing with materiality, context and scale and with a fascination for ‘form follows function’, Visser & Meijwaard researches new applications for the hidden aesthetics found in everyday products. Their wide range of work extends from furniture and lighting to textile, ceramic and glassware. Visser & Meijwaard collaborate, among others, with brands as Hermès , Linteloo and Pulpo Products. Their work has been presented in museums, galleries and fairs worldwide, including London, Paris, Milan, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Barcelona, Cologne and Copenhagen.

Visser & Meijwaard - ribbon carpet real size

Image credit: Moooi Carpets

In the ‘Lint’ carpet collection, silk ribbons are woven into a colourful graphic pattern to create a bold interplay of lines. Inspiration for the ‘Lint’ design was found in the rectilinear pattern of a traditional tartan textile, made by weaving alternating strips of coloured threads, both in the warp and in the weft, at right angles to each other. ‘Lint’ was created by playing with the materiality and the size of the threads and in search of the right colours to contrast but complement each other at the same time.

In the Meadow by Emma Larsson

The carpets of Larsson’s In The Meadow collection are inspired by the never-ending wonders of nature. With whimsical and abstract shapes, the carpets depict mesmerising worlds of aquarelle art. The bright and soft colours are an ode to nature’s variety. In The Meadow is Larsson’s contribution to bringing nature indoors, into your space, like ink in water.

The intensity of colours creates density while maintaining that ethereal feel. Every day we are surrounded by an endless variety of colours, shapes, textures, and patterns. Every living moment our senses are treated with a beauty only nature can give us. And it gives us everything. It gives us scents and smells that keep us going or calm us down. Spectacular colours that fill our hearts and minds with hope and lightness. Textures and patterns that amaze and trick us. For artists and designers, nature is an endless source of inspiration. It has been so for centuries, and hopefully it will be for the next centuries. Nature is to be coveted and cherished, for it is as close as magic we will ever experience. In The Meadow, by Emma Larsson, reveals an ethereal world of abstract aquarelle shapes. Inspired by the beauty that nature surrounds us with every day. Inspired by nature’s endless variations of colours, shapes, patterns, and textures. Nature surrounds us when we’re outside, but with In The Meadow, you can bring the magical beauty of nature inside. Whimsical and abstract shapes in bright and soft colours to mesmerise every onlooker. In The Meadow is a collection of carpets that all bear the signature aquarelle-style artwork of artist & designer Emma Larsson. Her contribution to bringing the beauty of nature inside.

Bisanto by Antonio Aricò

Antonio Aricò is an Italian artist, designer and creative director. After earning a double degree at Milan Polytechnic he obtained his master’s degree with a work based on the themes of Design & Tradition, combining the fields of art, craft and design. These theories merged with the poetic of contemporary culture, make up Aricò’s inter-disciplinary practice today. He is known as forerunner of a unique approach that parallels crafts and self-production with industrial design. With each new project he approaches design themes, preferring to focus on the romantic, fantastic and archetypical rather than just the functional. In this universe the coldness of industrialism is replaced by the poetry, fantasy and romance of our past, vividly brought to life in contemporary days.

Bisanto by Antonio Aricò

Image credit: Moooi Carpets

Italy is not a country, it is a sea of stories. Its imaginary is waved of infinite magic stories coming from North to South and from West to East. By shaking and mixing these stories come to life BISANTO, a collection drawn by the intimate memories of a child playing with iconic souvenir coming from his memories of antique ages. The idea is to transform the Byzantine Italy into a Carpet Collection by playing with drawings and colors. The result are Luxurious Textile Mosaics printed on carpets able to represent new characters and worlds. Each piece is “secretly” inspired by real Italian historical masterpieces that are reinvented starting from eclectic inspirations and ending into renovated traditions. Indeed, all the IKONAS of the collection hide a secret inspiration belonging to Italian History of Art, coming both from North & South. The result is a collection of carpets where bidimensional signs get mixed with 3D elements, where the mosaic become soft and flocked as velvet and heavy precious printed jewels becomes a as light as fabric. Aricò doodles becomes vivid icons, making Italian tradition new again.

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

Main image credit: Moooi Carpets

The check-in desk at Hotel Colon, surrounding by Spanish memorabilia

‘First in’ to review the newly renovated Hotel Colón Gran Meliá

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
‘First in’ to review the newly renovated Hotel Colón Gran Meliá

In the heart of Seville, the iconic Hotel Colón Gran Meliá re-emerges from lockdown showcasing a sophisticated first impression that’s timeless design effortlessly takes it into a new era. Editor Hamish Kilburn is among those ‘first in’ to explore the newly renovated hotel – and while there, he manages to secure an interview with the interior designer behind the project…

The check-in desk at Hotel Colon, surrounding by Spanish memorabilia

With its grandeur monuments, orange tree-lined cobbled streets and a vibrant gastronomy scene, Seville is a city that will leave a lasting impression on even the most seasoned of travellers. At the epicentre of this cultural hub – just a 10-minute stroll from the The río Guadalquivir, the Torre del Oro and the Real Maestranza Bull Ring – is Hotel Colón Gran Meliá; a hotel that has been an inherent part of Seville since its iconic architecture by José Miguel de la Cuadra was first unveiled in 1929.

Some 92 years later, and the building is now a listed pillar, having majestically maintained its original neoclassical façade. Don’t let its grand structure fool you, though. It shelters a contemporary hotel that fluidly forms around a modernist central dome, made up of thousands of coloured crystals. It, as Rosana Gonzáles, General Manager of the hotel says: “Shines over the hotel bringing a new light over Seville’s history.” And it was this central part of the hotel that became the core inspiration for interior designer Álvaro Sans when he was asked to steer to the its public areas through a sensitive renovation that could meet the demands of today’s travellers.

“Seville is a unique city, the ‘Spanish Florence’, if you like.” – Álvaro Sans, interior designer.

Lobby inside Gran Melia Hotel Colón in Seville

Image caption: The central dome inside Gran Melia Hotel Colón, which is the heart of the hotel and was a significant source of inspiration for the design team. | Image credit: Meliá Hotels International

“We wanted to differentiate Hotel Colón Gran Meliá from the rest of the hotels in the city,” said Sans. “To do this, we decided to inject a healthy dose of Sevillian culture, art and feeling into the building. The strong sense of place transports guests to the destination where they can really experience the true essence of the location. Seville is a unique city, the ‘Spanish Florence’, if you like. The ‘Sevillano’ is felt in the streets and by visitors who live who live within it. There is a contagious joy of living here.”

QUICK-FIRE ROUND WITH THE DESIGNER:

Hamish Kilburn: How long did the project take from concept to completion?
Álvaro Sans: Two years, due to delays with Covid-19

HK:  Describe the newly renovated hotel in two words?
AS: Sevillian and timeless

HK: What’s next for the hotel?
AS: Two wonderful suites, but you didn’t hear that from me!

There is no doubt about it: the hotel’s rejuvenation has been influenced by the past. However, its hospitality offering on the other hand has been created with a worldly traveller in mind, while looking ahead towards the future. By opening up the space in the lobby, the opportunity emerged for Sans to create a new F&B proposal – a new destination bar – that is now the focal point of all first impressions, which sits under the magnificent dome. The interiors of the bar are decorated with pieces that have been curated by young local artisans. Together, they form a magical atmosphere.

Making such a drastic transformation in an iconic hotel is challenging enough, but add to this the fact that Sans was working on this project during a pandemic creates a whole new layer of uncertainty. “The delivery times of materials was a great task to manage,” Sans explains. “We had to change some furniture items because they did not arrive after five months of delay.”

Originally known as Hotel Majestic, the property was, in its hay day, one of the most luxurious hotels in Spain, built primarily to welcome international visitors of the world’s fair, Exposición Iberoamericana, hosted in Seville in 1929. Following this, world renowned figures such as Ava Gardner, Picasso and Dalí also walked its floors and fell in love with the historical building. The hotel was where famous matadors (bull fighters) used to stay ahead of crowd-drawing Corridas (bull fighting events), which arguably helped put Seville on the tourism – domestic and international – map. In fact, traje de luces (the various costumes) of the famous El Cordobes have become part of the interior design decoration, displayed behind the check-in desk, along with original flamenco dancer costumes, to add a unique sense of place for guests who are beginning or ending their stay.

Check-in desk inside Gran Melia Hotel Colòn in Seville

Image caption: The check-in desk inside the hotel features a display of memorabilia, which gives a sensitive nod to Sevillian culture. | Image credit: Melia Hotels International

As guests arrive, what was a dated red and white design scheme has been transformed into a space that feels light, elegant and welcoming. “Pure red is a colour only used in the bullfighter’s cape in Seville – it is not an emblematic colour of the city,” explains the designer. The lobby now features hues of green, ochra, gold – reminiscent of the Andalusian countryside. Wood alongside luxurious and elegant materials such as velvet, silk, leather and walnut add meaningful texture. Amongst the new services, guests can enjoy a completely new Red Level on the ground floor, the new Bar del Colón and the restaurant Abacería del Colón.

“Seville is olive green,” adds Sans. “It is a city with many cultures that have merged in a magnificent way. The hotel, therefore, had to have something that amplified this authentically.” To achieve this, Sans introduced natural materials – Andalusian Macael white marble, solid walnut wood, hydraulic concrete floors – designed and built for the hotel, in a format larger than the traditional one. “We chose olive green [throughout the lobby and public areas downstairs], to mimic hotel’s wonderful skylight,” says Sans. “Ceramics were handcrafted specially for the hotel by Isabel Parente’s workshop in Seville, in an oxidised olive-green tone and an original Mudejar design, with details of the plasterwork from the Alhambra in Granada.”

One of the gastronomy venues at the hotel, Burladero restaurant offers a wide range of Andalucian tapas that attract locals as well as international visitors. The new Abacería del Colón is a place where guests can indulge in typical Sevillan produce such as jamón, cold meats, jams and chicharrones, as well as purchasing them to bring that iconic Sevillian flavour back home.

The hotel is also part of the Virtuoso y Fine Hotels and Resorts de Amex (FHR), as well as The Leading Hotels Of The World (LHW). It comprises of 188 rooms including 24 suites, adorned with classic paintings of the Spanish Golden Age from artists such as Goya, Murillo, Velazquez y and El Greco – the giants of 16th and 17th century Spanish painting.

Suite inside Hotel Colòn Gran Melia

Image caption: If rumours are to be believed, the next chapter for the hotel will be the renovation of two suites. | Image credit: Meliá International

The newly renovated Hotel Colón Gran Meliá is a tribute to Seville’s history and culture; a space where old and new meet with incredible results. Everything is curated to the smallest detail and recalls original elements from the 1929 Exposition to make every guest walk back in the past and discover the beauty of the city. And with whispers all but confirmed from Meliá International that the hotel will unveil two new renovated suites soon, it’s clear that the Gran Melia Hotel Colón’s narrative is far from ending.

Main image credit: Meliá International

beachdeck at penina hotel and golf resort part of IHG vignette collection

IHG Hotels & Resorts announces European debut of new luxury brand Vignette

730 565 Pauline Brettell
IHG Hotels & Resorts announces European debut of new luxury brand Vignette

In a landmark property deal bringing together exclusive properties in sought after urban and resort locations, with signings in Austria and Portugal, IHG’s latest brand, Vignette Collection, is set to make its mark…

beachdeck at penina hotel and golf resort part of IHG vignette collection

In August 2021, Vignette Collection became the sixth brand added to IHG’s portfolio in the past four years, taking it to an impressive 17 brands across more than 6,000 hotels in more than 100 countries. Its first two signings set the tone of the unique and distinctive nature of the collection, with The Aquatique Hotel in Pattaya, Thailand, and Hotel X Brisbane Fortitude Valley in Australia. The driving force behind the Vignette collection is the commitment to welcoming world-class independent hotels to the company’s Luxury & Lifestyle collection in a style that combines the distinctive identity of each property with the power of IHG’s global scale and expertise.

The addition of Vignette Collection further enriches IHG’s Luxury & Lifestyle offer for leisure and business travellers alike, and IHG expects to attract more than 100 Vignette Collection hotels in 10 years, with the brand key to delivering its ambition of industry-leading net rooms growth.

decorative ceiling at the bar in the Dona Filipa hotel

Image credit: IHG Vignette Collection

The agreement between IHG Hotels & Resorts, and JJW Hotels & Resorts includes a new property for IHG’s voco hotels brand overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in Portugal’s Algarve. Other hotels included in the European launch are ; Grand Hotel Wien, Vienna Austria, Penina Resort and Golf, Algarve Portugal, Dona Filipa Hotel, Algarve Portugal.

“We are delighted to announce our first European Vignette Collection signings through our partnership with JJW Hotels & Resorts. Complementing our existing Luxury & Lifestyle portfolio in Europe, these unique properties will meet the needs of travellers seeking a luxury stay experience, whilst maintaining each hotel’s authentic charm and individuality,” said Karin Sheppard, Senior Vice President and Managing Director Europe.” The introduction of Vignette Collection follows the successful launch of voco hotels – another of our many conversion-friendly brands – so it’s fitting that we are also working with JJW to build voco’s presence in the popular Algarve region.”

Going above and beyond the remit of hotel development, Vignette Collection embraces IHG’s ethos of responsible commitments to care for our people, communities and planet. Hotels in the collection will have the opportunity to work with IHG on a range of initiatives that are part of the shared vision to not only build hotels, but to build brighter futures for the communities in which they operate.

> Since you’re here, why not read about IHG’s landmark dual-branded hotel in Nottingham?

Main image credit: IHG Vignette Collection

The Lake Spa Resort Vista Aerea

Domes Resorts announces plans to expand globally

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Domes Resorts announces plans to expand globally

Domes Resorts, which is one of the fastest growing luxury hotel brands in the Mediterranean, continues its rapid expansion taking over The Lake Spa Resort in Portugal owned by HIP (Hotel Investment Partners), the largest owner of resort hotels in Southern Europe backed by funds managed by Blackstone. Here’s what we know…

The Lake Spa Resort Vista Aerea

After what Domes Resorts has stated has been a “very successful 2021”, which saw the repositioning and opening of a completely renovated Domes of Corfu, Autograph Collection, Domes Resorts will once again partner with Hotel Investment Partners (HIP) to strengthen its presence in Europe with the much-anticipated early 2022 opening of The Lake Spa Resort in Algarve.

The project, which has been backed by a €7 million investment, will see the upgrade and transformation of the property through a complete refurbishment of all rooms and public spaces – including the creation of a new adults-only pool and pool bar. In addition, the existing F&B outlets will be replaced with signature Domes dining concepts.

Domes Resorts is amongst the fastest growing luxury hospitality groups in Greece, with a number of new projects in its pipeline. Owned by Ledra Hotels and Villas, the group is comprised of the legendary Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection, the cosmopolitan Domes Noruz Chania, Autograph Collection, Domes Miramare, a Luxury Collection Resort on Corfu, Domes Zeen Chania, a Luxury Collection Resort, Crete and the newest addition Domes of Corfu, Autograph Collection. With a love for the destinations and driven by the thrill of sharing them with the world, Domes Resorts offer transformative experiences for cosmopolitan explorers, combined with authentic Greek hospitality and the highest international luxury accommodation standards.

Domes Resorts are developed on handpicked locations at iconic destinations and embrace their environments in every possible aspect, from local cultural experiences, to design, architecture, and community engagement. All properties are unique, award winning and known for their sophisticated design, opulent accommodation offering and fine-tuned services.

Main image credit: Domes Resorts

Bvlgari Hotel Paris collage Hotel Designs

In pictures: Inside Bvlgari Hotel Paris

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In pictures: Inside Bvlgari Hotel Paris

Three years since the concept of the luxury hotel appeared on our radar, Bvlgari Hotel Paris has opened. The new hotel, designed by Italian architecture firm Antonio Patricia Viel, alongside the renowned Parisian architects Valode & Pistre, promises an experience that mingles Italian excellence with the magnificent culture of the City of Lights…

Bvlgari Hotel Paris collage Hotel Designs

In the heart of the world-renowned Golden Triangle of Paris, Bvlgari Hotel Paris has opened. Breaking with the traditional codes of the Parisian architecture, the elegant building that shelters the new luxury hotel enriches the eighth arrondissement with its contemporary style. For Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts, the opening marks a harmony between two cultures in design as well as hospitality. “We are particularly proud to add a French jewel to the Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts collection, the opening of the new Bvlgari Hotel Paris,” said Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bvlgari. “Following the recent opening of the Bvlgari flagship store in Place Vendome, it is an honour for us to bring, once again, the best of the Italian design, lifestyle, culture and luxury hospitality to Paris.”

BH Paris Lounge, fireplace

Image credit: Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts

As with all of the Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts, the Bvlgari Hotel Paris has been designed by the Italian architecture studio Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel. Both the interior and exterior have been created with the same attention to details and precision of a Bvlgari jewel, enhancing all the characteristic codes of the establishments developed by the Rome-based jewellery house. The Bvlgari Hotel Paris offers 76 rooms, of which 75 per cent are suites, featuring terraces and loggias. Each one is designed as a private apartment and is exquisitely furnished with the highest quality luxury furniture brands. In addition, the artwork and photographs of celebrities closely linked to the Maison add that touch of personality characteristic of the Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts.

Perched atop the building, the Bvlgari Penthouse illustrates the pinnacle of this approach. Across more than a total of 1,000 sqm of which 400 sqm interiors and 600 sqm exteriors and on two levels, the Bvlgari Penthouse features a fully landscaped hanging garden, filled with Mediterranean plants and fruit trees, and offers a panoramic view over the emblematic buildings of the French capital.

Bvlgari Hotel Paris penthouse suite at night

Image credit: Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts

The highlight of the hotel’s culinary offering is “Il Ristorante – Niko Romito”, curated by the three Michelin star Chef, Niko Romito. Romito has created this concept for all the Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts with a blend of modern and classical Italian dishes using ingredients that are the essential characteristics of the culture, elegance and vitality of the ‘Made in Italy’ ethos.

Adjacent to the restaurant and facing the hotel garden, the Bvlgari Bar expresses the full generosity, elegance and spirit of the House and is set to become one of the most sought-after gathering places in western Paris. Located just next door, the Lounge – with its plush armchairs, massive fireplace, and ceiling inspired by a Bvlgari minaudière – is a desirable place to gather. Spanning 1,300 sqm on two levels, the Bvlgari Spa at Bvlgari Hotel Paris offers a unique experience, with its 25-metre swimming pool, one of the longest in any Paris luxury hotel. The fitness space, featuring state-of-the-art technology and entrusted to Workshop Gymnasium, has been exclusively created for Bvlgari by Lee Mullins, and includes a private studio.

Luxury pool inside Bvlgari Hotel Paris

Image credit: Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts

What’s next? Well, Bvlgari Hotel Paris is the latest creation in the Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts collection, which includes properties in Milan, Bali, London, Beijing, Dubai, and Shanghai, as well as upcoming openings in Rome (2022), Moscow (2022), Tokyo (2023),Miami (2024) and Los Angeles (2025).

Main image credit: Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts

Collage from AHC in Manchester 2021

Show review: What you missed at The AHC in Manchester

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Show review: What you missed at The AHC in Manchester

Out with the old (venue) and in the with the new. On November 22 – 24, The Annual Hotel Conference (AHC) took shelter under a new roof, Manchester Central Convention Complex, where it welcomed more than 800 senior delegates to learn, network and party. Editor Hamish Kilburn was there to soak it all in…

Collage from AHC in Manchester 2021

For years, The Annual Hotel Conference (AHC) has been a major calendar event that has attracted leading investors, developers and operators from across the UK hospitality sector. In fact, the event has become so popular now, with more than 800 delegates to shelter safely that it required a venue change, from the familiar territory of Hilton Manchester Deansgate to where it is now held in the Manchester Central Convention Complex.

At the epicentre of the new venue was the auditorium, where more than 100 industry-expert speakers took to the stage over the two-day event, including senior leaders from global hotel brands. These included: Adela Cristea, Vice President, Head of Business Development UK & Ireland, Radisson Hotel Group; Satya Anand, President, EMEA, Marriott International; Stephen Cassidy, Senior Vice President & Managing Director UK, Ireland & Israel, Hilton; Philip Lassman, Vice President Development Northern Europe (UK&I, Benelux & Nordics), Accor; Dimitris Manikis, President & MD EMEA, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts; Karin Sheppard, Senior Vice President & Managing Director Europe, IHG and Camil Yazbeck, Senior Vice President, Head of Development Northern Europe, Accor.

Speakers took turns to deliver their views, strategies and visions for the future across four stages: vision, collaboration, innovation and transformation that represented the four pillars that underpinned this year’s theme ‘Change for Good.’ Amnd it was clear that there was a real sense of collective excitement and energy, and a renewed optimism for not only the recovery but also the opportunity to reset and reconsider the hospitality industry as a whole. People’s passions have seemingly been reignited. The conversation around ‘responsible recovery’ was discussed throughout the event, and seemed to spill into the discussions at the number of after parties around the city.

The hospitality industry is emerging from the pandemic with a long list of changed priorities. Values – in contrast to value for money – are creating new challenges for the hospitality industry. Sustainability and ESG (Environmental, Social Governance) are becoming ever-more important priorities for customers, operators, employees and owners.

Three inspiring leaders, Satya Anand, President EMEA, Marriott International; Dimitris Manikis, President & MD EMEA, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and Karin Sheppard, SVP and MD Europe, IHG, discussed the characteristics of a ‘good brand,’ how people are increasingly conscious of ESG and that travel has become more purposeful. “ESG brings a unique opportunity to bring back young people into this sector,” said Manikis. “The future leaders of our industry — doing the right thing for humanity will bring the right people back.”

Karin Sheppard followed this up with the strong statement: “The best we can do today, is not the best we can do tomorrow. Be humble that we are all here to learn and we don’t have all the answers but without steep ambitions nothing will ever change.”

ESG came into sharp focus during the ‘Serviced Living — Capturing the New Demand’ session when Robert Godwin, Managing Director, Lamington Group made clear his strong feelings “with passion and intent there are ways to deliver truly sustainable buildings” and shared his company’s mission to deliver fully net zero carbon hotels in its portfolio.

Image caption: Robert Godwin, Managing Director, Lamington Group speaking passionately about truly sustainable buildings. | Image credit: Simon Callaghan Photography

Image caption: Robert Godwin, Managing Director, Lamington Group speaking passionately about truly sustainable buildings. | Image credit: Simon Callaghan Photography

Lamington Group recently launched Room2 Chiswick, it’s first net zero carbon offering which is 89 per cent more energy efficient than other hotels in the UK. It’s 100 per cent electric, has a blue roof that can hold 50,000 litres of rainwater that filters down for use in the hotel and is covered with 200 tonnes of soil to grow a green roof to encourage biodiversity and insulate the building. Occupancy sensors inside the building manage heating lighting and cooling to provide energy efficiency savings.

Labour shortages are affecting the industry in a huge way and fixing the reputation of the hospitality industry is vital if staffing shortages are to be alleviated. The industry has an unfortunate association with long hours and low pay, something which was highlighted by keynote speaker Gary Neville, who owns GG Hospitality and runs the Stock Exchange Hotel and Hotel Football: “Hospitality staff have been treated poorly for far too long and the pandemic has highlighted that for me. People come first and they need trust and flexibility, empathy and compassion.”

Image caption: Gary Neville, owner of GG Hospitality, said that 'hospitality staff ghave been treated poorly for far too long.' Image credit: Simon Callaghan Photography

Image caption: Gary Neville, owner of GG Hospitality, said that ‘hospitality staff ghave been treated poorly for far too long.’ Image credit: Simon Callaghan Photography

In the ‘Power to the People’ session, Chris Mumford, Founder, Cervus Leadership Consulting, David Orr, CEO, Resident Hotels, Thomas Greenall, CEO, Bespoke Hotels and Harry Cragoe, Owner of The Galivant / Costel Hotels joined forces to address the supply of labour that has resulted in an awareness amongst hotel managers of the wellbeing of their staff.

Harry Cragoe said his business “is all about creating happiness” and he wants happy employees because it means guests are likely to be happy. “At The Gallivant, mini-bonuses of £10 are handed out each time a staff member is name checked by guests giving end-of-stay feedback. Monthly totals can be as much as £300-£400,” he added.

Nicholas Northam, who leads Interstate’s white-label operations at more than 120 hotels in the UK, Ireland, Continental Europe, Russia and CIS, said the labour shortage was less about the number of people available for work and more about the skills of potential employees. “We are looking at many different ways to find the talent we need,” Northam said. Among the programmes that may have previously fallen foul of a company’s behavioural sensibilities, Interstate has set up what he called “academies” in some UK prisons. Thanks to Interstate, Northam said, inmates were receiving instruction on kitchen and housekeeping roles.

Chris Dexter, CEO of Kew Green, in a directly political appeal to the UK Government about relieving pressure in the labour market said: “Open up the visa channels.” Pay rates were rising, he said, but jobs remained unfilled because there were insufficient numbers of people available for work.

Whilst the audience enjoyed hearing the anecdotal insights from the industry’s leading minds and the opportunity to learn from how they re-strategised following such a difficult period, cold hard numbers always win the day.

Thomas Emanuel, Director of STR hosted ‘Decoding the Revenue Data’ in which he gave comprehensive industry analysis — including how the UK has consistently outperformed Europe as a whole, and that Q3 UK occupancy had returned to pre-Covid levels: however, London and other large cities lag behind due to decreased international travel.

Meanwhile, in ‘Profits & Pricing’ Michel Grove, Chief Operating Officer at HotStats and Joe Stather Director, OPRE, Hotels, CBRE Hotels, asked do hotels still appeal to the investor community? Their discussion drew the conclusion that investor demands actually outstrip supply, which is supporting relatively buoyant pricing and in turn an increased number of deals is expected in 2022. They identified that profitability is weakest in London and the gateway cities, however these markets are seeing the strongest investor demand. The growing interest in alternative real estate is also being fuelled by increased investor demand.

Looking ahead, The AHC 2022 will take place on October 3 – 4 at The Manchester Central Convention Complex.

Main image credit: Simon Callaghan Photography

white bed linen and natural decor in guestroom at hilton mallorca galatzo

Hilton plans new resort hotel for Mallorca

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Hilton plans new resort hotel for Mallorca

Following hot on the heels of recent openings in Madrid and Barcelona, Hilton Hotels & Resorts continues to roll out stunning new developments in Spain with the announcement of its plans for the Hilton Mallorca Galatzo in 2022. Here’s what we know…

white bed linen and natural decor in guestroom at hilton mallorca galatzo

Hilton Hotels & Resorts has confirmed plans to open a new hotel under its flagship Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand, on Mallorca’s pristine Costa de la Calma. The news follows the signing of a management agreement with Galatzo Inversiones, S.L., with The Hilton Mallorca Galatzo set to open in summer 2022 on the Balearic Islands West Coast.

The 208-key Hilton Mallorca Galatzo, is the latest hotel to join Hilton’s growing pipeline of properties in Spain, which has seen three hotels open this year alone, and includes 23 hotels under nine brands trading or under development in 16 destinations across the country.

“Following recent announcements in Crete, Rijeka, Santorini and Sardinia, Hilton Mallorca Galatzo is the latest in a string of spectacular resort hotels planned in the Mediterranean,” said Patrick Fitzgibbon, Senior Vice President, Development, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Hilton Hotels & Resorts. “As one of the most popular holiday destinations for European travellers, Mallorca is an ideal location for an international brand like Hilton Hotels & Resorts and we are pleased to partner with Galatzo Inversiones, S.L. to open this hotel next year.”

monochrome palette and soft surfaces in guestsuite at hilton mallorca galatzo hotel

Image credit: Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Set out more than 54,000 square-meters of perfectly presented gardens, the hotel will boast three swimming pools and two pool bars, ensuring guests are never far from a cool drink and a dip in the pool to complement the warm Balearic climate. The hotel’s lobby is also set to include a bar leading to an expansive outdoor terrace, and guests will be able to enjoy a variety of culinary options at the resort, including from the hotel’s two distinct dining experiences.

“We look forward to welcoming guests to the new Hilton Mallorca Galatzo next year, following substantial refurbishments to elevate the property’s interiors and facilities,” said Carlos Martins, Chief Executive Officer of Galatzo Inversiones, S.L. “With our experience of developing resort hotels in Spain, we are excited to partner with Hilton to introduce this stunning resort to the international market.”

With relaxation and rejuvenation in mind, Hilton Mallorca Galatzo will offer a 1,500-square-metre spa and wellness centre, complete with six treatment rooms and a variety of packages to suit all guests. With a sauna, jacuzzi, sensation showers and more, those looking to recharge themselves will have plenty of options. In addition to these wellness facilities, the hotel offers a fitness centre as well as multiple tennis courts.

The new hotel will join 16 hotels trading under Hilton brands in Spain, including Canopy by Hilton Madrid Castellana and Hampton by Hilton Barcelona Fira Gran Via, both of which opened last month.

> Since you’re here, why not check out more Mediterranean developments by Hilton and The Royal Senses Resort, Curio collection in Crete?

Main image credit: Hilton Hotel & Resorts

Hamish Kilburn, Tina Norden, Balkaran Bassan and Vince Stroop on stage at HIX

HIX panel discussion: Designing hospitality for the ‘WFHotel’ generation

730 565 Pauline Brettell
HIX panel discussion: Designing hospitality for the ‘WFHotel’ generation

One of the stand-out moments from HIX 2021 was undoubtedly the installations that were displayed in the Hotel Tomorrow gallery. Designed collaboratively by Conran and Partner, Areen Design and stroop design, the aim was to reflect the coming together of co-working spaces and hotels. Editor Hamish Kilburn, who spent six months following the designers, moderated the panel discussion on the HIX Talks stage that explored every corner of the concept in detail. Pauline Brettell writes…

Hamish Kilburn, Tina Norden, Balkaran Bassan and Vince Stroop on stage at HIX

HIX 2021 has been two years in the making – like the entire hospitality industry, the event was subjected to Covid-19 cancellations and delays – but finally, last week saw the experiential trade show in the spotlight at London’s Business Design Centre. True to its manifesto and guiding principles, HIX presented us with not only new products and practical design solutions to marvel over, but it also opened discussion and debate around issues of direction, design and, of course, sustainability.

The spaces in which this spirit of debate and conversation were most visible, were the two installations, along with the discussions that were taken to the HIX Talks stage as a result.

The first of these immersive settings was the WFHotel installation, which presented designers with the challenge of re-looking at the hotel as a “new productive, fluid and well workplace”, and all that that means. It was a collaborative installation by the design studios of Areen Design, Conran & Partners, and stroop design. The three hand-selected studios worked together to present us with emerging possibilities. The designers representing the studios,  Balkaran Bassan, Tina Norden and Vince Stoop joined forces with editor Hamish Kilburn on the HIX Talks stage to explain the process and discuss the thoughts and ideas that resulted in the set, and just how the conversation developed into one that hopefully initiated debate and discussion rather than coming up with a formulaic answer or response. “The access we had into these studios was unprecedented,” said Kilburn. “It allowed us to follow the process from concept through to completion, to understand how each area of the installation evolved and mutate over time. “For me, though, the most inspiring element of this project was how it changed from being a competition between three studios to a purposeful collaboration, which really helped enforce this year’s theme of HIX: ‘all together now’.”

Although the project was a collaborate effort, each designer was able to create their own section within the overall installation. While there is clearly a need to overlap and integrate, the installations and the conversation that followed could be broadly divided into community and function, comfort and cocooning and wellness and nature. “It was inspiring to see how each design studio approached the brief differently,” Kilburn explained. “Conran and Partners injected the energy of community when they decided to launch workshops on their pod on the hour so that the space would transform in time. Meanwhlile, Areen Design created an art installation-style safe cocoon nest that brought down the heart rate. stroop design, very much inspired by its own situation of launching recently with no physical base, was inspired by nature – and unveiled its co-working pod as a walk-in-the-park experience. Outside these three areas, the studios worked together to help set the scene, using visuals and sound as tools for transformation from one area of the show to another.”

Discussing the question of community and function, Conran & Partners developed an interactive and community based focus to the design question. As explained by Tina Norden, while hotels have clearly always had to design for people, this concept took it a step further, encouraging the people using the space to define it and refine it, according to function and needs. Rather than over designing a space, the circular workspace was stripped back to allow for flexibility – flexibility of space and design being a key them throughout the discussion – to allow the people using the space to use it according to their needs in that moment.

The theme of wellness was explored by stroop design. Identifying the ‘work from wherever’ fluidity that has emerged out of the pandemic, and combining it with the importance of nature, especially in the urban built environment, was the focus. Stroop spoke about the need to maximise the ‘pockets of nature’ presented to us, along with the importance of nature in our wellbeing and therefore the importance of integrating that into the workplace and in so doing, ensuring a work, wellness balance.

Becoming a lot more introspective, and really championing the ‘circle of life’ motif that ran through all three installations, Areen Design created a soft and fluid quiet space, a space to cocoon. It was a place for thought, which provided an important counterbalance to the busy communality of the other spaces. Heightened by soft surfaces and lack of colour interference, this space gave a heightened sense of calm, and was a design devoid of unnecessary distraction.

“Not long after being presented with the brief and exploring initial ideas, the conversation soon developed from one of competition into one of collaboration – and this ethos was a positive note that sounded throughout the discussion.”

Having identified the differences, it was soon clear in discussion that the overall installation was all about collaboration and commonality. It was a process that, as mentioned by Kilburn, started out as a competition; a call to arms for three design studios to compete and establish who could come up with the best workplace solution. However, not long after being presented with the brief and exploring initial ideas, the conversation soon developed from one of competition into one of teamwork – and this ethos was a positive note that sounded throughout the discussion.

There was, as already mentioned, a clear theme or key word which emerged out of this discussion; flexibility. The need for flexible spaces and flexible design, to accommodate flexible purpose and mood. Coming out of the pandemic, lines and boundaries have been blurred as our personal spaces have had to be more multi-functional. We are now projecting those experiences onto what we want from public and hospitality spaces, specifically when it comes to design requirements around our co-working space. All three designers discussed at length the need for the need for that concept of flexibility to be applied to the design process as much as to the design itself. People have had to find the ‘space’ at home for work, play and wellness, and now expect hotels to deliver the same. A successful co-working space is about more than providing a socket to charge your phone, people are demanding a place that allows them to be creative, to work, to be responsive.

Tina Norden, Balkaran Bassan and Vince Stroop on stage at HIX

Image caption: Balkaran Bassan, Tina Norden and Vince Stroop were on the HIX Talks stage last week, explaining how their WFHotel concepts developed. Image credit: HIX

Another key theme of this discussion was that, along with the spirit of partnership, there developed an understanding of what we have in common rather than differences, so while on the surface the studios offered three very different design solutions, there was, as discussed by Tina Norden, Conran and Partners, “the red thread that ran through the designs”. The points the installations had in common were as important as their differences, and in fact ideally, aspects of all were required for a successful WFHotel space. The singularity of purpose, that red thread, strengthened the individual designs as they all presented us with different aspects of that flexible new space.

All three designs brought something different into the mix and highlighted the different elements that are required when we are looking critically at hotel design for tomorrow, a tomorrow which is rapidly becoming today. As with a lot of subjects, the questions around co-working spaces and design requirements where already happening before society got locked down, but Covid-19 and the ensuing shifts in society have accelerated this discussion. The WFHotels installation can therefore be seen as a starting point, and possibly even a challenge to start thinking more critically. As Bassan, succinctly put it, these installations should be seen as “conceptual thought bubbles,” that float into other conversations rather than a prescriptive solution.

The entire installation was described by stroop design as a “palette cleanser” from the main exhibition hall – it was a place to decompress after the hard sell of the main event where people where visually vying for space. In this space it was palpably quieter, and a lot calmer. There was a sense of community and common purpose, yet within that there remained space for so many different threads to be followed and discussions to be had.

If it was about creating an experience, then the circle of life swathed in fabric by Areen Design certainly did that, and as you walked into and quietly took time to explore the folds of fabric, you were confronted with the words of Haruki Murakami; “you won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm is all about”

The storm isn’t over, and the world is certainly not the same, but the conversation about what that means for the industry is certainly taking place as we try and work out exactly what the storm is all about. Hopefully, we are able to take back the narrative, and ensure that with some conscious and considered design we can somehow  charge the conversation with an increased positivity and energy.

And the suppliers…

The designers have expressed their sincere gratitude to the companies that and people who helped them throughout this process (and in some instances at very last minute) to achieve each their visual goals. Below is a nod to those brands; the often forgotten or at the very least, under-amplified, manufacturers that are vital part of the puzzle.

Conran and Partners: Alt Collective, Table Place Chairs, Matter of Stuff, Foresso, Fredericia, Carl Hansen & Son, Double Decker, Tomoko Kakita, Muuto
Areen Design: Alt Collective, Table Place Chairs, The Romo Group, Villa Nova, Latham Timber
stroop design: Technogym London, Elite Wallcovering by Article, Leaflike, Gubi, Ligne Roset, Astro Lighting, Romo Fabrics, Solid Surfaces, The Alt Collective, The Sunbeam Group

Main image credit: HIX

Exterior of Amada Colossos Resort

Amada Colossos Resort – large in size, made personal by design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Amada Colossos Resort – large in size, made personal by design

To understand whether or not a hotel on a ‘colossos’ scale can still create a boutique look and feel, editor Hamish Kilburn travelled to the Greek island of Rhodes – known as the Island of Sun – to check in to the 699-key Amada Colossos Resort

Exterior of Amada Colossos Resort

The most eastern Greek island – just 12 miles from Turkey, which can be seen vividly from the Old Town – Rhodes has become famous among tourists for its medieval city, which is twice the size of Dubrovnik; fascinating architecture; stone-paved alleys and beautiful, untouched natural landscape.

In recent years, due to its easy accessibility from the UK and wider Europe, the island has become somewhat of a tourism hotspot. In 2018, it was reported by Statista that Rhodes had 49,451 hotel rooms, the second largest reported figure among the Greek islands that year.

Among them is the beachfront Amada Colossos Resort, where, on the eastern coast, early risers during the small hours of the morning can capture the moment the Mediterranean Sea meets a bubble-gum pink sky as the sun starts to emerge on the edge of the horizon – a much welcome change of scenery from the craggy, grey autumn I left behind in England.

Since 1980, when the hotel first emerged as a 408-key hotel, it has evolved into several new chapters thanks to a series of renovations. Nothing, though, was quite as impressive or dramatic as than the €50m reconstruction and redevelopment project in 2017, which was implemented by architecture studio F. & K. KYDONIATIS & PARTNERS and completed in 2018.

Exterior image of Amada Colossos Resort

Image credit: Amada Colossos Resort

Aris Soulounias, Colossos SA CEO, a veteran and experienced hotelier, had the vision to create a resort that would offer, through a spectrum of locally inspired and meticulously selected details, a ‘modern philosophy of luxurious seafront holiday’; an irresistible combination of five-star living and authentic Greek hospitality.

Landscaped to blend into its natural setting, the hotel now shelters no less than 699 guestrooms (varying from 17 styles), all decorated in natural materials with a contemporary twist. To cater for the number of guests, the hotel features 16 bars and restaurants that are dotted throughout the resort, a 140-metre outdoor pool and even its own water park. The challenge, therefore, for the wide team at F. & K. KYDONIATIS & PARTNERS was to maintain a cohesive design narrative throughout – and this required a sensitive yet personal approach.

Inside one of the 32 sea-view suites, guests enter to a sense of calm, which, in one of the 12 Sea-View Executive Suites, is enhanced by the floor-to-ceiling balcony doors that frame an enchanted vista of endless sea, which is complimented by the colour scheme that includes punches of turquoise and blue.

Guestroom with handmade headboard inside Amada Colossos Resort - Sea View Executive Suite_2

Image credit: Amada Colossos Resort

Clever use of cove lighting aptly elevates the space, while also blurring any potential hard boundaries. Blended together with natural materials, such as a handcrafted wooden headboard from Bali and walls that have been painted with a modern lime wash effect to create a natural tone and texture, the suite feels earthy yet spacious, complete with a contemporary walk-in wardrobe, framed with LED strip lighting, a large living area, a luxurious bedroom and a balcony that stretches the entire width of the suite.

The bathroom, meanwhile, complete with Ideal Standard taps and shower fittings, is beyond simply a practical space. A large window, with panel-controlled blinds, allows natural light and a cohesive design style to flood into the space, as well as opening up yet another opportunity for guests to soak in the unmatched view of the sea below. “The first question was how to bring water into the building,” architect Konstantinos Kydoniatis tells Hotel Designs. “We opened up the bathrooms to give a feeling of more space and tried to orientate everything towards the sea. When visitors arrive, they will understand that they have come very close to the sea. That you can see the sea from many parts of the resort. That you can touch it.”

Bathroom inside Amada Colossos Resort Sea View Family Room (With sliding doors)

Image credit: Amada Colossos Resort

It would be easy with a hotel as large as Amada Colossos Resort for its design language to be muted or overshadowed by its size. However, like many answers in design, the solution came in the form of art. Throughout the hotel, guests will notice abstract sculptures and art pieces that reflect the property’s sense of location. Taking the art narrative deeper, I am told that in fact all the art sheltered within the building had been commissioned by Ms. Roula Soulounia, who was instrumental in the interior design process and the selection of the artworks adorning Elite Collections Suites and Villas as well as resort’s premises.

Sustainability fit to scale

Don’t let the hotel’s size fool you Despite its scale, the Amada Colossos’ commitment to sustainability is refreshing. Going much further than simply banning plastic straws – although the hotel has taken the liberty to introduce 450,000 pasta straws – decisions such as installing energy-efficient windowpanes, heat-recovery chillers to reduce energy costs of air conditioning units, prove that the hotel is, from its foundations, a non-greenwashing, sustainable core.

In addition, the outside walls have been fitted with an external thermal insulation composite system and all interior walls have been painted with European Eco-Label paints. The hotel also used 40,000 metres of energy-saving LED tape around the premises (just another 295 metres and it would have completed a marathon). Around the resort, a total of 14,000 low-energy LED bulbs have been fitted, and by introducing reverse osmosis and nanofiltration technology, not only is the tap water in rooms and common areas drinkable, but guests save 450g of CO2 emissions (equivalent to six km of driving) by consuming their three-litre daily water quota.

Outside, the landscaping has been done with local Mediterranean plants, minimising irrigation needs.

Sunrise image of pool at Amada Colossus in Rhodes

Image credit: Amada Colossos Resort

As an added touch, screens in the lifts reference these sustainable milestones, which ensure the message around conscious hospitality is being heard loud and clearly, without it feeling too forced.

The real power of F&B 

And now we come to the real answer on how a large hotel can indeed still shelter an apt boutique look and feel. The power of F&B has long been explored in the arena of hospitality, but nowhere can it set different scenes than in a large resort, and often it is the make or break moment of whether a hotel will cater for modern demand travellers. In charge of the main restaurant as well as three á-la-carte restaurants (Greek, Italian and Asian) is Executive Chef Konstantinos Vasileious, who along with his committed team ensure that the hotel’s extensive menus hit the notes, which they do precisely in every dish.

The three á-la-carte restaurants are positioned next to each other, but could not be more different in their design. The Greek restaurant appropriately feels more like a Greek house than a hospitality establishment, with authentic artwork and ceilings made from used crates. The Italian restaurant, meanwhile, features a beautiful tiled floor and orb-like lighting with matt black and wooden furniture to reflect a contemporary image. Lastly, the Asian restaurant has been designed with a sharp eye to feature Asian-inspired lighting that plays on different textures.

Asian-inspired F&B outlet in hotel in Rhodes

Image credit: Amada Colossos Resort

If trends are to be believed, with travellers expected to journey deeper and for longer in the future, hotels such as Amada Colossos Resort have the ability, flexibility and space to offer something for almost everyone. As I check out – turning over my shoulder to capture the postcard-perfect view one last time – I feel confident to conclude that the owners and management team behind this hotel work tirelessly and effectively, through design as well as service, to ensure that each guest’s experience is unique, comfortable and memorable – you don’t get much more boutique than that.

Main image credit: Amada Colossos Resort

Ocean Drive Madrid hotel with pool and roof terrace in the heart of madrid

OD Hotels set to open its first hotel in Madrid

730 565 Pauline Brettell
OD Hotels set to open its first hotel in Madrid

Ocean Drive Madrid, a new design led boutique hotel under the OD Hotels brand, will be opening right in the heart of Spains capital city in February 2022, allowing guests to truly connect to the location. Pauline Brettell steps off the Plaza, and into the lobby to have a closer look…

Ocean Drive Madrid hotel with pool and roof terrace in the heart of madrid

Ocean Drive Madrid, like its sister hotels under the OD Hotels brand in Ibiza, Mallorca, and Barcelona, strives to truly connect its guests to the location they are staying in. Situated in Plaza de Isabel II, in front of the Opera Palace, and only a few steps from the Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol and Gran Vía, means guests are in the heart of the action in Spain’s capital city, and just a short walk from the well-known neighbourhoods of La Latina, Huertas, Los Austrias, Malasaña or Chueca.

mediterranean colours with blue accents in hotel lobby at Ocean Drive Madrid

Image credit: OD Hotels

Contemporary design, elegant architecture and a Mediterranean colour palette are present throughout the hotel’s 72 guestrooms. This style continues in the airy and bright reception area, the lobby bar, and the lively restaurant with its garden terrace, where natural materials and design-focused furniture bring the social space, for both guests and locals, to life. Each OD Hotel has its own OD Sky Bar, and Madrid is no exception, with a swimming pool and terrace where guests can sip cocktails and admire the city views.

roof terrace with pool at ocean drive madrid

Image credit: OD Hotels

The hotel’s sensitive design has been created by the architectural studio of Victor Rahola and interior designer Mayte Matutes. This design is also complemented by the most advanced and sustainable technology drawing on bioclimatic measures to achieve the maximum reduction in energy demand. As a result of this combination of design and technology, the hotel was recognised in the Re-Think 2019 awards as the best project in sustainability and hotel rehabilitation in Spain.

Guests will love retreating from the city to the contemporary bedrooms, which feature full-height windows, Bower & Wilkins speakers, design classics like the Eames LCW chair, a desk, and some have their own balconies. A selection of rooms also have unique features like a record player with vinyl records, a photo printer, and a beer tap. Those choosing a corner Deluxe room, will also delight in the in-suite Taschen library for design and culture-inspired reading.

A knowledgeable concierge team will ensure the best experience in the city, connecting guests with the top places to eat, drink, shop and discover. The city is also brought into the hotel with OD’s own events, which are popular with locals and guests alike, and make it a vibrant place to be all year round. Choices like Burger Meets Gin, is a regular afterwork event with delicious burgers, premium Gin & Tonics and music from DJs or live performances; Hello Sundays! with its vinyl market and workshops; or Painting & Wine, which sees painting courses with local artists accompanied by a glass of wine. Ocean Drive Madrid will also offer spaces for co-working for guests and locals.

Drawing on their experience of hosting their own events, Ocean Drive Madrid is well equipped to arrange a wide range of private events, from large corporate launches to intimate dinners. The combination of multipurpose spaces, personalised service, technology and an ethos of always saying ‘Yes’ makes for a very successful private event.

Ocean Drive Madrid is part of the OD Hotels group, which owns six hotels in the most significant and attractive areas in the Mediterranean – Ibiza (Ocean Drive Ibiza, Ocean Drive Talamanca and Can Jaume by Ocean Drive), Mallorca (Ocean Drive Port Portals) and Barcelona (Ocean Drive Barcelona); Madrid (Ocean Drive Madrid), and an international opening is planned soon for the French Côte d’Azur (Saint Tropez).

Main image credit: OD Hotels

Rooftop render of hotel in Covent Garden

Berlin comes to London: AMANO to open new hotel in 2022

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Berlin comes to London: AMANO to open new hotel in 2022

The German boutique lifestyle hotel brand, The AMANO Group, announced it will open its debut hotel in London in 2022. Hotel AMANO Covent Garden promises to bring the cool and vibrant energy of Berlin to the heart of London. Here’s what else we know…

Rooftop render of hotel in Covent Garden

Located on Covent Garden’s Drury Lane, a luxury hotel will emerge next year marking the first international destination from Berlin-based hotel brand, The AMANO Group, which currently has eight hotels in Berlin, one in Munich, and one in Düsseldorf.

Render of exterior of AMANO Covent GardenAMANO hotels offer sophisticated urban living in a central location at a fair price, and are carefully integrated into the cultural life of a city. Extrovert by nature and unafraid to be different, the hotels are renowned for their distinctive design and immersive drinks and dining experiences.

Formerly a 1980s office building known as Drury House, this 141-room property is the first of multiple AMANO hotels set to open in London. Hotel AMANO Covent Garden will offer a new destination for Londoners to socialise in, as well as visitors coming to the city. Here you’ll find a basement bar, restaurant, sky bar and rooftop terrace with impressive city views and DJs spinning music on weekends.

Throughout the property, we are being told to expect dark moody tones and unique design features, which have been imagined by London-based design studio, Woods Bagot, the lead architect and interior designer behind the new opening.

Render of luxury lobby in AMANO's first hotel in the UK

Image credit: The AMANO Group

“As a Berlin-based company, opening our first international property in London was always a natural step for us,” said Ariel Schiff, Co-founder of The AMANO Group. “Like Berlin, London is a dynamic city known for its thriving nightlife and multicultural community. We felt the spirit of the AMANO brand would blend in well here. We’re excited to offer guests a unique hotel and leisure experience, bringing a taste of Berlin to London.”

With a wealth of tourist hotspots on its doorstep, like the recently renovated Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Hotel AMANO Covent Garden will make a great base for solo and business travellers, couples, and families wanting to explore the capital. Guests can choose from three room categories (cosy, comfy and roomy) to suit a range of budgets.

Watch this space.

Main image credit: The AMANO Group

Orange couch and indoor plants at Beckett Locke hotel

Lifestyle brand Locke opens second hotel in Dublin

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Lifestyle brand Locke opens second hotel in Dublin

Set to become a new hub for culture and entertainment in the city Beckett Locke brings its home-meets-hotel concept to the centre of Dublin’s thriving docklands area…

Orange couch and indoor plants at Beckett Locke hotel

As a brand that isn’t prepared to waste time procrastinating, Locke is seriously catching up to – dare we say ‘taking over from’ – the conventional lifestyle brands that have for decades dominated the international hotel design scene. Following the launch of Zanzibar Locke, which was hotel brand’s first property to emerge outside of the UK, the stylish brand has now opened its second hotel in Dublin.

Tucked behind the 3Arena, Beckett Locke is a 241-studio aparthotel, which aims to inspire and connect travellers through mindful design, activated social spaces, a locally led cultural programme and disruptive food and drink concepts that celebrate the character and social fabric of its locality.

Set around a naturally lit atrium, Beckett Locke features a neighbourhood co-working space, artisan coffee shop, restaurant and intimate cocktail bar in addition to meeting and event space for up to 100 people. Beckett Locke’s beautifully designed apartments (which range from 23sqm to 53sqm) each feature fully-fitted kitchens, as well as living and dining space, making them suitable for short, medium, and long stays.

“We are thrilled to open Beckett Locke, our second home in Dublin, and the third international property in the Locke family,” said Stephen Mccall, CEO of Locke’s parent company edyn. “Dublin has always been an important city for us, and we’re excited to bring Locke’s distinctive and vibrant personality to the rapidly expanding Docklands area. The Locke experience ranges from cultural programming to creative partnerships and our ambition is to establish Beckett Locke as a creative hub for guests and locals alike.”

Designed by the London studio of globally renowned design firm AvroKO in collaboration with local firm C+W O’Brien Architects, the interiors of Beckett Locke take their cue from Dublin’s maritime history and the Docklands’ deep industrial heritage. The layout of the social spaces are inspired by a traditional Docklands market hall, and include a co-working area, meeting rooms, cocktail bar, coffee shop and restaurant, all set around a central glass atrium. The assimilation of local narratives flows into the apartments, which feature black steel, exposed concrete and rust-coloured soft furnishings, which evoke the intrepid colourways and history of the Docklands. Unique to Beckett Locke, each studio apartment has been designed in-house by edyn Development Studio.

glass walls and wooden table provide contrasting surfaces at Beckette locke hotel

Image credit: Beckett Locke

The hotel also houses three new food and drink concepts by Alan Clancy’s native restaurant group, NolaClan. North 7th Coffee will fuel the co-working space from the early morning and throughout the day, serving artisan coffee, delicate pastries, and hearty sandwiches. Meanwhile, The Belis restaurant will offer a contemporary Irish take on classic dishes using freshly sourced ingredients. Nestled in a decadent theatre-like setting, complete with rich red velvets and draped chain canopy, Sam’s Corner will shake up handcrafted cocktails inspired by Beckett Locke’s namesake, playwright Samuel Beckett.

Beckett Locke will also host an evolving cultural activation programme where locals and guests can participate in talks, events and workshops hosted by local businesses and creatives. This will be complemented by an evolving cultural activation series, which will invite local creatives, brands, and businesses to host talks, workshops and events.

Locke’s hybrid ‘home-meets-hotel’ concept has proven popular among guests seeking flexible accommodation for a night, to a month or longer. Each apartment provides the space and comfort of home, which includes fully fitted kitchens, adaptable living areas where guests can dine or work, and ample storage, all with industry-leading design and guest experience at its core. This is combined with the social attributes of a lifestyle hotel, including buzzy co-working spaces, original food and drink concepts and a team of local house hosts.

Main image credit: Beckett Locke

palm trees and swimming pool at quinta do largo

Diving into the spirit of the Algarve at Quinta do Lago

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Diving into the spirit of the Algarve at Quinta do Lago

It’s all about the weather and wellness – sustainability and sunshine – in this corner of Portugal. Pauline Brettell checks in to The Magnolia Hotel to explore all that is on offer at the Quinta do Lago resort, where the natural beauty of the Ria Formosa Park combines seamlessly with contemporary design…

palm trees and swimming pool at quinta do largo

The Ria Formosa Natural Park in Portugal forms part of the protected coastal lagoon, which provides the context and backdrop to the Quinta do Lago, resort, and has been key to informing its commitment to sustainability and the environment, on all levels, throughout the resort – from critically assessing its landscaping and golf course management, to developing a culture of farm-to-table that has permeated all of the resort restaurants. The resort makes it clear that luxury can be sustained by sourcing locally, and integrating the local landscape rather than superimposing a resort onto it, and this is key to the ethos of luxury behind Quinta do Largo.

In the heart of the resort is The Magnolia Hotel – a stylish, family friendly boutique hotel designed by London-based Bryan O’Sullivan Studio, and modelled on the iconic motel designs reminiscent of Palm Springs. Driving through the entrance punctuated by the retro swimmer diving through the air, lit up in equally retro neon, the mood is set.

“The pool at its centre looks like it has been lifted straight out of one of David Hockney’s Pool series of paintings.”

There are bright sorbet colours as guests walk in nods to Hockney on the walls, and an abundance of palm trees that all contribute to the feeling of laid-back motel living with a note of luxury. The pool at its centre looks like it has been lifted straight out of one of David Hockney’s Pool series of paintings with its tiled reflections of the surrounding palm trees, and forms the focal point of the hotel, inviting you to dive straight into your holiday. Quality and comfort are the backbone to the vibrant and relaxed décor of this design, which is made up of a combination of 74 comfortable guestrooms, and a further seven vintage style cabins. The focus throughout is on laid back comfort, teamed with quality, along with a focus on wellness that runs throughout the resort. This wellness focus has been integrated on every level of design, from the bicycles at your disposal, to the Sleep Hub in your bedroom – I must confess to getting a little addicted to the sounds of waves crashing on my bedside table!

While The Magnolia Hotel is all about creating a relaxed family zone, the Reserva is a low-rise, cutting edge development made up of 26 luxury apartments. Designed by Portuguese architect João Cabrita, each unit has its own swimming pool, with panoramic sea views framed in a modernist composition of glass and natural stone. The Reserva complex remains true to the original plan of the resort with its low density design that is ecologically driven by its location on the edge of such striking natural scenery.

With wellness being the cornerstone to the entire resort, its state-of-the-art, multi-sports complex, The Campus, is an integral part of the experience, on both a design and a facilities level. The Campus is not simply about getting a bit of exercise in on your holiday, it is also about the lifestyle attached to that. The facilities are geared towards professionalism and performance, and are perfect for everyone, from high energy kids on holiday, right through to professional athletes needing to train in recovery, and pretty much everything in-between. For me, it was simply about a wonderful outdoor yoga session in the late summer sunshine, followed by a few laps in the comfortably heated pool.

state of the art sports centre

Image credit: Quinta do Lago

You can’t, of course, escape the golf course culture as you head down to the Algarve, as it is key to the hotel industry there. Importantly, Quinta do Lago has spent time looking critically at how their state of the art courses are impacting on the local landscape, and where possible, making improvements to minimise their impact. I am no golfer, so it was all about admiring the landscaping and negotiating the buggy for me, but if I was tempted to pick up a club or two, this would be the place to do it! The credentials and awards speak for themselves, as the South course on Quinta features regularly in Top 100 golf courses of Europe lists, and has also been awarded best golf course in Portugal on more than one occasion!

One thing is certain (and this is a subject I feel a little more qualified to offer an opinion on than golf), guests won’t be going hungry during their stay here! The resort is home to a wealth – 13 in total if I am sticking to the facts – of restaurants. Each one a signature aesthetic and ambience, created by different design teams appropriate to the concept. Again, design is considered in every nook, from craft-led crockery to locally sourced finishes.

japanese restaurant with jellyfish sculpture

Image credit: Laura Caroco

No where is the resort’s ethos of sustainability clearer than in the F&B experiences, as it is clear that all the chefs and their teams are passionate about sourcing and using local produce. On your way to your morning tee off you go right past the Quinta farm where chefs and gardeners collaborate to grow and develop fresh seasonal produce for all the restaurants.

We ended our stay at Quinta do Lago with an intricately crafted tasting menu at the Michelin-recommended Casa Velha. The attention to detail and the passion that head chef Alipio Branco puts into both the produce and the presentation, epitomises the ethos of the resort. The menu is inspired by the surrounding Ria Formosa as are the plates and bowls on which they are served, all sourced from local artisans and craft people, who, like all the designers and architects of this resort, take their inspiration from the dunes and the waterways of the estuary.

wooden boardwalk crossing natural lagoon at Quinto do Lago beach

Image credit: Quinto do Lago

“Sometimes when you look at a property you have an instant view of what you are going to do,” explains Andre Jordan, the man behind the idea that was to become Quinta do Lago, “I had to drive along trails and through pine woods until I came to a high point overlooking it, with the ocean on the horizon. Within 10 minutes I had the concept for the whole project in my mind. I wanted to create a high quality resort that reflected local character and style.” It is this idea of remaining a part of, while safeguarding, the local landscape that does in fact set Quinta do Lago apart. With the Ria Formosa running through it, and the strong sense of community as its foundation, Quinta do Lago has established itself as a leader in the world of low impact, luxury real estate, incorporating considered design at every turn.

Main image credit: Quinta do Lago

The Brit List Awards in Pictures

In pictures: Inside The Brit List Awards 2021

730 565 Pauline Brettell
In pictures: Inside The Brit List Awards 2021

The winners of The Brit List Awards 2021 were announced last night, inside a spectacular setting. The evening, which included more than 500 designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and brands, was full of glamour and a fair amount of glitter. Pauline Brettell and editor Hamish Kilburn were at the centre of the action to capture the atmosphere inside the awards ceremony…

The Brit List Awards in Pictures

Surrounded by the design, energy and vintage glamour of the roaring ’20s, London’s famous cabaret venue, PROUD Embankment, was a fitting platform for The Brit List Awards 2021 – an awards ceremony, unlike any other, that focused on and celebrated the individuals who are moving design, architecture and hospitality into the new ‘roaring ‘20s’.

Much like the 1920’s, there is an energy that this decade is harnessing, coming out of a period of disquiet and uncertainty, which feels like it is mirroring that same positivity of the era – a chapter in design and hospitality that was characterised by economic growth, accelerated consumer demand and saw the introduction of new trends in lifestyle and culture (sound familiar?). If those glamorous black-and-white photographs are to be believed, all this was done alongside the consumption of copious amounts of champagne – the parallels are clear.

2021 stands as the fourth year of The Brit List Awards, and this year felt significant, as we appreciate and rewarded all the creativity that surrounds us despite – or possibly because of – the year of enforced hibernation that has preceded the event. Importantly, this hibernation brought with it a healthy dose of introspection, as the industry realigns and refocuses on design priorities and responsibilities that have become integral to the design and hospitality processes. Here at Hotel Designs we feel it is important to ensure that the social considerations facing the industry – sustainability, wellness and technology, for example –  don’t just become another strap line, but are instead a continuing part of the discussion and debate. We hope this has been mirrored, in part, by the award categories.

Choosing last night’s venue at PROUD Embankment as a place of performance and celebration, was a deliberate coincidence, as Editor Hamish Kilburn explained in his opening address. “Proud,” he said, ” a relevant emotion that I sincerely hope you are all feeling right now as we gather, scarred and not broken, to celebrate the UK remaining an international design and hospitality hub.” And he was right, pride was bursting from the audience because darling… life is a cabaret, and although it may feel like we have been through a protracted intermission, the takeaway from last nights ceremony is that the main performance is about to begin!

> Since you’re here, why not read the winners’ story from The Brit List Awards 2021?

While the awards ceremony was about celebrating excellence, it was also a much-needed coming together of an industry that evolves through collaboration, craft and creativity. The event was a ‘who’s who’ – and our photographer was on the floor to capture what happened behind the red curtain. Right on cue, following the announcement of the winners, here are the obligatory social snaps from the from The Brit List Awards 2021.

The Brit List Awards will return in 2022, with applications and nominations remaining free. More information will be available shortly.

Main image credit: The Brit List Awards 2021

A contemporary suite with brushed gold lighting and bath in room

Sneak peek inside ME Barcelona

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Sneak peek inside ME Barcelona

Meliá Hotels International has announced the Spanish brand’s first five-star hotel opening in Barcelona in more than a decade, with the 164-key ME Barcelona set to open on November 25, 2021. Pauline Brettell went behind closed doors to have a look inside…

A contemporary suite with brushed gold lighting and bath in room

Situated in the heart of Barcelona, on the elegant Passeig de Gràcia, ME Barcelona is one of the city’s most anticipated openings of 2021 as it brings with it the brands trademark contemporary luxury, while taking inspiration from its exclusive location. The hotel, comprising of 164 guestrooms and luxurious suites spread over 14 floors, is completed with a statement rooftop patio and pool on the eighth floor that opens onto its distinctive skyline with iconic views of Plaça Catalunya and La Sagrada Familia. The new ME hotel is set to combine innovation, local art, music and technology in an exciting new space, inviting guests in to experience the local scene through its cultural programme, and exclusive bespoke experiences.

contemporay design in natural tones with yellow accents at Me Barcelona

Image credit: ME Barcelona

“ME Barcelona represents a step forward for ME by Meliá, along with recent major openings such as the stunning ME Dubai, the work of the late architect Zaha Hadid, and the exotic ME Cabo,” says Alba Bustamante, Global Brand Marketing Director of ME by Meliá. “All these hotels have consolidated, at an international level, the new definition of contemporary luxury close to the art and culture of the brand.”

Keeping clearly focussed on its design ethos, ME Barcelona is home to interior pieces by globally renowned designers that include Ronan & Ewan Bouroullec, Patricia Urquiola and Jaime Hayón. The stylish rooms feature neutral tones with yellow hues, clean lines, and large windows illuminating the space, all accentuated by the bright translucent bathrooms. Each guestroom presents bespoke details – from the decorative glass bottles, a design classic made by Josep Ma Jujol, Antonio Gaudí’s close collaborator, and the Oscar Tusquets tables, to the suspended bedside lamps and the vibrant Roll Club armchairs by Patricia Urquiola for Kettal. Every detail of the hotel has been thoughtfully considered and inspired by Barcelona’s love of design.

Aside from its design credentials, ME Barcelona also brings with it a unique and diverse culinary offering in the shape of BELBO, a unique space that includes three restaurants for a delicious and exclusive gastronomic experience. Terrenal, the flagship restaurant will serve dishes created with local produce; Luma is set to become a temple for the Barcelona cocktail scene; while Fasto will be a new setting to indulge in unconventional and unforgettable Italian cuisine.

The hotel has also collaborated with Manuel de la Garza, founder of Égoïste Spa, to curate a Spa and wellness centre which reflects a philosophy focused on personalisation, pampering, and luxury, where guests and visitors will enjoy tailored treatments. This oasis of wellness offers a wide range of treatments which blend ancient traditions with the most sophisticated beauty and wellness techniques. Keeping the focus on guests health and wellbeing, the hotel also has a gym with the latest Technogym equipment.

state of the art gym in ME Barcelona

Image credit: ME Barcelona

Incorporating both wellness and sustainability into the overall design was important, and ME Barcelona maintains the sustainability commitments of the brand ME as part of Meliá  Hotels International’s portfolio. As part of this commitment, ME Barcelona has consciously opted for auto-sufficient energy and renewable sources, which means the hotel will produce the entirety of its hot water supply, the rooftop pool will be heated by the same method during the winter season, and solar panels will provide the hotel’s energy, ultimately reducing the environmental impact and minimising its carbon footprint.

The clear design vision of ME Barcelona has been inspired by its location as well as the design history and energy of the city, combining contemporary art with innovative design, through the architectural work of Barcelona studio FITARQ as well as the interior design concepts and development of Mur Arquitectos and ASAH. This collaboration has transformed and created a new property and modern design that maintains all the brand hallmarks of ME.

Main image credit: ME Barcelona

The Brit List Awards 2021 Winners story

Winners of The Brit List Awards 2021 unveiled

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Winners of The Brit List Awards 2021 unveiled

On November 3, The Brit List Awards 2021 welcomed more than 500 interior designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers when it took over London’s famous cabaret venue, PROUD Embankment, for an awards ceremony unlike any other, which crowned nine individual winners and celebrated the UK remaining a leading international hotel design and hospitality hub…

The Brit List Awards 2021 Winners story

Hotel Designs’ annual nationwide search to find the top designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers operating in Britain came to a dramatic climax on November 3, when more than 500 of the industry’s top names came together at PROUD Embankment for a night of celebration, timeless glamour and frivolous fun: The Brit List Awards 2021 – the awards ceremony had arrived.

“Welcome to PROUD,” roared editor Hamish Kilburn who hosted the awards ceremony, “a relevant emotion that I sincerely hope you are all feeling right now as we gather, scarred and not broken, to celebrate the UK remaining a leading international hotel design and hospitality hub.”

The shortlist, which was unveiled in September, included the names of 130 individuals and projects – the most finalists in the campaign’s history – across nine categories. From here, the judges whittled down the not-so-short shortlist in order to confidently decide this year’s winners.

Following Publisher Katy Phillips and Kilburn’s opening addresses, the evening was divided into two sections. Following tradition, first came the formal unveiling of The Brit List 2021the official publication, produced by Hotel Designs, which includes the profiles of the top 25 interior designers, architects and hoteliers who are a operating in Britain.

In addition the individual awards, The Brit List 2021 can be read here.

The event then continued, with the event’s partners and sponsored invited on stage to announce each winner.

And the winners are… 

INTERIOR DESIGNER OF THE YEAR

The Brit List Awards winner Tina Norden and Maximilian Hotel in Prague

Highly Commended: Geraldine Dohogne, Founder, Beyond Design
Winner: Tina Norden, Partner, Conran and Partners

ARCHITECT OF THE YEAR 

Mark Bruce, Architect of the Year 2021 and a render of NoMad London

Highly Commended: Mark Kelly, Partner, PLP Architecture
Winner: Mark Bruce, Director, EPR Architects

HOTELIER OF THE YEAR 

THE PIG guestroom and Robin Hutson, Hotelier of the Year 2021

Highly Commended: Olivia Richli, General Manager, Heckfield Place 
Winner: Robin Hutson, Founder, THE PIG Hotels

BEST IN TECH

L11 Tuneable white light engine by Franklite

Highly Commended: Sonance audio systems
Winner: L11 Tuneable white light engine, Franklite

THE ECO AWARD

Two seperate images of beds from Silentnight Group

Highly Commended: The Global Collection, manfucatured by Mosa Tiles (supplied by CTD Architectural Tiles)
Winner: Silentnight Group Hospitality

BEST IN BRITISH PRODUCT DESIGN

Close up and lifestyle shot of the Metamorphis collection by The Monkey Puzzle Tree

Highly Commended: Hypnos Contract Beds
Winner: The Metamorphosis collection, The Monkey Puzzle Tree

THE RISING STAR AWARD

A design moodboard and image of Sophie Sheppard, The Rising Star Award winner of 2021

Highly Commended: Matthew Maganga, University of Kent
Winner: Sophie Sheppard, Junior Designer, Concorde BGW Group

THE INTERNATIONAL AWARD

Bill Bensley, Founder, BENSLEY, winner of International Awards, The Brit List Awards 2021

Highly Commended: noa* network of architecture 
Winner: Bill Bensley, Founder, BENSLEY

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY

Design-led kitchen and Ariane Steinbeck, winner at The Brit List Awards 2021

Winner: Ariane Steinbeck

> Since you’re here, why not also view the ‘in pictures’ story from The Brit List Awards 2021?

Thank you to our Partners!

Headline Partner: Crosswater


luxury bedroom in neutral shades

Sneak peek inside One&Only Aesthesis

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Sneak peek inside One&Only Aesthesis

One&Only Aesthesis, the brand’s second hotel in Europe, is set to arrive on the Athenian coast and the seafront of Glyfada in June 2022. Melanie Guarda Ceccoli takes a look into the inspiration behind the resort…

luxury bedroom in neutral shades

After the announcement in May 2021 of the landing in Europe of One&Only Portonovi in ​​Montenegro, the expansion of the ultra-luxury brand, One&Only, in Europe continues with the development of One&Only Aethesis on the Athenian seafront.

In a 21-hectare seafront estate, within a six-hectare forest reserve, One&Only Aesthesis will be positioned a short distance from the capital and its most iconic sites, such as the Acropolis, the Parthenon, Syntagma Square and Cape Sounio. The resort, overlooking a 1,600-metre shoreline, will offer a statement beach club where guests and residents alike can gather and enjoy priceless views from sunrise to sunset.

Like all the brand’s properties, the hotel will guarantee maximum privacy, offering most of the accommodation in independent villas, all with private pools, perfect for couples or families. Among the accommodation solutions available, the iconic Villa One has set new standards in terms of exclusivity.

One&Only Aesthesis embodies the glamour of the Aegean, with 127 guestrooms, breathtaking suites, and private villas – all designed to frame the natural beauty of the Grecian coastline. The architecture pays homage to mid-century design with high ceilings, woven leather, muted tones, and accent patterns that embody the inherent beauty of a cosmopolitan Riviera.

Following the global partnership with Chenot, a leader in health and wellness, the resort will also host a Chenot Spa that will offer customised programs and cutting-edge treatments, scientifically designed to improve guests’ vitality and optimal health throughout the hotel. A state-of-the-art fitness centre, with both indoor and outdoor spaces, will complete the offer.

The news comes after Kerzner International Holdings Limited, the owner of the ultra-luxury One&Only Resorts and iconic Atlantis Resort & Residences brands worldwide, entered into a resort management agreement with Grivalia Hospitality S.A. “Kerzner International is very excited to be adding Athens to our European footprint,” commented Philippe Zuber, CEO, Kerzner International. “This exclusive beachfront location, just outside of the city centre of Athens is incredible; the perfect destination to begin, or end, any Greek adventure through the ultra-luxury experience of One&Only. We will reimagine the golden era of Athens, a celebration through life and energy that is true to our brand promise. We are executing our strategic growth and development of the One&Only brand globally, and excited to add another One&Only experience in Greece. Our partners, Grivalia, are leaders in Greek real estate investment and are committed to honouring the location and providing a legacy for the future.”

hotel dining room decorated in sage and cream palette

Image credit: One&Only Aesthesis

The resort is at the crossroads of Greek history and culture, from the Acropolis and Parthenon to Syntagma Square and Cape Sounio on the glamorous Athenian Riviera, with its exclusive beachfront of Glyfada. The resort is just moments away from the vibrant metropolis, yet is surrounded by endless blues and glistening islands dotting the horizon. A true paradise embodying Grecian heritage and authentic Athenian allure, the resort will be the perfect sanctuary, honouring the cosmopolitan sophistication of the ’60s and ’70s.

Inspired by the azure waters and the incredible natural surroundings, One&Only Aethesis aims to provide a modern Greek elegance, while at the same time looking to the past and  showcasing powerful elements dominant in Greek mythology like fire and water, carved from a palette of natural stone and timber. As with all One&Only properties, the resort will offer innovative programmes for families with children, whilst carefully preserving space for adults only as well.

Along with the emphasis on design and luxury, significant attention will be paid to the culinary proposal to give guests an immersive Greek experience through all the senses.

“Grivalia Hospitality is excited to revive a landmark site along the Athenian Riviera and join forces with Kerzner International for One&Only, a distinguished global leader in ultra-luxury hospitality,” commented George Chryssikos, Founder and Chairman, Grivalia Hospitality. “One&Only Aesthesis will be on one of Athens’s most iconic and cosmopolitan waterfront sites, originally designed by prominent Greek architects. From its development in the mid-1950s, the bungalows, the beach, and the club hosted both the local and international jet set. Upon completion, this contemporary hybrid city resort will become the unique high-end destination in the Mediterranean all year round.”

One&Only was created exclusively for the ultra-luxury market and conceived as a hallmark of excellence. With the continued evolution of the One&Only portfolio, this new resort will complement the existing award-winning resort collection, set in some of the most beautiful locations in the world.

> Since you are here, why not read about the One&Only One Za’abeel in Dubai.

Main image credit: One&Only Aesthesis

Image of design-led lobby inside The Socialist in Copenhagen

The Socialist: A new Tribute Portfolio hotel hits Copenhagen

730 565 Pauline Brettell
The Socialist: A new Tribute Portfolio hotel hits Copenhagen

Tribute Portfolio, Marriott Bonvoy’s collection of characterful, independent hotels, makes its debut in Scandanavia with the arrival of The Socialist, a new design-driven hotel in Copenhagen. Pauline Brettell takes a closer look inside…

Image of design-led lobby inside The Socialist in Copenhagen

The Socialist is a new addition to the Marriott Bonvoy collection and is located in the heart of Copenhagen. This boutique hotel is housed in a city landmark, a former transformer station. Its city-centre location gives guests direct access to the rich diversity the Danish capital has to offer, from shopping in Stroget to experiencing the attractions of Tivoli; the buzz of Vesterbro or the freedom of Christiana.

The urban boutique hotel is all about a vibrant social scene that is centred around its bar, restaurant, lounge and wine cellar, about creating a vibrant urban intersection, a place where ideas and perspectives meet, which is illustrated throughout the design. The hotel’s restaurant, Bobo Food Studio, headed up by visionary chef Boris Buono, serves up New Nordic cuisine with a focus on organic, local produce, while in the restaurant’s wine cellar, guests can enjoy small tasting plates accompanied by a stellar wine list.

Moody, dark restaurant inside The Socialist

Image credit: Image credit: Filipe Wiens

Lighting and sound is important throughout the design and has been considered in all areas of the hotel, from the dramatic industrial lobby lighting, through to an emphasis on both natural and focus lighting in the guestrooms and suites.

Image credit: Image credit: Filipe Wiens

Each of the 31 guestrooms and suites have been creatively designed as an expression of its urban environment. All of the rooms also feature modern touches of technology, including Dyson hairdryers and Nespresso coffee machines.

The Tribute Collection, now with more than 32 hotels in its portfolio, is all about independent design, and connections. With its attention to detail and design having been ‘created for and by Copenhagen’s’ creative community’, The Socialist is an exciting new addition to this collection.

Main image credit: Filipe Wiens

A green bedroom with luxury bed inside Rosewood Villa Magna

Inside Rosewood Villa Magna, the brand’s debut hotel in Spain

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside Rosewood Villa Magna, the brand’s debut hotel in Spain

Set in the heart of the Spanish capital city’s distinguished Salamanca district, the reimagined icon, now Rosewood Villa Magna, represents a milestone for the brand as well as Madrid’s hospitality landscape. Editor Hamish Kilburn takes a look inside…

A green bedroom with luxury bed inside Rosewood Villa Magna

In July this year, we released the news that the Rosewood Hotels and Resorts brand was to arrive in Spain, taking over the iconic Hotel Villa Magna in Madrid. Months later, and the brand hasn’t wasted any time at all – following a comprehensive refurbishment and redesign, Rosewood Villa Magna has officially opened.

Located on Madrid’s most coveted boulevard, Paseo de la Castellana, amidst the city’s finest shopping, dining and cultural attractions, the historic property has been a beloved local landmark since it originally opened in 1972, evoking a convivial spirit and charm that captivated visitors from both near and far. Newly infused with a dynamic design scheme that honours the original hotel and the vibrant city in which it sits while simultaneously incorporating contemporary style and comforts, as well as elevated amenities, world-class gastronomic experiences and an unmatched standard of service, the revived Rosewood Villa Magna has been carefully conceived to usher in a new phase of ultra-luxury hospitality to the city of Madrid and Spain at large.

facade of Rosewood Villa Magna in Madrid

Image credit: Rosewood Villa Magna

“At long last, we are thrilled to formally introduce Rosewood Villa Magna as Madrid’s most extraordinary place to stay, gather, dine and delight,” said Charles Morris, Managing Director of Rosewood Villa Magna. “Working together with our brilliant partners, we were careful to preserve the historical nature of the property, while at the same time adding a modern and residential design ethos and intuitive service style that is synonymous with the overarching Rosewood brand. It is a joy to be able to welcome visiting guests and the local community alike to join us as we celebrate this new beginning and the bright future ahead!”

“Madrid is the ideal destination for Rosewood to plant its flag in the beautiful country of Spain.” – Radha Arora, President of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts.

“With its thriving culture, rich history and robust art and culinary offerings, Madrid is the ideal destination for Rosewood to plant its flag in the beautiful country of Spain and we are especially thrilled to bring the brand to this dynamic city with the relaunch of the iconic Villa Magna hotel,” said Radha Arora, President of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts and co-chief development officer of Rosewood Hotel Group. “Rosewood Villa Magna is the latest demonstration of the brand’s guiding A Sense of Place philosophy: a transformation of a famed 19th century building into a contemporary gathering place designed for both travellers and residents, that further embraces the local surroundings in all aspects of the project from architecture to service to food and beverage experiences. We’re immensely proud to open our doors today and provide a new and discerning destination for our affluential explorers to enjoy.”

A team of talented designers completely refurbished Rosewood Villa Magna, showcasing a clear commitment to contemporary design, architecture, landscaping and art, while subsequently channeling the original spirit of the Anglada Palace, the 19th century building which was the first to occupy the hotel’s supreme site, as well as the original Villa Magna hotel.

Renowned Spanish architect Ramón de Arana led the remodel of the building’s striking façade and entryway into the hotel, adding a sense of grandeur to the arrival experience via a striking staircase and a pair of reflecting pools that draw attention to the centuries old, 30-meter-high cedar and carob trees adorning the property. The property’s iconic gardens have been transformed by prolific landscape designer Gregorio Marañón to underscore and maximise the privileged green spaces that the hotel enjoys in the heart of the city. A significant number of trees, bushes and plants, including species original to the old Anglada Palace, have been planted to create distinctive outdoor areas across the expansive grounds, many adorned with pergolas, sculptures, fountains and other furnishings to facilitate myriad settings in which to gather in groups or relax on one’s own. The robust assortment of leafy species further allows for the property to continuously evolve over time, as they adopt different chromatic tones in the different seasons of the year.

Revived interiors have been brought to life by Australian firm BAR Studio. The refreshed accommodations and public spaces pay homage to the original palace and hotel, securing a powerful sense of familiarity and nostalgia amongst legacy guests and local visitors, while infusing a new, contemporary character throughout the building that answers to the expectations of travellers today. True to Rosewood’s guiding A Sense of Place philosophy, wherein the destination inspires each element of the property, subtle references to traditional Spanish architecture, art, design and culture can be discovered through the patterns, fabrics, materials and colour palettes that comprise the hotel. Complemented by the use of stone, iron and glass materials across all of the different rooms, the result is a truly unique visual experience that sets the hotel apart from the existing hospitality landscape. The interior design is complimented by the hotel’s extensive art collection that has been selected and commissioned by English firm ArtLink. Many of the pieces serve to tell the stories of the fascinating personalities who walked the corridors of the original Anglada Palace, while others are reminiscent of Madrid’s overarching aesthetic and Spain’s signature fashions, including a standout, specially commissioned work by Jacky Puzey in the lobby.

Expertly designed to evoke the essence and sentiment of the Salamanca district’s finest private homes, the guestrooms, suites and signature suites are among the crown jewels of Rosewood Villa Magna. The 154 accommodations, consisting of 101 guestrooms, 49 suites and four signature suites, have been built to balance the ambiance of a contemporary Spanish villa with the signature aesthetic of the original Villa Magna hotel. The exterior of the façade frames each guestroom with an avant-garde touch, while inside, a chromatic colour palette provides a muted background to give preference to the room’s large windows overlooking the Paseo de la Castellana, allowing the striking views to take centre stage. The clean, simplistic style is blended with modern luxuries, including bath amenities by Maison Caulieres and the linens by Rivolta Carmignani, and a residential feel for the utmost in 21st century hospitality.

Nowhere is this expert design more evident than within the hotel’s signature suites. Named after and inspired by the original Anglada Palace, Anglada House is the hotel’s largest suite, located on the top floor and featuring two bedrooms, dedicated living and dining rooms, a private gym and sauna and an expansive private terrace. Also located on the top floor is Salamanca House, which includes a bedroom, living room, dining room, dressing room and full bathroom and can be combined with adjacent rooms to create up to a four-bedroom accommodation and the largest private terrace in the capital, stretching 140-square-metres.

The hotel’s four distinct dining outlets come together to create the city’s newest and most discerning destination for inspired culinary experiences, delightful to all palates, for all occasions. Each outlet and offering references local influences, with a focus on unmatched quality and service and menus committed to sustainability and the freshest ingredients. From authentic Spanish tapas on the terraces and in the gardens, to casual business lunches and post-work cocktails, to formal events and celebratory evenings out, there are countless opportunities for guests to enjoy exceptional food and beverage with friends and family.

Headlining the hotel’s food and beverage program as its signature restaurant, Amós is helmed by Michelin-starred chef Jesús Sánchez and is poised to quickly establish itself as a highlight of Madrid’s culinary landscape. The thoughtful interior design concept and accompanying terrace, brought to life by Spanish architect Alejandra Pombo, creates a space that is both stunningly special and supremely comfortable in which to enjoy an inspired menu that brings together the unique offerings of Northern Spain’s Navarre community and Cantabrian Sea. Revolving around an eye-catching open kitchen, Las Brasas de Castellana is the hotel’s all day dining destination, serving everything from classic tapas and small plates to more elaborate meals. The dedicated bar and lounge concept, Tarde, was meticulously designed to reflect the warmth and spirit of an English club through an elevated atmosphere that is equal parts cultivated, casual and cool.

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts currently manages 27 one-of-a-kind luxury hotels, resorts and residences in 16 countries, with 25 new properties under development, including hotels in destinations such as Amsterdam, Rome and Mexico City.

Main image credit: Rosewood Villa Magna

Aeon: A wellness hotel setting new standards in architecture & design

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Aeon: A wellness hotel setting new standards in architecture & design

Aeon is the latest wellness hotel concept that has been brought to life by the team at  noa* network of architecture. The 15-key hospitality development, which features a bold interior design scheme, is set into and inspired by the landscape of Italy’s South Tyrol region. Pauline Brettell explores… 

Designing the Aeon hotel, which shelters an innovative wellness concept that plays on striking architecture and thoughtful design, was all about connection and context for the architects and designers at noa* network of architecture. It was also about shifting and blurring lines, looking at the boundaries between inside and out – the visible and the invisible – between dream and reality. The studio’s use of colour in the interiors does exactly this; it creates divisions, yet blurs the lines. There is the feeling of standing firmly on the ground, while at the same time being able to touch the clouds.

The new wellness hotel, which completed in July 2021, is nestled between meadows and woodland and is defined by its panoramic views across the Italian countryside. The original build on a historic farm, comprised of an old inn, residential house, and traditional barn, has all been reimagined to become part of the next chapter of its history – and one in which the architecture and design studio has created the new framework that is the signature of Aeon.

“It would have been easy to simply go wild and focus on the famous ‘green meadow’. But we chose a different path.” – Christian Rottensteiner, architect, noa*.

From the very beginning, the 550-year-old farm was a source of inspiration for the development process of the project, with special consideration given to the views and vistas of the site. A gentle nod was made to its past through the layout of the building units and the details, with the new buildings being consciously modelled on the existing structure. “The creation of an ambivalent tension between the centuries-old tradition of the rural complex and an exclusively modern statement was the basic principle underlying the design process,” explains Christian Rottensteiner, architect at noa*. “It would have been easy to simply go wild and focus on the famous ‘green meadow’. But we chose a different path: the design consists of freestanding structures that allow the landscape to flow through and become part of it. The result is two buildings, one hosting the public area with a reception, bistro, bar, and wellness area, while the other includes private areas with a total of 15 guest suites.”

At first glance, the buildings appear singular yet together they form a permeable courtyard context. However, there is an ingenious connection in the form of a hallway that elegantly vanishes under an artificially created hill, disappearing out of sight.

The two buildings that form the wellness hotel also relate directly with the existing structures in their design language. The use of traditional gable roofs, for example, as well as a very dynamic façade design with reinforcing slanted elements, replicate the design of the struts and brackets of the historically listed barn while translating them into a modern statement. This allows the facades to be perceived differently – depending on how one approaches the project. On one side, the east and west façades break strongly towards the outside, while in contrast, the north and south sides appear as a homogeneous envelope. The trapezoid windows are designed to catch the eye in a striking way, while the upper, slatted structure that stretches over the entire length of the building almost disguises the stories and create a homogeneous appearance.

“Verticality and linearity are the leitmotivs of two strongly contrasting design approaches – at times creating the feeling of floating between worlds,” Rottensteiner adds. “This project is all about the details and stories, which are all about the family and the place where the project is rooted. For example, wood from the farm’s own woods was used. Also, the use of this renewable raw material gives the architecture a vitality through the projections and recesses that create exciting shadows.”

 

Guests enter the building through an entrance portal made of black steel, which bears the family’s old coat of arms from 1464 on the outside. “The ‘slope’ is traditionally an element for load transfer and static reinforcement – here it was used to make the volume more dynamic and to make it merge with the landscape,” adds Rottensteiner.

Stepping through the steel front door, into the lobby, guests can grasp the full sense of the design narrative, which is to blur lines and creating subtle divisions, suitable for modern travellers. Here, guests move away from the hard architectural details and instead enter a world of softer interiors. The clever palette of calm tones as well as tactile textures introduce feelings of being grounded and connected with nature. Soft beige meets a mystical blue. Meanwhile, this expressive, clear-cut division is consistently drawn through the buildings, both horizontally and vertically.

contemporary hotel bar design

Image credit: AlexFilz . Noa architects

“The past has grown like stone, wood and nature,” explains interior designer Patrick Gürtler. “The future, on the other hand, is veiled, mysterious and artificial; it is intangible like the sky, the night, or the ocean. In between is the moment, a sharp, unconditional break, but also a point of contact.” A line – not to separate, but to connect.

In the public building, the sharp-edged transition between beige and blue takes place at eye level, to make the concept of an “in-between zone” tangible. But the design concept is not only focussed on the floors, walls, and ceilings. All elements – from the curtains, through the furniture and the light fixtures – are part of a holistic approach to the design.

contemporary blue and white design scheme in wellness hotel

Image caption: AlexFilz/Noa* architecture

The wellness area is located on the first floor. It has been designed so that guests ‘dive’ through the horizontal blue and find themselves, subconsciously, in the opposite colour concept. The consumer journey then invites guests to move through the different zones, opening into a wide relaxation space and adjoining terrace.

The half-covered outdoor infinity pool juts out from the southwest side of the building, affording spectacular views. It can be reached via a platform, the top level of which marks the “water’s edge,” once again playing on the use of colour and the divisions between blue and beige.

A half-covered infinity pool that is attached to a contemporary wellness hotel in Italy

Image credit: Alex Filz/Noa architecture

Just a few more steps up, guests enter a separate relaxation area that can be used as a meditation room, for yoga or simply to relax. In front of this, in the outdoor area, is a whirlpool on a roof terrace with an incredible view of the Dolomites.

In the adjacent building, which is connected via an underground corridor, is where the 15 suites are housed – and here, too, the division of the colour worlds takes a 90-degree turn: what was horizontal is now vertical. There is a deliberate psychological effect at play here, because from here on, guests can immerse their whole body in the respective area, which has an overall relaxing effect.

The three types of rooms differ in size as well as furnishings. The bed in each suite has been given its unique position in order to utilise the expansive view. Another highlight in the truest sense of the word is the Gallery Suite, where an internal staircase leads up to a living platform on the roof, where you can watch the sky through the opening in the roof.

Ultimately the design of this hotel, with its deliberately thought through interior detail, is all about taking the guests on a journey, and using design to facilitate this as they experience spatial changes, contrasting textures and a conscious use of colour to emphasise the architecture and direct their experience which has wellness and nature at its core.

Main image credit: Alex Filz/Noa architecture

Hotel design | Four Seasons Napa Valley bedroom with wooden headboard, white sheets and black and white striped carpets

In pictures: Four Seasons arrives in Napa Valley

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In pictures: Four Seasons arrives in Napa Valley

Following much anticipation, Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley, which Hotel Designs first bookmarked earlier this year as one of 2021’s hottest openings, will finally open its doors in just a few weeks time. Melania Guarda Ceccoli explores whether or not it has been worth the wait…

Hotel design | Four Seasons Napa Valley bedroom with wooden headboard, white sheets and black and white striped carpets

Food, wine and spirits, plus wellness-inspired amenities and authentic service that works in harmony with design: Four Seasons Resorts and Residences Napa Valley has arrived. Opening officially on November 1, the new resort will welcome its visitors to the heart of California’s renowned wine region, to live an experience where wine, wellness, cuisine and relax come together. Napa Valley is the first and only resort in the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts’ portfolio that is set within a working winery. The 85-key hotel is located at 400 Silverado Trail, situated in the historic, charming town of Calistoga, tucked into the base of Mount Saint Helena at the top of Napa Valley and surrounded by hundreds of acres of vineyards.

The resort project, followed by one of the world’s most celebrated interior designers Erin Martin, in conjunction with Hirsch Bedner Associates(HBA), was conceived to give a private and regenerating atmosphere like a sanctuary. The spacious rooms and suites live the indoor-outdoor spaces in their entirety with gardens and private outdoor terraces in continuity with the interior furnishings in sophisticated and warm tones. The exclusive retreat is the Estate Villa, an independent building of almost 315 square metres with three bedrooms, a free-standing building nestled at the edge of the on-site vineyard, which features indoor-outdoor living and dining, a private garden, and a swimming pool. Throughout the property, couples, families, friends, and travellers alike will enjoy a vast array of services and experiences, including two outdoor swimming pools nestled amid the vineyard, the fully supervised Kids for All Seasons program, a regulation bocce ball court, and state-of-the-art fitness facilities complete with vineyard views, Technogym equipment, and programming.

“This is an exciting moment for our Four Seasons Resort Napa Valley family as we open up reservations and begin planning guest visits,” adds General Manager Mehdi Eftekari. “The property proudly delivers an authentic luxury retreat without pretence, bringing a distinctive, laidback wine country ethos and style of hospitality that can only be found in the illustrious Napa Valley. Scenic vineyard views, exceptional wine and cuisine, holistic wellness, high design, immersive experiences, and so much more await guests at this ultimate wine country oasis.”

The Four Seasons Resorts and Residences Napa Valley features an on-site, fully operational, organically hand-farmed 4.7-acre vineyard and winery and a farm-to-table dining experience by acclaimed Chef Erik Anderson. With the warmest microclimate in Napa Valley, the Calistoga AVA is ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

There are four types of rooms available: Guest Rooms, Suites, Speciality Suites and Accessible Rooms.  Scattered throughout the resort, the stylish and well-appointed ‘Guest Rooms’ offer the very best in comfort and privacy, while providing a peaceful retreat in which to relax and unwind throughout your stay.

Luxurious guestroom inside Four Seasons Napa Valley

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

The ‘Suites’ are expansive and provide all the extra space you could need for your stay, with separate sleeping and living spaces. Meanwhile, the Speciality Suite, with multiple rooms that are artfully furnished for work, play or rest, provide the very best in privacy for families and groups of guests who require extra space.

As with all Four Seasons’ properties, F&B plays a major role in both design and service. Led by Michelin-starred Executive Chef Erik Anderson, TRUSS Restaurant + Bar brings a spirited, modern fine dining experience with a farm-fresh a la carte menu, genuine hospitality, an elevated yet laid-back, indoor-outdoor environment, and sweeping views of the Calistoga vineyards and Palisades Mountains.

A large private dining area inside Four Seasons Hotel Napa Valley

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Shaun Acosta, Executive Resort Chef, oversees the open-air Campo Poolside, conveniently located between the Resort’s two picturesque pools overlooking the vineyards, serving delectable Cal-Mexican fare and poolside favourites that change with the seasons to highlight Napa Valley’s bountiful, fresh produce.

To enrich the wine-country getaway, guests at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley can explore a world-class vineyard and Elusa Winery. No other wine-country resort integrates the grape-to-glass experience so thoroughly. Guests will be invited to explore the winemaking process, from harvesting the grapes to sorting and selecting the optimal fruit to blend and ageing the wine. In guided tastings, guests will learn the subtle yet distinct differences between floral and woody, balanced and rounded, fruit-driven and terroir-driven wines.

Designed as a tranquil oasis, Spa Talisa is centred on holistic healing for the mind and body, featuring rejuvenating offerings that take guests on a wellness journey through a beautifully landscaped outdoor relaxation garden.

Outdoor pool at Four Seasons Napa Valley

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Featuring a modern yet organic aesthetic, the spa, which shelters eight well-appointed treatment rooms, incorporates a mix of cool blue tones, warm wood, and abundant natural lighting against striking black and white design, creating an eye-catching yet soothing environment throughout this standout stone structure.

In addition to currently operating 121 hotels and resorts, and 46 residential properties in major city centres and resort destinations in 47 countries, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has more than 50 projects under planning or development.

Main image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Minimalist bathroom: Kaldewei Superplan Zero_Milieu

‘Bathroom blockbuster’: SUPERPLAN ZERO shower surface by Kaldewei

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
‘Bathroom blockbuster’: SUPERPLAN ZERO shower surface by Kaldewei

The SUPERPLAN ZERO by bathroom brand Kaldewei is a sustainable, aesthetic floor enhancement with elegant lines. The enamelled shower surface – with reserved, stylish detail  and extremely comfortable underfoot – has the potential to become a blockbuster in the bathroom. Editor Hamish Kilburn speaks to Berlin designer, Werner Aisslinger, to learn more… 

Minimalist bathroom: Kaldewei Superplan Zero_Milieu

Superplan Zero has a story behind its development: Kaldewei has always paid attention to customer requirements in terms of shower surfaces and as such have translated these needs into this new product. Installed at floor level, the shower surface becomes part of the bathroom floor and because of the very narrow edges it is possible to tile directly up to the shower edge with almost invisible joints. The waste is placed close to the wall so that standing comfortably and moving safely on the Superplan Zero is guaranteed. The new shower surface is characterised by its elegant and precise lines and is easily accessed from three sides, without having to step up or into the surface.

The base is sustainable, extremely long-lasting and 100 percent recyclable steel enamel. The exquisite glass surface is applied to the steel using a special process and this is what gives it such a luxurious finish. Kaldewei is the only steel enamel manufacturer that produces the enamel, i.e. the basic substance for the glass coating, in-house and using a secret formulation. The quality and durability of these surfaces are legendary.

There are more than 50 different dimensions from 70 to 180 centimetres, diverse surface variations and a wide range of colours, all of which make the Superplan Zero even more attractive. Whether in large or small bathrooms, building owners, planners and installers have full flexibility. The shower surface is available with the almost invisible, anti-slip surface finish Secure Plus, upon request. The Superplan Zero is 100 percent compatible with all the sealing sets, assembly systems and waste fittings from Kaldewei.

Hamish Kilburn: What makes this shower floor different from anything else on the market?

Werner Aisslinger: For starters, it’s super flat and elegant. The maximum body of water is absorbed by the Superplan drainage system even though it looks level, even and flat. Other shower floors have the drain system either in the corner or in the middle of a huge rectangle. Superplan Zero, however, comes in a great many sizes –far more than many others?

Dancer on top of Kaldewei shower surface in front of black backdrop

Image credit: Kaldewei/Bryan Adams

HK: Can you tell us more about the development of this product – where did the idea come from?

WA: Superplan was part of a product range developed in 2005 – it was a best-selling range for Kaldewei, and 16 years later they wanted to update it. Kaldewei wanted to update the whole range; they wanted to take it to another level to develop Superplan Zero, creating an extremely flat shower floor. The problem with the development was we needed to make it possible to get rid of the water, we needed to take into account facts such as power showers and the amount of water they use per minute or per second and how many litres of water this is and how to dispose of the water. We wanted to go to the limits of what is possible and what is necessary. To make what is possible with a shower floor and to show the world – it was a complex design job. Working together with the engineers from Kaldewei we needed to arrive at a design language that would at the same time keep a feeling and reference to the original Superplan. Matching all the worldwide norms and demands then going to the limit of an extremely flat shape involved a lot of computer work so it was not easy. None of the work was done by hand – we needed to do a lot research and carry out a lot of computer assimilations.

HK: What challenges did you face developing products during lockdown?

WA: I would say the lockdown situation didn’t change so much; although it’s always nice to meet in person it was ok because we were meeting on line. In this case it was all about the data, we produced data, the engineers produced data and then we compared all this on line and with on line calls, so it was easy to switch from a pre corona time to lockdown.

It was not a drama for the evolution of the product to work like this. The challenge was more to compare all the world wide regulations and bathroom floors and the technology of Kaldewei with the moulded metal material, trying to create a design that had a long lifecycle in terms of product and design language to still be a long runner and long term seller within the market.

> Since you’re here, why not read about Kaldewei’s new washbasins that bring sensuality to the bathroom?

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

Main image credit: Kaldewei/Bryan Adams

Skip to main contentSkip to toolbar About WordPress Hotel Designs 341 WordPress Update, 29 Plugin Updates, 4 Theme Updates 1,7011,701 Comments in moderation New View Post Smart Slider Insights Copy to a new draft Hi, Hamish Kilburnmm Log Out Screen Options Help WordPress 5.8.1 is available! Please update now. Please activate your copy of the Ultimate Addons for WPBakery Page Builder to get update notifications, access to support features & other resources! Edit Post Add New Note: Envato official solution is recommended for theme updates using the new Envato Market API. You can now update the theme using the Envato Market plugin. For more information read the related article in our documentation. Dismiss this notice Dismiss this notice. This theme recommends the following plugins: Envato Market, MailChimp for WordPress, Osmosis Demo Importer and WooCommerce. 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Last edited by Hamish Kilburn on 22 October 2021 at 8:44 am Move upMove downToggle panel: Format Post Formats Standard Gallery Link Quote Video Audio Move upMove downToggle panel: Publish Preview (opens in a new tab) Status: Draft Edit Edit status Visibility: Public Edit Edit visibility Publish immediately Edit Edit date and time SEO: Unavailable Copy to a new draft Move to Bin Move upMove downToggle panel: Categories All Categories Most Used Uncategorised Editor’s Picks In Conversation With Industry News 1st mpu news 2nd mpu news 3rd mpu news 4th mpu news bottom section news Job Section Designers Featured Job Industry Latest Hotel Review 1st mpu review 2nd mpu review 3rd mpu review 4th mpu review bottom section review Main Slider Member News 1st mpu members 2nd mpu members 3rd mpu members 4th mpu members bottom section members Member News Homepage Most Read Spotlight On Supplier News + Add New Category Move upMove downToggle panel: Tags Add New Tag Separate tags with commas Remove term: 2021 2021 Choose from the most used tags Move upMove downToggle panel: Featured image Set featured image Move upMove downToggle panel: The Grid - Item Format Move upMove downToggle panel: Insert script to Move upMove downToggle panel: Custom HotSpot Hotel Development Move upMove downToggle panel: Configure Rich Snippet Move upMove downToggle panel: WPBakery Page Builder WPBakery Page Builder PreviewUpdate Custom [page_title] Mexico’s wine country in Baja California will become home to Banyan Tree Group’s fourth property in the region. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe Resort, Spa and Winery is slated to open in 2023. In the meantime, we here's a sneak peek of what to expect inside... [thumbnailnew] Banyan Tree Group is on a mission to expand its presence across Mexico, with the announcement that it will manage Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe Resort, Spa and Winery, which is set to open on the hills of Mexico’s emerging food and wine region in Baja California during the 2023 harvest season. The 30-villa ultra-luxury resort will mark Banyan Tree Group’s fourth hotel in Mexico. Valle de Guadalupe is a rapidly growing tourism market that continues to gain international recognition as one of Mexico’s emerging destinations and one that Banyan Tree Group is focused on for development. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe will join the global brand’s iconic collection of properties across Mexico, from Riviera Maya and Merida to Acapulco. The group's legacy as pioneer of the all-pool villa concept and sustainable, wellbeing-focused travel will be infused into the Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe experience. The luxurious enclave, designed by the office of renowned Mexican designer Michel Rojkind and developed by Grupo UBK, will boast striking villas that draw in the valley’s natural surroundings with a sense of place that connect guests with the beauty around them. The property sits on nearly 39 acres of land and will be home to Banyan Tree Group’s first proprietary winery featuring vineyards, rooms for fermentation, barreling and aging, a winemaking laboratory, tasting room and underground cellar. The winery will work with talented locals for the production of wines to ensure the preservation of the environment, a key component of the business model for the community. "Banyan Tree has been exploring the area around Valle de Guadalupe for quite some time,” says Peter Hechler, SAVP, Head of Regional Operations for the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Americas. Primed to be Mexico’s next most sought-after destination, Valle de Guadalupe is a quick hour-long drive for travelers in Southern California looking to spend a few days in a culinary mecca amongst Mexico’s best vineyards that are well worth the journey. “We strongly believe this is a thriving destination with a bright future and one that is already making a name for itself amongst the top locations to explore in Mexico. We are very excited and honoured to be the first luxury brand to set foot in the area." Valle de Guadalupe’s agricultural spirit, New World wines and impressive culinary scene will be woven into the fabric of the guest experience at Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe. Nestled amidst olive oil groves and grapevines, five food and beverage venues are found in the centre of the resort, including a terrace restaurant, fine-dining eatery, cocktail bar, coffee house and a hilltop rooftop concept featuring breathtaking views of the valley. On the food and spa menus, guests will be able to spot seven varieties of medicinal plants indigenous to the area such as hoja santa and white sage, that were grown steps away at its onsite bio-endemic garden sanctuary, as well as freshly pressed olive oil that is harvested and produced at the winery itself. Known as a sanctuary for the senses, Banyan Tree’s signature award-winning Spa comprises four treatment rooms, sauna, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and both indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe is the latest addition to Banyan Tree Group’s ambitious growth plans of strategic expansion in Mexico. With a proven track record success in operating Banyan Tree Mayakoba, Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués in Acapulco and Hacienda Xcanatun by Angsana in Merida, the Group’s vast knowledge of the market and keen ability to choose desirable destinations for growth will propel the resort and the region of Valle de Guadalupe to new heights. In addition, new signing announcements in the pipeline by Banyan Tree Group are set to be unveiled soon. Main image credit: Banyan Tree Group Move upMove downToggle panel: Excerpt Excerpt Excerpts are optional hand-crafted summaries of your content that can be used in your theme. Learn more about manual excerpts. 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Banyan Tree Group expands portfolio in Mexico

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Banyan Tree Group expands portfolio in Mexico

Mexico’s wine country in Baja California will become home to Banyan Tree Group’s fourth property in the region. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe Resort, Spa and Winery is slated to open in 2023. In the meantime, we here’s a sneak peek of what to expect inside…

Skip to main contentSkip to toolbar About WordPress Hotel Designs 341 WordPress Update, 29 Plugin Updates, 4 Theme Updates 1,7011,701 Comments in moderation New View Post Smart Slider Insights Copy to a new draft Hi, Hamish Kilburnmm Log Out Screen Options Help WordPress 5.8.1 is available! Please update now. Please activate your copy of the Ultimate Addons for WPBakery Page Builder to get update notifications, access to support features & other resources! Edit Post Add New Note: Envato official solution is recommended for theme updates using the new Envato Market API. You can now update the theme using the Envato Market plugin. For more information read the related article in our documentation. Dismiss this notice Dismiss this notice. This theme recommends the following plugins: Envato Market, MailChimp for WordPress, Osmosis Demo Importer and WooCommerce. The following plugins need to be updated to their latest version to ensure maximum compatibility with this theme: Go Pricing - WordPress Responsive Pricing Tables and Revolution Slider. Begin installing plugins | Begin updating plugins | Dismiss this notice Dismiss this notice. Post draft updated. Preview post Dismiss this notice. Add title Banyan Tree Group expands portfolio in Mexico Permalink: https://hoteldesigns.net/uncategorised/banyan-tree-grou…tfolio-in-mexico/ ‎Edit Classic ModeFrontend EditorGutenberg Editor Add Media Add Slider Add Form VisualText Paragraph Word count: 673 Draft saved at 8:47:04 am. Last edited by Hamish Kilburn on 22 October 2021 at 8:44 am Move upMove downToggle panel: Format Post Formats Standard Gallery Link Quote Video Audio Move upMove downToggle panel: Publish Preview (opens in a new tab) Status: Draft Edit Edit status Visibility: Public Edit Edit visibility Publish immediately Edit Edit date and time SEO: Unavailable Copy to a new draft Move to Bin Move upMove downToggle panel: Categories All Categories Most Used Uncategorised Editor’s Picks In Conversation With Industry News 1st mpu news 2nd mpu news 3rd mpu news 4th mpu news bottom section news Job Section Designers Featured Job Industry Latest Hotel Review 1st mpu review 2nd mpu review 3rd mpu review 4th mpu review bottom section review Main Slider Member News 1st mpu members 2nd mpu members 3rd mpu members 4th mpu members bottom section members Member News Homepage Most Read Spotlight On Supplier News + Add New Category Move upMove downToggle panel: Tags Add New Tag Separate tags with commas Remove term: 2021 2021 Choose from the most used tags Move upMove downToggle panel: Featured image Set featured image Move upMove downToggle panel: The Grid - Item Format Move upMove downToggle panel: Insert script to Move upMove downToggle panel: Custom HotSpot Hotel Development Move upMove downToggle panel: Configure Rich Snippet Move upMove downToggle panel: WPBakery Page Builder WPBakery Page Builder PreviewUpdate Custom [page_title] Mexico’s wine country in Baja California will become home to Banyan Tree Group’s fourth property in the region. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe Resort, Spa and Winery is slated to open in 2023. In the meantime, we here's a sneak peek of what to expect inside... [thumbnailnew] Banyan Tree Group is on a mission to expand its presence across Mexico, with the announcement that it will manage Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe Resort, Spa and Winery, which is set to open on the hills of Mexico’s emerging food and wine region in Baja California during the 2023 harvest season. The 30-villa ultra-luxury resort will mark Banyan Tree Group’s fourth hotel in Mexico. Valle de Guadalupe is a rapidly growing tourism market that continues to gain international recognition as one of Mexico’s emerging destinations and one that Banyan Tree Group is focused on for development. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe will join the global brand’s iconic collection of properties across Mexico, from Riviera Maya and Merida to Acapulco. The group's legacy as pioneer of the all-pool villa concept and sustainable, wellbeing-focused travel will be infused into the Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe experience. The luxurious enclave, designed by the office of renowned Mexican designer Michel Rojkind and developed by Grupo UBK, will boast striking villas that draw in the valley’s natural surroundings with a sense of place that connect guests with the beauty around them. The property sits on nearly 39 acres of land and will be home to Banyan Tree Group’s first proprietary winery featuring vineyards, rooms for fermentation, barreling and aging, a winemaking laboratory, tasting room and underground cellar. The winery will work with talented locals for the production of wines to ensure the preservation of the environment, a key component of the business model for the community. "Banyan Tree has been exploring the area around Valle de Guadalupe for quite some time,” says Peter Hechler, SAVP, Head of Regional Operations for the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Americas. Primed to be Mexico’s next most sought-after destination, Valle de Guadalupe is a quick hour-long drive for travelers in Southern California looking to spend a few days in a culinary mecca amongst Mexico’s best vineyards that are well worth the journey. “We strongly believe this is a thriving destination with a bright future and one that is already making a name for itself amongst the top locations to explore in Mexico. We are very excited and honoured to be the first luxury brand to set foot in the area." Valle de Guadalupe’s agricultural spirit, New World wines and impressive culinary scene will be woven into the fabric of the guest experience at Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe. Nestled amidst olive oil groves and grapevines, five food and beverage venues are found in the centre of the resort, including a terrace restaurant, fine-dining eatery, cocktail bar, coffee house and a hilltop rooftop concept featuring breathtaking views of the valley. On the food and spa menus, guests will be able to spot seven varieties of medicinal plants indigenous to the area such as hoja santa and white sage, that were grown steps away at its onsite bio-endemic garden sanctuary, as well as freshly pressed olive oil that is harvested and produced at the winery itself. Known as a sanctuary for the senses, Banyan Tree’s signature award-winning Spa comprises four treatment rooms, sauna, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and both indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe is the latest addition to Banyan Tree Group’s ambitious growth plans of strategic expansion in Mexico. With a proven track record success in operating Banyan Tree Mayakoba, Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués in Acapulco and Hacienda Xcanatun by Angsana in Merida, the Group’s vast knowledge of the market and keen ability to choose desirable destinations for growth will propel the resort and the region of Valle de Guadalupe to new heights. In addition, new signing announcements in the pipeline by Banyan Tree Group are set to be unveiled soon. Main image credit: Banyan Tree Group Move upMove downToggle panel: Excerpt Excerpt Excerpts are optional hand-crafted summaries of your content that can be used in your theme. Learn more about manual excerpts. Move upMove downToggle panel: Yoast SEO SEO Social Focus keyphraseHelp on choosing the perfect focus keyphrase(Opens in a new browser tab) Snippet Preview URL preview:https://hoteldesigns.net › uncategorised › banyan-tree-group-expands-portfolio-in-mexicoSEO title preview: Banyan Tree Group expands portfolio in Mexico • Hotel Designs Meta description preview: Oct 22, 2021 ⋅ [vc_row padding_top="35"][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_column_text el_class="newposttitle"][page_title][/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Mexico’s wine country Mobile previewDesktop previewEdit snippet SEO analysis Enter a focus keyphrase to calculate the SEO score Add related keyphrase Cornerstone content Advanced Move upMove downToggle panel: Send Trackbacks Send trackbacks to: Separate multiple URLs with spaces Trackbacks are a way to notify legacy blog systems that you’ve linked to them. If you link other WordPress sites, they’ll be notified automatically using pingbacks, no other action necessary. Move upMove downToggle panel: Discussion Allow comments Allow trackbacks and pingbacks on this page Move upMove downToggle panel: Slug Slug Move upMove downToggle panel: Author Author Move upMove downToggle panel: Revolution Slider Options Choose Slide Template Move upMove downToggle panel: Plugin Organizer Move upMove downToggle panel: AddThis Tools Select "Off" to stop the AddThis plugin from automatically adding tools above and below this entry. On Off Move upMove downToggle panel: Post Options Layout Select post content and sidebar alignment. Default is configured in Theme Options - Blog Options - Single Post. Sidebar Select post sidebar. Default is configured in Theme Options - Blog Options - Single Post. Sidebar Background Color Select sidebar background color. Default is configured in Appearance - Customize - Colors - Sidebars - Post Sidebar Background Color Fixed Sidebar If selected, sidebar will be fixed. Disable Title If selected, title will be hidden. 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Dismiss Close dialogue Featured image Upload filesMedia LibraryExpand Details Filter mediaFilter by typeFilter by dateSearch Media list ATTACHMENT DETAILS BTG_VDG-Room-Rendering-3.jpeg 22 October 2021113 KB 730 by 565 pixels Edit Image Delete permanently Alt Text Room Rendering of guestroom inside Banyan Tree htoel in Mexico wine region Describe the purpose of the image (opens in a new tab). Leave empty if the image is purely decorative.Title Room Rendering of guestroom inside Banyan Tree htoel in Mexico wine region Caption Description File URL: https://hoteldesigns.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/BTG_VDG-Room-Rendering-3.jpeg Copy URL to clipboard Smush 13 images reduced by 25.3 KB (4.8%) Image size: 112.8 KB Restore | View Stats Required fields are marked * Category All CategoriesMost Used + Add New Category Tag All TagsMost Used + Add New Tag Selected media actions Set featured image

Banyan Tree Group is on a mission to expand its presence across Mexico, with the announcement that it will manage Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe Resort, Spa and Winery, which is set to open on the hills of Mexico’s emerging food and wine region in Baja California during the 2023 harvest season.

The 30-villa ultra-luxury resort will mark Banyan Tree Group’s fourth hotel in Mexico. Valle de Guadalupe is a rapidly growing tourism market that continues to gain international recognition as one of Mexico’s emerging destinations and one that Banyan Tree Group is focused on for development. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe will join the global brand’s iconic collection of properties across Mexico, from Riviera Maya and Merida to Acapulco.  

The group’s legacy as pioneer of the all-pool villa concept and sustainable, wellbeing-focused travel will be infused into the Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe experience. The luxurious enclave, designed by the office of renowned Mexican designer Michel Rojkind and developed by Grupo UBK, will boast striking villas that draw in the valley’s natural surroundings with a sense of place that connect guests with the beauty around them. The property sits on nearly 39 acres of land and will be home to Banyan Tree Group’s first proprietary winery featuring vineyards, rooms for fermentation, barreling and ageing, a winemaking laboratory, tasting room and underground cellar. The winery will work with talented locals for the production of wines to ensure the preservation of the environment, a key component of the business model for the community.  

“We strongly believe this is a thriving destination with a bright future and one that is already making a name for itself amongst the top locations to explore in Mexico.” – Peter Hechler, SAVP, Head of Regional Operations for the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Americas.

“Banyan Tree has been exploring the area around Valle de Guadalupe for quite some time,” says Peter Hechler, SAVP, Head of Regional Operations for the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Americas. “Primed to be Mexico’s next most sought-after destination, Valle de Guadalupe is a quick hour-long drive for travellers in Southern California looking to spend a few days in a culinary mecca amongst Mexico’s best vineyards that are well worth the journey. We strongly believe this is a thriving destination with a bright future and one that is already making a name for itself amongst the top locations to explore in Mexico. We are very excited and honoured to be the first luxury brand to set foot in the area.”   

Valle de Guadalupe’s agricultural spirit, New World wines and impressive culinary scene will be woven into the fabric of the guest experience at Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe. Nestled amidst olive oil groves and grapevines, five food and beverage venues are found in the centre of the resort, including a terrace restaurant, fine-dining eatery, cocktail bar, coffee house and a hilltop rooftop concept featuring breathtaking views of the valley. On the food and spa menus, guests will be able to spot seven varieties of medicinal plants indigenous to the area such as hoja santa and white sage, that were grown steps away at its onsite bio-endemic garden sanctuary, as well as freshly pressed olive oil that is harvested and produced at the winery itself. Known as a sanctuary for the senses, Banyan Tree’s signature award-winning Spa comprises four treatment rooms, sauna, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and both indoor and outdoor swimming pools.   

Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe is the latest addition to Banyan Tree Group’s ambitious growth plans of strategic expansion in Mexico. With a proven track record success in operating Banyan Tree Mayakoba, Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués in Acapulco and Hacienda Xcanatun by Angsana in Merida, the group’s vast knowledge of the market and keen ability to choose desirable destinations for growth will propel the resort and the region of Valle de Guadalupe to new heights. In addition, new signing announcements in the pipeline by Banyan Tree Group are set to be unveiled soon.   

> Since you’re here, why not read about Banyan Tree Group’s first luxury resort to open in Krabi in 11 years?

Main image credit: Banyan Tree Group

COMO Le Montrachet Exterior 3 Square

Image exclusive: A look at COMO Hotels’ debut property in France

730 556 Hamish Kilburn
Image exclusive: A look at COMO Hotels’ debut property in France

The COMO Group has announced that its debut hotel in France, COMO Le Montrachet, is slated to open in 2022 – Hotel Designs has been given access to the first exterior images of the highly anticipated hotel property, taken by photographer Martin Morrell. Scroll down to have a peek… 

COMO Le Montrachet Exterior 3 Square

With 14 luxury hotels worldwide, including properties in the Maldives, Bhutan, Thailand, Australia, Turks and Caicos, Italy and the UK, it was only ever a matter of timing and , crucially, the right location for the arrival of the The COMO Group’s first hotel in France.

Well, the wait is almost over, but not without a the group creating a bit of healthy tension. COMO Le Montrachet, which will be situated in the sought-after Côte-d’Or region, will open in phases, with phase one scheduled to be completed in 2022, evolving the hotel judiciously over the years to come. With this new addition to the portfolio, COMO aims to bring its contemporary flair to Puligny-Montrachet, Burgundy, providing ‘unparalleled access’ to some of the most famous Grand Cru vineyards. Nestled around the most charming village square, guests are invited to experience the ‘COMO way of life’.

For this project, the COMO Group will again collaborate with esteemed designer Paola Navone to complement the historic 18th century property with her contemporary touches. This launch marks the brand’s second European opening after COMO Castello Del Nero in Tuscany, which was also designed by the Italian designer.

Arranged across four heritage buildings, 31 rooms and suites will be converted into chic sanctuaries starting with Villa Christine. The phased opening of the hotel will also see a COMO Shambhala Retreat, the first of its kind in France.

COMO Le Montrachet

Image credit: COMO Hotels and Resorts/Martin Morrell

With COMO’s renowned emphasis on cuisine, guests of COMO Le Montrachet can expect exceptional dining options and exquisite wine experiences in one of the most beautiful settings.

And that’s not all. COMO is making all the right noises for us to believe that is the just the start of the group’s well-timed expansion. “With the recent sale of COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach, this announcement underlines our strategy to develop pioneering properties in new destinations,” said Olivier Jolivet, CEO of the COMO Group. “Besides Europe, we will also add a new luxury resort in the South Pacific to the portfolio next year.”

Watch this space.

Main image credit: COMO Hotels and Resorts/Martin Morrell

Winners of TOP ID - NEWH

NEWH UK Chapter honours design excellence at TopID Awards 2021

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
NEWH UK Chapter honours design excellence at TopID Awards 2021

Starved of live events and face-to-face networking, the British design community gathered on October 20 at Roca London Gallery in Chelsea for the 2021 TopID Awards, powered by NEWH UK Chapter. “Drum roll please – and the winners are”…

Winners of TOP ID - NEWH

As the seasons change and a new year approaches, it is clear that a new design landscape has emerged, placing increased emphasis on the ‘contactless journey’ and the importance of natural materials in connecting interior spaces to the outside world in order to foster a sense of space and wellbeing.

While adapting to a myriad of challenges, the industry’s dedication to exceptional design has not wavered. In acknowledgement of this fact, each year NEWH, an international not-for-profit network for the hospitality community that provides scholarships, education, leadership development, professional recognition of excellence and business development, has the honour of recognising design excellence within the UK through its TopID Awards. The prestigious accolade is determined with consideration to both the quality of a firm’s work and the support and dedication provided to NEWH membership and events, allowing winning practices to be celebrated internationally across the vast NEWH network.

In February of this year, NEWH UK Chapter bestowed the 2021 TopID Awards to three deserving studios. Unfortunately, at the time, lockdown regulations prevented the opportunity to present these awards physically. However, on November 20, the practices were aptly celebrated (in person) in spectacular fashion at Roca London Gallery.

This year’s winners

Dennis Irvine Studio

Dennis Irvine Studio, led by Dennis Irvine who recently became Director at Richmond International, was an award-winning interior design practice that specialised in hospitality and residential projects, both in the UK and internationally. Working in collaboration with a diverse range of partners – from international private clients, to residential developers and hotel operators – the multidisciplinary team had a world-class reputation for creating spaces that acknowledge cultural context whilst appreciating the spirit of a brand or individual – a reputation that Irvine has taken with him.

Dennis Irvine

Image credit: Dennis Irvine Studio

From conception through to delivery, the studio provided a comprehensive, holistic range of services including initial feasibility and space planning, interior concept, tender documentation, bespoke FF&E design and procurement.

The Estate House is the signature restaurant and bar at Jumby Bay, the exclusive island resort located off the northeast coast of Antigua. This 1830s plantation house and centrepiece of the island was extensively refurbished by Dennis Irvine Studio to create a luxurious fine-dining experience that celebrates the island’s local spirit and rich history. In keeping with the local architecture, an airy courtyard and surrounding terrace connect the main restaurant, bar, and private dining areas.

Whilst each space has its own identity, the entire project has been carefully curated to deliver a considered and elegant design, conscious of contemporary comforts whilst also being sympathetic to local design and traditions. Originally designed as a Rosewood resort, the Estate House references the brand’s ‘Sense of Place’ philosophy, with the interiors capturing the essence of island life whilst creating a serene, sophisticated environment for discerning travellers.

A wine tasting room inside The Estate House

Image credit: The Estate House, designed by Dennis Irvine Studio

Goddard Littlefair

Established in 2012 by Martin Goddard and Jo Littlefair, Goddard Littlefair is a luxury interior design practice based in London and Porto, Portugal. The company’s talented international team delivers award-winning hospitality, residential and wellness projects across the globe, creating sophisticated, stylish interiors with the people that inhabit them at the forefront of every design decision.

Jo and Martin from Goddard Littlefair

Image credit: Mel Yates/Goddard Littlefair

The brand’s ethos seeks to combine aesthetic perfectionism and boundless curiosity with a team-playing, service-driven attitude. “The firm’s unique selling point is the ability to knit smart, sensual design with a healthy dose of pragmatism,” said The Irish Times.

Goddard Littlefair is currently working on some of London’s most high-profile residential developments including One Park Drive, Southbank Place, Ebury Square and Grosvenor Waterside, as well as luxury spa projects in London, Prague and Tripoli. Their burgeoning hospitality portfolio includes projects for Corinthia, InterContinental, Principal, Cadogan and Hilton Hotels, with projects in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, York and across Europe.

Originally built in 1912, Villa Copenhagen is an impressive new hotel opened within the capital’s historic Central Post & Telegraph Head Office. Epicurean – Goddard Littlefair’s emerging F&B sister company – was called upon to transform all five of the hotel’s food and beverage outlets within this iconic building, in addition to casting their creative eye over a selection of public spaces, including the wellness and pool area and various meeting and event spaces.

The vision for the F&B venues was to create five distinctive destinations with several points of difference; introducing something new and fun to the marketplace whilst honouring Scandinavian design sensibility and recognising the specific locale. Styled to be familiar yet magical for the Danish market and authentic to guests, each space channels unpretentious mid-century design with beautifully crafted references to both past and present.

Image credit: F&B areas inside Villa Copenhagen, designed by Goddard Littlefair

Image credit: F&B areas inside Villa Copenhagen, designed by Goddard Littlefair

Nous Design

Nous Design, founded by Director Nir Gilad, is an international design company creating experiences that tell a story, connecting people to places through their emotions via tailor-made design solutions.

Starting each project with fresh eyes, their design inspiration begins by listening, and then combines the client’s aspirations with the unrevealed potential of the location, to produce a unique multisensory experience.

Whether evoking calming stillness in a spa or a dynamic statement at a rooftop bar, ​Nous Design places the future guest at the heart of the narrative and considers how to connect and immerse them in the story.  Their aim is to ‘gift’ the guest another five minutes in their day or perhaps increase their work productivity when away from their day-to-day environment.

Based in London, this award-winning interior design company is currently working on projects in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia that vary from standalone restaurants and spas to luxury resort hotels and city-centre hubs.

Immersed in the natural beauty of the Galil and Golan mountains in the north of Israel, Setai Hotel award-winning hospitality experience that comprises 158 luxury suites with direct access to individual infinity pools. The spacious public areas include lounges, restaurants and an upmarket spa with 14 unique treatment rooms arranged in a circular building around a central skylight.

Working closely with local builders and manufacturers, Nous Design created an environment inspired by the surrounding countryside and using native materials. The reception area is one such example, with decorative partitions that imitate eucalyptus trees and guide guests’ view towards the lake vista, creating an oasis feel.

The restaurant continues this theme, with wooden louvres and a large central table displaying the richness of the local Middle Eastern cuisine through decorative elements from the region, whilst creating a relaxed but refined environment.

Setai Hotel by Nous Design- copy

Image credit: Setai Hotel, designed by Nous Design

NEWH UK Chapter, which Hotel Designs is a media partner for, hosts a plethora of events throughout the year, including an up-coming brunch at HIX Event and the Cruise Ship Interiors Expo in December.

Main image credits: Dennis Irvine Studio/Goddard Littlefair/Mel Yates/Nous Design

David mason interview - scott brownrigg | Hotel Designs

A young designer’s interview: Q&A with David Mason, Director, Scott Brownrigg

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
A young designer’s interview: Q&A with David Mason, Director, Scott Brownrigg

In the second interview in an exclusive series between Hotel Designs and NEWH UK Chapter, that aims to bridge the generation gap between designers and architects, editor Hamish Kilburn moderates an interview between young designer Marissa Miltiadous and David Mason, Head of Hospitality at Scott Brownrigg

David mason interview - scott brownrigg | Hotel Designs

 It’s a hard-knock life being a young designer in the current climate. Jobs for juniors are scarce, while opportunities for students entering the workplace are few and far between. However, it’s not like we haven’t been here before ­– meaning that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

David Mason, Head of Hospitality at Scott Brownrigg encountered a similar start to his career to that of today’s students. In the ‘90s, when Mason was optimistically graduating from university, somewhat naively expecting life to fall into place, the UK was heading into a recession. In short, the landscape for young designers looked pretty bleak. Determined to stay in the design profession, Mason took a role with a graphics company and through hard work, a bit of luck and saying ‘yes’ to almost every opportunities that would strengthen his portfolio, Mason found himself on the radar.

Following stints at Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, Fox Linton Associates, Woods Bagot and consulting independently, in 2016 Mason found ‘his people’ at Scott Brownrigg, entering the studio first as a Project Director, and later (in 2018) became a Director.

Now heading up the hospitality division at the company, he agreed to take part in our next young designer’s interview, this time with Marissa Miltiadous holding the mic, a post-graduate Part 1 designer who, in 2019 won an NEWH scholarship for her ‘studio of fresh thought’ concept.

Marissa Miltiadous: When did you first realise you wanted to be an interior designer?

David Mason: As a youngster, I enjoyed building things and I had an innate creative side. My parents were super supportive and let me follow my dream.

Interior design is so far from being just about decoration. I learned this when specialising in interior design at college. I then received an undergraduate degree from University of Birmingham. Looking back, it’s been an amazing and long journey, full of exciting and unexpected moments that have kept me on my toes and always growing.

“Young designers should not be disheartened by rejection.” – David Mason, Head of  Hospitality, Scott Brownrigg.

I graduated in 1993, just as the nation was in the throes of recession. It was a terrible time to enter the market but determined to stay in the design field which I loved I worked as a graphic designer. Two years later I went back to university to study for my masters and then, off the back of that, I applied to London firms. The rest is history. I recognise the hardest part is the first step. Young designers should not be disheartened by rejection, it can often be luck and timing. Interior projects are fast moving and we often need more people should a number of projects go live at the same time. The industry is opening up, albeit slowly, but it is still showing encouraging signs of recovery from the pandemic.

Hamish Kilburn: What about you, Marissa?

MM: I was 14 years old when I realised that I wanted to be an interior design ­– there were signs younger. [As a child], I would constantly move things around to make spaces look more exciting. I didn’t register at the time that I had a passion for how spaces looked. When I went to university it all fit and I was able to channel my natural instinct towards colour and take my passion further.

MM: What lessons did you learn when entering the workplace?

DM: To be honest, it’s a constant learning process. Every day is different. The most significant lesson I learned as a young designer was understanding that university only sets you up so far but the job is very different in the workplace. My university experience was about pushing students creatively. Our job, in reality, is hard. We are responsible for a lot of components and that’s what makes it great.

When you are design student, you don’t necessarily see the bigger picture. And then, when you enter the workplace, you have to all of a sudden see the large canvas.

Purple lighting in large, swanky bar in London

Image caption: Hard Rock Hotel London, designed by Scott Brownrigg | Image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

MM: How does Scott Brownrigg help young designers get the recognition they deserve?

DM: We celebrate our designers as part of a collaborative team. We include junior designers in our meetings ­– especially during lockdown with the use of seamless software to keep the team together. We also like to include our research and development team in many of our conversations so that we are always moving forward. Internationally, we present our work to our peers, and allow everyone the opportunity, regardless of job title, to have their input. That way, we ensure that everyone is part of the process.

We welcome opinions and everyones voice. We encourage these opinions. That’s where discussion leads to great design – and that, in my opinion, is how we can grow as designers.

MM: What is Scott Brownrigg’s approach to sustainability?

DM: It’s a massive topic for our industry – so much so that we actually have a sustainability and wellness team within our business to keep us on track. It’s always on our agenda. There’s still an outlay for the client – we work on research to ensure that it’s beneficial for the client. For some clients, sustainability is an absolute must and many recognise It goes beyond towel washing and removing miniatures from the bathroom. It’s much larger and starts earlier. We look at carbon-neutral building practice and analyse key factors and requirements to bring down our impact.  Being a multi-discipline practice, we have an advantage because we closely with our architects. We are finding that there’s a mutual synergy between everyone involved in our projects to produce buildings that have been designed consciously.

The more that this develops, the more the client starts demanding sustainable approaches, the quicker the costs will come down and that in itself will allow for sustainable design to be much more achievable. You have to get the client on board from the beginning. If you can take the client on a journey with you it allows them to see the the benefit for all.

 

MM: What advice would you give to designers beginning in their careers, particularly now during the pandemic.

DM: Let’s face it, you have been locked away, and that’s not natural. You should be clawing at the walls to get out to see and experience hospitality again – and that should not be limited to what social media wants you to see.

When I started as a junior designer, we read books, flicked through magazines and then went to see the latest new bar and restauarant openings and the spaces that inspired us ­– even if that meant just ordering a soft drink at the bar because we had no money. So, my advice would be to go and see everything and soak it all in again. As a result, it will not only broaden your mindset but also give you more to play with when it comes to interview. With everything opening back up again, it’s such an interesting time for hospitality and if you want to be part of designing the next era, you have to experience what is happening now!

Also, I know it’s hard at the moment, but keep applying for jobs! When I interview people, I want to know who they follow and who (and what) they are inspired by. People often can’t answer it, which surprises me.

Another big bugbear is when people don’t research our company. Do your homework. Visit the website, go see our projects. Ultimately though, don’t give up, it will happen.

 

MM: What challenges do you see impacting the industry? 

DM: For me, during the pandemic there were so many articles about where hotel design is heading – and a lot of them were quite negative. As far as I am concerned, now is such an exciting time for the design industry! Think about it… the festival of design post-war. They built the southbank and created this movement towards new development and design in the wake of a major depression. Now is the time to think completely outside the box. In a blink of an eye, our perspectives have changed. We made lockdown work; we adapted and now that we are coming out of lockdown, we can re-write design and what was ‘the norm’.

MM: What projects are you currently working on?

DM: We are working on a number of hospitality projects with two of our hotels about to start on site.. It’s great timing as it gives our team the opportunity to see the project develop, from demolition, 1st/2nd fix to completion. It’s the only way for the team to see  a hotel come together and truly understand what they are drawing. Site knowledge is invaluable, and lessons learnt will be carried through to future projects .

We have also just started on two master plans, one of which will be a major mixed use development with a hotel, ballroom, conference facilities, spa and F&B outlets  as well as an experiential project & hotel with a well known lifestyle brand.

MM:  Finally, tell me something about yourself that others may be surprised to know about you?

DM: I am grade two on the violin (you asked…)

> Since you’re here, why not read our first interview in this series, between James Ingram and James Dilley?

Main image credit: Scott Brownrigg

A dramatic bar inside RG Naoxs

Inspired by nature: RG Naxos unveils fresh look

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inspired by nature: RG Naxos unveils fresh look

Design studio THDP has completed an extensive renovation inside RG Naxos, set in Giardini Naxos. The new look was inspired by nature to draw out the best of Mediterranean culture…

RG Naxos, located on the shores of Giardini Naxos in Scilly, Italy, emerges following a major interior revamp sheltering a cohesive interior design narrative that sensitively celebrates the destination’s culture to re-establish itself as a modern hospitality masterpiece.

A dramatic bar inside RG Naoxs

Giardini Naxos, founded in 734 BC by colonists from Chalcis in Euboea, was the first Greek colony in Sicily. Ancient Naxos was destroyed in 403 BC, and the centre that rose in its place in the Middle Ages became a thriving fishermen’s village. In the late 19th century elegant villas were built, used as holiday mansions by the upper classes.

The Greek heritage that remains in Sicily can be seen in the architecture of a few very important buildings, but today it is regarded a popular seaside resort. With its distinct identity and its various cultural and religious events that take place throughout the year, Giardini Naxos is a natural tourism hotspot.

While the natural beauty of the location made it an interesting place to visit, it was the fashion house of Dolce & Gabbana that arguably put Sicily on the fashionista map, and spread the island’s crafts worldwide by incorporating iconic Sicilian images in its bold prints like the colourfully decorated horse cart, ripe lemons and oranges. This was an early inspiration for the interior design concept created for the hotel by THDP, the London based interior designer and architectural practice with a team of 50 per cent British and 50 per cent Italian designers (the best of both worlds). The design team consisted of Nicholas J Hickson and Manuela Mannino (Founders of THDP) and Simone Bretti (design) and Francesca Benedetti (architect).

Making a sensitive nod to the destination’s history and modern culture, in order to inject apt sense of place, the interior design studio THDP decided to centre the concept of its design for the hotel around the location’s unique topography. “Inspired by the natural beauty of the volcanic beaches, the sea, mount Etna’s super-natural presence and the features of the island of Sicily, the vision was to bring them into the centre of the hotel,” explained Benedetti. “By adding local decoration, artworks and colours, the goal was to add character – a deep sense of authenticity and a refined and resort-based palette of natural tones with touches of colours of the sea.”

Detailed local research guided the narrative of the entire  project, commencing with the refurbishment of the main public areas – the lobby, lobby bar and guest check-in area – before retouching the F&B areas, including the main restaurant and the pool dining and bar spaces.

The lobby was a large and open space, which was previously decorated in a heavy baroque style. “The concept from the outset was to re-activate this space, giving it a new heart and focal point – and to be appealing to both guests and to walk-in locals,” said Bretti. “From concept stages, we considered adding a new lobby bar to the centre of the space, being both a visual anchor but also dividing the space and making it feel more intimate.” With the new layout smart workers and leisure guests can meet using a polyvalent area which can hosts all thanks to the different typology of seating. The style is elegant and authentically Mediterranean with sea colours and Taormina’s stone colours melting indoor and outdoor colour palette.

Lobby/lounge inside RG Naxos

Image credit: Giorgio Baroni

The reception has been inspired by the Sicilian attitude of welcoming and it has been translated in three large reception desks with dark grey lava top fabricated by Nero Sicilia.  The rear feature wall is tiled with hand-painted local tiles by La Fauci. The accent decorative lights are from Aromas del Campo and are of copper and rattan, thus from the very beginning of their journey the guest is surrounded by an authentic and local experience.

The restaurant, Panarea, has materials, features and shapes that remind guests of antique craftsmanship, incorporating hand painted tiles in the niches at the entrance with traditional motifs from La Fauci.  The buffet area has screens featuring irregular but geometric shapes hanged from the ceilings that recall ancient Greek terracotta jars. The artisan tributes continue on the walls covered with a braided woven leather cowhide effect inspired by ancient Greek sandals.

Contemporary restaurant inside RG Naxos

Image credit: Giorgio Baroni

La Sciara Restaurant’s design, meanwhile, has been inspired by the existing wallcovering of lava stone: the space has the darker tones echoing those of the Mount Etna volcano, the dark ominous stone is counterpointed by the vibrant blue and red glazing – recalling colours of the sea at night, foreboding, dark yet attractive and welcoming.  The metalwork in the restaurant is a rich copper tone, accented by rich blue lacquers, and the table top feature rich glazed textures applied with glass onto the lava stone, all by Nero Sicilia. The entire space naturally calls to mind dining in a more elegant and finer restaurant.

The Fluido Bar is located on the pool terrace, just outside La Sciara Restaurant offering breathtaking panoramic views of the Mediterranean sea and the unique grey volcanic sandy beaches. The pool bar is characterised by a contemporary, indoor-meets-outdoor styled residential look and feel. The walls are finished in a cement-coloured panels by Cosentino, the bar top is white Dekton and the bar front is feature tiles in raw and glazed lava stone by Nero Sicilia.

A light and bright bar outside RG Naxos

Image credit: Giorgio Baroni

The bar serves pre-dinner aperitifs with signature cocktails, open to guests and locals, the ambition is to become a destination bar for the hotel adding to its local night scene. The seating is part dining, part informal lounge sofas with outdoor furniture by Etimo & Varaschin. The flooring is a grés-tiling from Gruppo Florim, who also provided the surround to the pool and its interior. Large ecru umbrellas offer shade to the guests during the summer times. THDP created a warm garden style lighting effect, selecting outdoor weathered wall fittings by Aldo Bernardi and suspended light by Faro Barcelona.  The large pergola and pavilions are custom designed and supplied by Corradi.

> Since you’re here, why not watch a panel discussion on bathroom design that THDP’s Nick Hickson participated in recently?

The hotel emerges from one of the most difficult periods in hospitality history wth a fresh look and feel, which will no-doubt take it – and the destination – into a new era that puts emphasis on craft, authenticity and simply travelling for longer.

Main image credit: Giorgio Baroni

An airy dining area inside One&Only Portonovi overlooking pool and sea

MINIVIEW: Inside the first One&Only resort in Europe

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MINIVIEW: Inside the first One&Only resort in Europe

Perched on the dramatic Adriatic coastline, One&Only Portonovi marks the luxury hotel brand’s arrival in Europe. Inside, it weaves pristine mountain terrain and medieval history into a modern design, imagined by Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA). Editor Hamish Kilburn explores…

An airy dining area inside One&Only Portonovi overlooking pool and sea

Located in the charming village of Portonovi, on Montenegro’s stunning Adriatic coastline, One&Only’s first resort in Europe is an ultra-luxurious escape in a truly unique corner of the world. Its close proximity to the Montenegro’s town of Tivat and the historical city of Dubrovnik, Croatia, gave the interior designers at Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) a plethora of sources of inspiration in order to create a meaningful sense of place inside the 113-key hotel.

Hotel Design | Exterior of One&Only Portonovi

Image credit: Rupert Peace

With architecture and initial concept design by Denniston Architects, HBA collaborated to craft the interiors and bring the space to life. Drawing inspiration from the regions stunning natural scenery and traditional monastic architecture, HBA creates an understated, modern design that celebrates the resort’s key asset – sweeping vistas of the fjord-like Boka Bay.

Being the design firm’s very first One&Only resort and HBA Singapore’s first project in Montenegro, particular care was taken to adapt to regional expectations in both design and process. Helping to bring this outstanding project to fruition were HBA’s design departments – Illuminate Lighting Design, CANVAS Art Consultants, HBA Graphics, and SOCIAL F+B – who together channeled the company’s core principle of championing local culture and tradition within a modern design that resonates with the global elite.

A breathtaking view of the idyllic Boka Bay instantly captures the gaze of guests when they enter the resort’s reception, giving a profound air of exclusivity and bliss to the space. An ambience of royalty exudes from the room with elements of monastic architectural heritage. Barrel vaulted ceilings in a shimmering platinum tone finished with wood marquetry encompass the space, along with aged, tumbled stone walls and floors. Two oversized hearths flank the attached lobby lounge, completing the traditional castle aesthetic.

A high-ceilinged marble lobby with leather furniture

Image credit: Rupert Peace (styled by Florence Rolfe)

This medieval feel is woven into a contemporary tapestry with modern European decorations, detailing and contemporary artwork, adding soft touches of playfulness to offset the formality. Above the heads of guests as they enter hangs an opulent canopy of hand-blown glass in smokey, amber tones fixed to a frame of intertwining branches forming the shape of a mimosa tree, from which Montenegro’s eponymous national flower sprouts. This nod to regional culture is repeated in the drapery that dramatically frames the vistas of the bay, with a mimosa-inspired floral motif and asymmetrical layering of sheers adding a sense of theatre. At the centre beneath the canopy of mimosa lighting sits a striking boulder sculpture crafted in likeness of the region’s dramatic topography of jagged cliff edges and jutting rocks.

From the reception, guests can venture over to Caminetti, the resort’s intimate bar to relax in its comfortable and luxurious surroundings. Drinks are ordered from a burnt terracotta bar upholstered in leather furnishings and enjoyed in comfortable seating surrounded by natural walnut millwork and stained wood furniture. The space channels the grandeur of the lobby area with grigio marble floors surrounded by columns cladded in backlit art depicting a forest scene. Warmth is diffused through the cool grey colour palette with copper tones and a grey shagreen leather in the fireplaces, Maya Romanoff wood marquetry wall coverings and accents of antique brass. 

A modern luxury bar inside One&Only Portonovi

Image credit: Rupert Peace (styled by Florence Rolfe)

Moving on from the lobby, guests continue on an artistic journey across the rugged landscape of Montenegro; while waiting in the lift lobby, they can busy themselves by admiring the dramatic artwork depicting a hiker trekking through the majestic cliffs and mountain ranges that sit at the resort’s doorstep.

Exuding a sense of residential welcome, One&Only Portonovi’s beautiful guestrooms offer a luxurious home-away-from-home experience. A cozy and romantic ambience is communicated through a warm colour scheme of natural wood flooring and millwork with strokes of grey and burnished bronze.

Each room is fitted with fireplace that straddles the bedroom for an added air of opulence. Windows designed to maximise the mesmerising views of the bay serve to unify the indoor and outdoor spaces, fostering an open, exhilarating feeling. In the bathroom, no effort has been spared to encourage relaxation: an extended lounge space homes a comfortable window-side daybed and central chaise lounge. But the true element of surprise and awe lies within the daybed, which, upon request, can be magically converted into a couples’ tub, designed to face the blissful panorama of shimmering Adriatic waters.

Bathroom inside One&Only Portonovi that overlooks sea and mountains

Image credit: Rupert Peace (styled by Florence Rolfe)

The resort shelters various destination restaurants, which together offer a wealth of choice in cuisine, style, and experience. La Verandah serves up a delicious menu of traditional Montenegrin dishes for both buffet and a la carte settings. To emulate the relaxed and open atmosphere of this dining concept, the design adopts a crisp, Mediterranean colour scheme, with dark indigo blue textures and lacquered panels juxtaposed with antique bronze detailing in the light fixtures. The laser-cut grey Carrara marble tiles lining the floors bring to mind the rich stone patterns seen in traditional regional architecture. Surrounding the tables, seats woven in alternating dove-grey fabric and deep caramel and chocolate leather upholstering are arranged.

For a taste from the other side of the Adriatic Sea, guests can indulge in the refined Italian flavours offered at Sabia, a restaurant headed by renowned Michelin-starred chef, Giorgio Locatelli. The interiors were designed by SOCIAL F+B, an HBA department, in collaboration with the celebrity chef, who chose a light, fresh colour palette with warm sand tones to reflect the elegant, modern menu. The neutrals used throughout the space are accentuated with accents of seafoam blues and dove greys. A colourful light fixture hanging above the bar features hand-blown glass containing grains of sand, conjuring up images of a warm day at the seaside.

SOCIAL F+B was further tasked with the design of the innovative pan-Asian fusion restaurant Tapasake Club, a space exuding an atmosphere as lively and exciting as its cuisine. Concrete flooring is marbled with meandering metal inlay, mimicking the craquelure of ‘wabi-sabi’, a traditional Japanese aesthetic that celebrates beauty in imperfection. A warm and luxurious feel is cultivated through the use of artisanal bronze and dark mahogany detailing on the raked spatulata plaster ceiling and naked red brickwork in the walls. Complementing this golden, autumnal colour palette are neutral fabrics with olive and orange accents and ombre aqua sheer wall partitioning separating the dining tables. Behind the live edge wood bar counter are a row of amber glass display shelves showcasing the intriguing choice of liquors on offer.

A luxury suite with balcony that overlooks sea

Image credit: Rupert Peace (styled by Florence Rolfe)

Completing the wellness experience, the Chenot Espace is a world-renowned health and wellness centre within the resort. The spa area features silver travertine marble walls with a honed finish and washed grey oak floors, along with a burnt orange and grey fabric scheme.

Hotel Design | Arches inside a luxury spa and pool area

Image credit: Rupert Peace (styled by Florence Rolfe)

From the spa’s lavish hammam baths, tiled with a shimmering gold mosaic framed by traditional Turkish stone, to the expansive indoor pool and a room crafted from grigio marble walls and dark grey non-slip simulated stone tiles accented with copper and antique bronze details, this area has been designed, utilising the senses, to take wellness to the extreme. A spray of sunset tones in the glass mosaic surrounding the pool light niches casts a warm shimmering aura through the water. 

> Since you’re here, why not read about One&Only Mandarina?

The arrival of One&Only in Portonovi was described by the team at HBA as a ‘labour of love’. As a result of deep research and development mixed together with intuitive design that speaks the local language, the designers have created a timeless escape that carries the One&Only brand into new territories.

Main image credit: Rupert Peace (styled by Florence Rolfe)

Modern fireplace in contemporary setting

Sculptural warmth: Fireplaces with form as well as function

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sculptural warmth: Fireplaces with form as well as function

Handcrafted, iconic and sculpted for maximum aesthetic and function affect, the emblematic fires from FOCUS have turned up the heat in the international hospitality design arena…

Modern fireplace in contemporary setting

FOCUS, which was founded more than 50 years ago and has been pushing boundaries ever since, is renowned for its emblematic fires which have been exhibited in leading museums of the world including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The dramatic suspended flues with pivoting hearths are instantly recognisable by their sculptural shape. These award-winning fires are so often specified for their form as much as their energy efficiency and heat functionality. All fireplaces from FOCUS – whether lit or unlit – are iconic in their designs, which are handcrafted from highest quality steel by artisans in the South of France.

There are more than seventy designs in the FOCUS collection and each and everyone is a masterpiece in its own right. Suitable for installation in a vast range of projects from ski lodges, spas and boutique hotels to luxury five-star establishments, FOCUS fires add a certain dash of French panache. FOCUS has installed their sculptural fires throughout the world in a large variety of hotels from Nordic cabins to Australian beach resorts; from retreats in the Baleriacs to a converted railway hotel in Holland, every region has an approved partner to ensure the highest standard of service. FOCUS is recognised by the architectural and interior design community who regularly specify the fires for their projects.

Contemporary villa with masterpiece fireplace

Image credit: FOCUS

Odourless and with zero particle emissions, the new gas models can be installed in reception areas of large hotels, restaurants and establishments open to the public. Equally the new Ecodesign Ready wood-burning fires with closed glazed hearths offer high energy output meeting the very highest standards and regulations across Europe.

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

Main image credit: FOCUS

Hamish Kilburn, Marie Soliman, Tom Middleton and Mark Bruce on stage at Independent Hotel Show

Show review: Independent Hotel Show 2021

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Show review: Independent Hotel Show 2021

Following 18 months of uncertainty, the Independent Hotel Show 2021 did what it does best; it brought people back together to re-connect, re-think and re-consider what the future for the indy hotel looks like. Editor Hamish Kilburn, speaker at the show, was there to soak it all in…

Hamish Kilburn, Marie Soliman, Tom Middleton and Mark Bruce on stage at Independent Hotel Show

Leading figures on the UK independent hospitality scene emerged from their bunkers this week to attend the Independent Hotel Show 2021. Exhibitors and visitors alike were not quite sure what to expect when they entered the doors of Olympia London after a year of empty lobbies followed by the double-blow of staff shortages in the wake of Brexit. But once in the hall, with natural Autumn light flooding into the arena, familiar and friendly faces started to appear and harmony was restored.

The highly anticipated show, which like all trade events last year was forced to find virtual alternative routes to keep the industry reconnected during lockdown, was on a mission this year, it seemed, to cut through the noise in order to shelter meaningful conversations that packed a punch and allowed the live audience (a novelty that no moderator took for granted) to explore topics from a slightly different perspective.

Among the 200 carefully curated hotel suppliers at the event, there were a number of exciting new launches on the show floor including a range of innovative technology services.

Clockwork Marketing unveiled its new DIY marketing suite GuestNet; eviivo announced a number of new digital partners, expanding the platform’s range of bespoke offerings for hoteliers; FCS announced the European launch of its latest application FCS1 – an all-in-one web and mobile solution that elevates the way hotels can run operations, and TigerTMS launched iPortal – an affordable, app-less solution which provides branded hotel information, services and guest engagement by scanning a QR-code.

The event also hosted the UK debut of the Cloudbeds Hospitality Platform, which offers independent hoteliers greater efficiencies in bookings, payments and accounting, channel management, marketing and more.

Innovation on display

The Innovation Stage, in partnership with eviivo and dressed by sofa.com, was elevated by an eight-metre-wide mural created especially by art studio Aster Muro, highlighting a continued commitment to integrating art and design into the fabric of the event.

The Innovation Stage’s extensive seminar programme saw packed sessions across the two days of the show and covered subjects including the evolution of sensory hotel design, the effective use of customer data, tackling recruitment and retention challenges and much more.

Hotel Designs’ first panel discussion on sensory design, with interior designer Marie Soliman, architect Mark Bruce and sound expert Tom Middleton, struck a chord with hoteliers who used the session to understand how they could set themselves aside from other hotels by taking a three-dimensional look at their design and hospitality in one. What made the topic particularly exciting was that the panel themselves were currently in early stages of using new sensory ways to elevate guest experience in the hotel projects they are working on.

Hamish Kilburn, Marie Soliman, Tom Middleton and Mark Bruce on stage at Independent Hotel Show

Image credit: Independent Hotel Show

Gareth Banner, Managing Director of The Ned and panellist on ‘The Membership Model: Creating A Lifestyle Brand session, commented: “It’s great to be back at a live event after so long. When you’re in the hospitality business there’s no substitute for being with people, whether that’s customers, vendors or industry colleagues, and it’s very encouraging to see such good numbers here.”

The show’s Social Business Space, designed by Aorta, hosted a number of campfire-style sessions during the event, allowing guests to network with and learn from their peers in an intimate, informal and productive environment and covering topics such as hotel marketing, staffing challenges, kickstarting city hotels and retaining domestic tourists.

Peter Hancock FIH MI, outgoing Pride of Britain Hotels Chief Executive and Independent Hotel Show Ambassador, commented: “Such a delight to find the Independent Hotel Show back in business after our prolonged period of forced hibernation. I’m thrilled by how many people have come here and how excited they are about mixing with other hoteliers, learning from each other and learning from the experts that we’ve brought into the show.”  

Celebrating success

Monday October 4 ended with a joyous industry celebration, as guests celebrated the return of face-to-face events and the reconnection of the hotel community. The evening’s festivities kicked off with the celebration of the Good Hotel Guide’s ten Cesar Award winners. The Independent Hotel Show Awards were announced, with Joanne Taylor-Stagg FIH MI, General Manager of The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences securing Independent Hotelier and Anna Sirba, Operations Manager at Salcombe Harbour Hotel, awarded GM of the Future, in partnership with The Master Innholders.

Juris Dubrovskis, Executive Housekeeper at The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences, was additionally named ‘One to Watch’ by the judges, for his ‘tenacity, drive and passion for hospitality’. The evening concluded with a surprise additional award for industry veteran Peter Hancock, as he was given Outstanding Contribution for his lifetime’s work in the hospitality industry.

The morning of Tuesday October 5 saw The Power Breakfast hosted by Freemotion from iFIT, an exclusive morning session which welcomed independent hoteliers to hear renowned restaurant critics Fay Maschler and David Ellis discuss what goes into creating an exceptional hotel restaurant experience and taking a deep dive into modern restaurant trends and challenges.

Serena von der Heyde, Owner of Georgian House Hotel & Victoria House Hotel, commented: “I loved the show. I thought the panel discussions were the best and most relevant that they’ve ever been. The Power Breakfast discussion was brilliant – informative and funny. Missing a year has reinforced my belief that the Independent Hotel Show is the most important event in my calendar.”

Seminar at Independent Hotel Show

Image credit: Independent Hotel Show

Both the Social Business Space and The Suite were designed by Aorta, led by Managing Director Frida Rush, with both spaces featuring salvaged architectural materials, bespoke furniture and unique interior finishes, enveloped by the grand industrial presence of Olympia London.

During the event, organiser Montgomery Group announced the launch of new digital platform IH Connects, a free resource for hoteliers to source new suppliers and keep up to date with industry thought leadership, webinars, research and more. The platform will host on-demand seminar content from the two days of the show and will continue to host innovative sessions and vital industry debates throughout the year.

The Independent Hotel Show will return to Olympia London on October 4 – 5 2022 for its 10th edition.

Main image credit: Independent Hotel Show

Hyatt Centric brand debuts in UK with Cambridge opening

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hyatt Centric brand debuts in UK with Cambridge opening

The opening of Hyatt Centric Cambridge, situated in the same sustainable development of Turing Locke, marks the brand’s arrival in the UK. The 150-key hotel has been designed by AvroKO to reflect the destination’s storied history. Editor Hamish Kilburn explores…

Envisioned by the same interior design studio, AvroKO, that was responsible for the creation of the recently opened Turing Locke, Hyatt Centric Cambridge also shares the same postcode as the new aparthotel. Both hotels have recently opened their doors inside the new sustainable development in the neighbourhood of Eddington, but as far as the design narrative goes, both hotels stand alone offering something different.

The milestone opening of Hyatt Centric Cambridge marks the debut of the brand in the UK (and the 10th Hyatt hotel in the country). Situated just outside the centre of Cambridge, renowned for its leafy parks, magnificent architecture, picturesque River Cam and stunning historic centre, the 150-key lifestyle hotel provides the perfect launchpad for adventurous travellers to explore the buzzing city, which is sharply becoming somewhat of a hotspot for hotel developers.

Located two miles northwest from the city’s historic heart, guests can explore the quaint cobbled streets or enjoy an afternoon punting on the River Cam, passing by stunning University colleges.

Set around a central courtyard, the hotel’s modern, inviting architecture and interiors, designed by Stirling Prize-winning architects dRMM, reflect the destination’s storied history. The social lobby features floor-to-ceiling windows flooding the space with bright, natural light, and modern furnishings with natural, wood finishes. A carefully curated selection of artworks nods to the scientific history of Cambridge, adding vibrant flashes of colour to the communal spaces.

“We are thrilled to open the doors of Hyatt Centric Cambridge. Cambridge is one of the most iconic cities in the UK thanks to its magnificent architecture, university buildings and historic centre. The hotel’s location allows curious guests to make the most of what the destination has to offer,” said Martin Newbould, General Manager, Hyatt Centric Cambridge. “We are excited for our guests to enjoy the hotel’s array of facilities including our distinct bar, restaurant and coffee shop, which offer savvy travellers share-worthy experiences.” 

A blue large bedroom inside the Hyatt Centric hotel in CambridgeThe 150 chic guestrooms mix understated grandeur with art deco touches. Warming mustard velvets mix with bold, calming blues, all complemented by rich walnut wood touches. 57 guestrooms offer a stunning courtyard view, 30 of which are deluxe rooms offering an even more spacious stay. Rooms include a selection of thoughtful amenities, featuring a flat screen television with Bluetooth capabilities, an alarm clock radio with Bluetooth pairing, Bee Kind bath amenities, cosy bathrobes and more.

F&B

Four distinguished dining options offer a diverse mix of international cuisine, using local produce from established Cambridge brands. Guests can kick-start their morning at KOTA’s coffee shop, with artisan baked goods, third-wave coffee from Saint Espresso roasted on-site, as well as revitalising juices and smoothies.  

KOTA restaurant will focus on the Finnish concept of charcoal cooking and community dining; catering for guests and locals throughout the day with fresh, bright brunches leading into light daytime dining, and a chargrilled evening menu complemented by botanical cocktails.

Public areas of Locke/Hyatt Centric Cambridge

Image credit: Edmund Dabney

The Dutch offers classic cocktails with a twist, serving lip-smacking flavour combinations inspired by exotic drinks from all corners of the globe. Guests can indulge in delicious light bites and sharing platters including cured meats, British cheeses and antipasti.

The seasonal roof terrace is the perfect spot for a sundown and provides unparalleled views to match. Created by the team of mixologists, guests can sip on imaginative, botanical cocktails which mix aromatics, fresh infusions and shrubs. The menu also includes a selection of refreshing craft beers all from local breweries, as well as nibbles and small bites.

Meeting and event space

Guests can make the most of the comfortable co-working area, which offers free Wi-Fi and all the hotel’s amenities on hand. Two adaptable meeting rooms, spanning 44sqm and 24sqm, boast large windows and high-spec audiovisual equipment for meetings, conferences and events for up to 30 people.

The seasonal roof terrace will also cater for larger events, hosting up to 150 guests for drinks receptions, presentations, networking and many other social gatherings.

The hotel also includes a fitness centre offering state-of-the-art equipment and free weights, so guests can maintain their healthy lifestyle whilst on the road.

Main image credit: Edmund Dabney

Hotel Design | Hilton hotel in Porto - a contemporary spa

Hilton Porto Gaia opens inside former port warehouse

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hilton Porto Gaia opens inside former port warehouse

Portugal’s second Hilton Hotels & Resorts hotel has opened. The 194-key hotel, situated in the Porto district, occupies a renovated former port warehouse in Vila Nova de Gaia…

Hilton Porto Gaia has opened, which marks Hilton Hotels & Resort’s second property to arrive in Portugal – and it’s a beauty!

Hotel Design | Hilton hotel in Porto - a contemporary spa

“In partnership with Sabersal — Promoção Turística e Imobiliária, S.A., we are thrilled to open Hilton Porto Gaia, our second Portuguese property under our flagship Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand,” said David Kelly, Senior Vice President, Continental Europe, Hilton. “Though modern in style, the former port warehouse still retains the original shape in keeping with the area’s architecture, connecting guests to the history and culture of Vila Nova de Gaia through its unique design elements and locally inspired drinking and dining options. This opening solidifies our commitment to Portugal, Hilton Porto Gaia being the first in a series of new openings that will see Hilton’s portfolio more than double in the coming years.”

A 40 million Euro project development project preserved the property’s classic shape and structure, whilst substantial refurbishments took place influenced by the building’s unique character. Drawing on Porto-Gaia’s rich heritage, the hotel’s interior has been styled by the award-winning Portuguese designer Nini de Andrade Silva to offer contemporary comfort and sophisticated design throughout the eight floors and 32,000-square-meter space. The hotel’s rooms have also been designed with the building’s history in mind, and many offer excellent views of the Douro River and the historic centre of Porto-Gaia.

With a range of drinking and dining options, guests can enjoy the hotel’s two bars and restaurant, the latter of which is headed by celebrated chef Hugo Portela. Portela takes his inspiration from authentic local cuisine, interpreted with a modern and contemporary twist using locally sourced ingredients. The building’s two bars are an extension of this concept, with areas dedicated to artisan coffee prepared by specialist baristas and to the art of mixology, with signature cocktails that can be enjoyed with a panoramic view over the banks of the Douro River.

The hotel’s wellness centre, meanwhile, spread more than 1,100 square metres, emphasises ‘slow beauty’, a holistic approach to the body, mind, and spirit. Guests can relax in dedicated rest areas and take advantage of the heated indoor pool, which references the building’s port wine history with its garnet-toned design. The space also hosts a dynamic fitness centre, with a fully equipped gym open to the public, and a stylish studio ideal for the practice of yoga, pilates and clinical pilates.

Hilton Porto Gaia also offers more than 2,200 square meters of dedicated conference, event and meeting rooms. The extensive meeting space features a magnificent ballroom that can host up to 600 people and an impressive auditorium, which comfortably accommodates 350 attendees and is equipped with the latest technology, including a lift stage.

Main image credit: Hilton

Hotel Designs | Liquid Layers collection by Moooi in minimalist room

At one with nature: Liquid Layers by Moooi Carpet

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
At one with nature: Liquid Layers by Moooi Carpet

Hotel Designs has identified a common thread between the latest collections launched by Moooi Carpets: nature and the organic natural world. But it is one fluid range, Liquid Layers designed by Claire Vos, that has made quite the splash…

Hotel Designs | Liquid Layers collection by Moooi in minimalist room

Bringing the outdoors in is the interior design trend that just keeps on giving. For Moooi Carpets, the rise in demand for biophilic design has allowed its design team to create interesting and vivid carpet collection.

Most recently, one new range from the brand has particularly sparked designers’ interest as it’s inspiration comes from looking beyond what we see on the surface. Cue the launch of Liquid Layers, designed by Claire Vos and conceptualised by objects of nature morphed and liquified into new patterns.

What happens when you deconstruct the shapes and colours found in nature and morph and liquify them into new patterns? Imagine a carpet collection inspired by the objects of nature, in which each design highlights a different mineral or organism, such as the marlstone, a tulip, or a pebble. Well, in the Liquid Layers collection, nature becomes fluid.

For this colleciton, Vos created a design technique where the possibilities are infinite, resulting in a unique approach towards pattern design surprising layer by layer.

The carpets are available in shapes organic and round. Carpets Tulip and Agate come in the shape organic; an unexpected round overlapping shape, very different from traditional carpets. Carpets Marl and Pebble are round and provide softness to angular spaces and gives minimalist interiors character.

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

Main image credit: Moooi Carpets

Preziosi Lifestyle Rock (2)

The latest innovative surfaces from RAK Ceramics

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The latest innovative surfaces from RAK Ceramics

Leading ceramics brand RAK Ceramics unveiled its latest tiles and sanitaryware collections at Cersaie, one of the largest ceramics exhibitions. Hotel Designs gathers all the details and shares its editor’s picks…

Preziosi Lifestyle Rock (2)

RAK Ceramics unveiled its latest tiles and sanitaryware collections at Cersaie, in Bologna, Italy.

The brand continues to provide its customers with ‘Room for Imagination’ and presented a complete collection of innovative new tiles, sanitaryware and complementary bathroom furniture and accessories. Displayed on one single stand (Pad 30 stand C58 – D57), RAK Ceramics, continues to establish itself as the world leading ceramics  lifestyle solutions provider.

> Since you’re here, why not read RAK Ceramic’s article on lighted surfaces in hotel lobbies?

Natural marble tile collections

Through-body veining is a RAK Ceramics innovation that enables natural marble veins to pass through the entire thickness of an unglazed porcelain slab with breath-taking results.

Thanks to innovative printing technology, pattern repetition is kept to a minimum and the delicate lines throughout the slab surface appear random and natural. From floors to wall surfaces and kitchen worktops, the effect is particularly dramatic when the product is used over large areas, with RAK-Preziosi being just one example set to be shown at Cersaie.

Preziosi Lifestyle Ocean

Image credit: RAK Ceramics

Inspired by the elegance of marble, RAK-Preziosi has a smooth to the touch finish and a distinctive patterning that make this porcelain surface a stand-out backdrop feature wherever it is used.

The epitome of luxury and sophistication, this maximus marble collection is also available in the trend-setting open book effect in a huge range of sizes, thicknesses and design solutions and can be chosen in several colours, including Green, Ocean, Pearl, Rio and Rock.

“We are proud to present our new collections at Cersaie 2021, especially at such an extraordinary time,” Abdallah Massaad, Group CEO, RAK Ceramics commented. “Cersaie is an essential event on our marketing calendar and one of great strategic importance for RAK Ceramics. In recent months we have put all efforts into strengthening our positioning as a lifestyle solution provider by developing new collections for bathroom floors, surfaces, large-format tiles, sanitaryware and accessories, all of which are perfectly coordinated.”

Designer bathroom collections

Among the many RAK Ceramics bathroom sanitaryware solutions to be shown at Cersaie, a highlight will be RAK-Valet. Designed by Patrick Norguet, the collection brings together the creative flair of the French designer and the manufacturing quality of RAK Ceramics.

  • The RAK-Valet collection, available in matt and glossy finishes, features thin-profiled washbasins, a generously sized, luxurious bathtub and sanitaryware with elongated lines.
  • The RAK-Valet collection is completed with details such as metal legs and towel rails or the functional and highly elegant little ceramic shelf, yet another design triumph by Norguet.
  • RAK-Valet also co-ordinates perfectly with some of the most successful furniture ranges by RAK Ceramics, such as the newly released RAK-Joy Uno cabinets and mirrors.

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

Main image credit: RAK Ceramics

Newmor projects and David Johnston

Made in Wales: Celebrating a new chapter for Newmor

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Made in Wales: Celebrating a new chapter for Newmor

In an exclusive and well-timed interview with Hotel Designs, David Johnston, Managing Director of wallcovering company Newmor, meets editor Hamish Kilburn to explain more about the Welsh brand’s new look…

Wales is famous for its rugged coastline, mountainous National Parks and elegant language. Beyond the beautiful beaches, the Welsh people are also known as some of the friendliest – which set a comfortable tone for my latest interview.

Newmor projects and David Johnston

What, in all honesty, I was not aware of was that Wales, a modest country that has more sheep than people, is also home to the UK’s largest independent commercial wallcovering manufacturer.

Established in 1967, Newmor (one of Hotel Designs’ recommended suppliers) is privately owned and proud to be family-run to this day. Its roots may be local but the company’s presence on the international hotel design scene is anything but restricted. The brand operates in more than 70 countries worldwide through a vast network of international distributors and regional sales offices.

Now in its mid-50s, Newmor has earned the right to go through something of a transformation – so it was a great time for me to catch up with David Johnston, the brand’s Managing Director, who through his 24-year career at the brand has been able to see the brand’s operations from various perspectives. “I became Managing Director just over two years ago and I believe my journey from the factory floor to senior operational and commercial management has given me a unique insight and appreciation of what we do,” explains Johnston. “In my previous role, as commercial director, I extended Newmor’s reach in international markets, and as Managing Director I have been able to put in place an infrastructure to build on that – so now is absolutely the right time to refresh our branding.

“Our relaunch allows us to bring a focal point to the brands core values in colour and design as well as renewed appreciation in its heritage.” – David Johnston, Managing Director, Newmor.”

When looking at the general landscape – and considering the enormous culture shift our industry has recently endured – it’s an apt time for any brand to consider a new look. But for Newmor, pre-pandemic, the idea of development and evolving with the industry has always been a focus. “I think it’s important to highlight that the rebrand has been a culmination of three to four years development,” says Johnston. “We took a hard look at ourselves and what we wanted to become both as an employer in the local area and as well a key supplier to the global interiors market. Our relaunch allows us to bring a focal point to the brands core values in colour and design as well as renewed appreciation in its heritage.

“The brand firmly believes that design, pattern, and colour have the power to change how people feel in an interior space.”

Newmor designs and manufactures its products at its own facility in Welshpool. The business is a family business in every sense as the brand’s skilled workforce have decades of experience. And from talking to David, it’s clear that the brand firmly believes that design, pattern, and colour have the power to change how people feel in an interior space. As experts in design and manufacturing, the team’s vision is to celebrate pattern and design in commercial installations globally, whilst reducing life cycle cost and the impact on the environment.

And by looking at the company’s capabilities and ambitions, Newmor is well placed to provide solutions suitable for any project or budget. There are thousands of designs and colour options within its portfolio, a dedicated design team to create custom solutions, all backed up by an impressive warehouse of stocked wallcoverings – a facility that has been invaluable in a post Brexit world.

Image caption: Newmor Bespoke wallcoverings at Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas. | Image credit: Newmor

Image caption: Newmor Bespoke wallcoverings at Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas. | Image credit: Newmor

I asked Johnston to give me 10 words to describe Newmor. He came back with this: Innovative, creative, approachable, authentic, adaptable, specialist, reliable, durable, agile and UK made. “I believe these ten words encapsulate the business’ values and ethics accurately and signifies the customers journey when working with us,” he adds.

Whether it is large format bespoke digital prints, fully fire rated durable fabric-backed vinyl wallcoverings, an array of printable films or creating write and wipe walls, Newmor has the capability and infrastructure to supply the most demanding commercial sectors. And it’s the third word, ‘approachable’ that, despite a modern makeover to its brand, keeps Newmor a much-valued recommended supplier.

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

Main image credit: Newmor

Ep 8 DESIGN POD

LISTEN NOW: Art’s role in design – a DESIGN POD special

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
LISTEN NOW: Art’s role in design – a DESIGN POD special

Calling all design and architecture enthusiasts, the latest episode of DESIGN POD has dropped! Listen now to episode eight of the podcast for all designers and architects on-to-go to find out what happened when editor Hamish Kilburn and co-host Harriet Forde met Patrick McCrae, CEO and founder of ARTIQ, a brand on an unapologetic mission to towards equality in art and beyond…

Ep 8 DESIGN POD

Episode eight of DESIGN POD is now available to listen to on all major podcast platforms. In this episode, which is in association with Bathroom Brands Group, editor Hamish Kilburn along with co-host Harriet Forde investigate art’s role in design. To do this, the duo welcome Patrick McCrae – some might say the king of the art scene in the UK – onto the Minotti London sofa to explore more about ARTIQ’s mission towards equality.

Before we started to really understand art’s role in this eclectic arena, it was integral in the conversation to understand ARTIQ’s role when it comes to creating exceptional spaces around the world. “We tend to work a lot with designers and architects as a triumvirate team to pull together at times quite complicated art schemes to help articulate a design narrative.”

Minus one or two hilarious moments, the conversation with McCrae was fuelled largely by his undisputed passion to create an equal arena for all emerging talent within the creative industry. “I set the company up when I was 21,” he said. “Often, creativity is seen as a hobby and therefore it is not paid properly. It’s not uncommon for artists to work for exposure and not cash. I set this business up to show that the journey of an artist can be economically viable.”

Listen to the full episode below:

Main image credit: DESIGN POD/Hotel Designs

Red lobby inside the first Canopy by Hilton property in Spain

First Canopy by Hilton hotel opens in Spain

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
First Canopy by Hilton hotel opens in Spain

Situated in the heart of the capital city, Canopy by Hilton Madrid Castellana has arrived in the Azca neighbourhood with a focus on cultural hospitality and contemporary design that speaks the local language…

Red lobby inside the first Canopy by Hilton property in Spain

The vibrant lifestyle brand that takes inspiration from local neighbourhoods, Canopy by Hilton, has official arrived in Spain, with the opening of Canopy by Hilton Madrid Castellana.

Since your here, why not read our review of the UK’s latest Canopy by Hilton hotel?

The property, owned by Hotel Investment Partners (HIP), is located in the financial district of the city. It is one of a trio of European openings under the Canopy by Hilton brand this year, following the summer opening of Canopy by Hilton Paris Trocadero, and the soon-to-open Canopy by Hilton London City.

“This stylish hotel truly emanates the iconic city of Madrid, offering travellers an authentically local experience. Our third opening in the Spanish capital in the last year and Spain’s first Canopy by Hilton, we’re excited to launch yet another enticing option here in Spain for travellers visiting from across the globe, including the more than 118 million members of our award-winning Hilton Honors guest loyalty program,” said David Kelly, Senior Vice President, Continental Europe, Hilton. “This opening is a further statement of our continued commitment to the Spanish hospitality market, as well as our growing confidence in a strong recovery for the tourism sector in the months and years to come.”

The theme of ‘Red’ Madrid underpins an interior design scheme that embraces popular “Madrileño” culture from the forefront of design. The project was masterminded by the studio of interior designer Jaime Beriestain and takes inspiration from the city itself — as the cradle of cañí [traditional Madrid] culture — to produce a space by everyone and for everyone, in the words of Madrid’s unofficial hymn. The 314-key hotel, with 12 meeting rooms, has a distinct local look and feel, creating a comfortable environment for business and leisure travellers alike.

“We wanted to create an airy, open space, without barriers so that people could meet, see and be seen,” explained Beriestain. “For me, Madrid symbolises the colour red; it is a place where passion reigns and different, connecting cultures converge. That is why it is so important to offer the city a space that reflects that philosophy, a place to connect and meet — that is the concept behind Canopy by Hilton Madrid Castellana.”

Following the comprehensive refurbishment of the building’s interior, the hotel was planned as a setting to be lived and enjoyed. Airy, open spaces greet the visitor in a lobby — which creates an ambience conducive to conversation. The lobby is dominated by Canopy Central, a gastronomic meeting point where visitors can enjoy a specialty coffee or food prepared from healthy, local ingredients.

On the mezzanine, locals and visitors mingle at Planta Z, a spectacular terrace where you can enjoy fun street food-style dishes with live music. The menu is focused on delicious, fresh and healthy cuisine, designed to be shared and combined with the extensive cocktail menu. A new casual meeting place in the capital for residents and visitors to experience the unique ‘Madrid vibes’.

Pool terrace at Canopy by Hilton Madrid

Image credit: Canopy by Hilton

Hotel guests can also enjoy the exclusive pool terrace with views of Madrid’s rooftops and skyline – a typically romantic Madrid scene. To complete this ‘local experience’, the hotel welcomes all guests with violet sweets in their rooms, a souvenir that no visitor to Madrid should miss.

There are currently 31 Canopy properties open around the globe and 29 under development across 16 countries and territories. 

Main image credit: Canopy by Hilton

Public areas inside Graduate hotel in Cambridge

Making an entrance: Can Graduate Hotels’ debut in the UK settle a legendary rivalry?

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Making an entrance: Can Graduate Hotels’ debut in the UK settle a legendary rivalry?

Graduate Hotels has made a bold entrance in the UK with the opening of two hotels in Cambridge and Oxford. Editor Hamish Kilburn explores the tension, the design details and what this means for the two locations that have been at war since 1209…

Public areas inside Graduate hotel in Cambridge

Having just returned from Cambridge, I find it difficult to include ‘Cambridge’ and ‘Oxford’ within the same sentence. I say this because in one of the city’s, Oxford is referred to as ‘the O word’ – I can only imagine what Cambridge is known as in Oxford… That’s right, the two universities – both of which pride themselves to be the most prestigious academic institutions in the world – share one thing in common, aside from their ability to churn out Nobel Prize winners; they both share their mutual (un)healthy rivalry towards one another. Since 1209, when the the University of Cambridge was founded, the history books have painted the two establishments as enemies, which has in the past – many, many years ago – even resulted in murder.

Making what I am comfortable to describe as the boldest debuts in 2021 (so far), Graduate Hotels, a collection of handcrafted properties in university-anchored cities across America, has opened its first set of hotels in Europe in… yes, you guessed it… Cambridge and Oxford. Graduate Cambridge and The Randolph Hotel by Graduate Hotels have officially opened their doors for overnight stays with food and beverage outlets to follow later this month.

Inspired by the world-famous academic reputation and unique traditions of the cities and universities, both Graduate Hotels properties offer design rooted in storytelling, distinct food and beverage experiences and a range of programming and events with local partners hosted year round. Crafted for local neighbours and students, regional alums and weekenders and international travellers alike, the hotels both seek to celebrate the dynamic communities they are positioned within.

“Our team is humbled to be launching the Graduate Hotels brand in two of the most historic and prestigious university communities in the world,” said Ben Weprin, Graduate Hotels founder and CEO. “The legacies that these iconic destinations represent drive the ethos of what inspires us to create memorable spaces to be enjoyed for generations to come. We look forward to welcoming global travellers for a uniquely Graduate experience in these centuries old, one-of-a-kind cities.”

Graduate Hotels has partnered with restaurant developer, White Rabbit Projects to launch all food and beverage outlets at Graduate Cambridge and The Randolph Hotel by Graduate Hotels. White Rabbit Projects is behind some of the most exciting hospitality concepts in the U.K. including Kricket, Lina Stores and Island Poké. With input from local suppliers throughout the regions, the range of culinary offerings will encompass restaurant, bar and café concepts.

Inside Graduate Cambridge

Positioned along the idyllic banks of the River Cam, the 148-key Graduate Cambridge is surrounded by the University of Cambridge, within walking distance of several colleges, and a stone’s throw from the city’s best restaurants, bars and shops. The hotel has undergone a complete interior renovation that includes all rooms, common spaces, fitness club and pool. A ground floor conversion has seen the addition of a café and bar, as well as the renovation of the full-service restaurant, which opened on September 10.

Public areas inside Graduate Cambridge

Image credit: Graduate Hotels

Led by Graduate Hotels’ in-house interior design studio, the hotel’s design incorporates the history of the city, making the river the focal point with various accessible views, especially in the lobby bar. Colour palettes, patterns and textures in the public areas reflect the green surroundings of fields and the pastoral English countryside. With the punting boat rentals located just outside, the design brings local inspiration into the hotel, with life-size punting boats incorporated in the bookshelves in the lobby, a statement installation by local craftsmen.

The lobby is also home to a hanging DNA installation to celebrate Rosalind Franklin, a pioneer in the development of DNA at the University of Cambridge. The guest rooms see splashes of “Cambridge Blue.” Key design details include wallpaper depicting school gates, bedside built-ins reimagined as punting boats, whimsical lamps in the shape of a penny coin, as well as striking wood and leather desks to give the rooms a studious feel. Bathrooms feature scenic pastoral wallpaper and mirrors in the shape of the university crest.

The Randolph Hotel by Graduate Hotels

Located in the city’s cultural epicentre, The Randolph Hotel by Graduate Hotels is within close walking distance to the University of Oxford and its iconic colleges, including Trinity and St. John’s. The hotel is also close to St. Giles Street, as well as the world-famous Radcliffe Camera and Ashmolean Museum. The design of the 151-key hotel takes inspiration from the university’s history, paying homage to its storied innovators and alumni. The hotel has undergone a complete renovation across all of the common spaces, the lobby and guest rooms, which includes a spa featuring treatment rooms, a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi, all of which will open in autumn 2021.

The hotel has relaunched with comprehensive interior renovations throughout all of the guest rooms, the lobby and common spaces. Led by Graduate Hotels’ in-house interior design studio, the design details at The Randolph Hotel by Graduate Hotels include bold hues and architectural elements inspired by the hotel’s heritage and locally inspired art which tells the narratives of Oxford’s past. In-room art includes paintings of Oxford alumni and well-known author and playwright, Oscar Wilde, and a painting of the famous ‘Steamboat Ladies’ (1904-1097), tells the story of a group of more than 700 women who travelled by a steamboat ferry to obtain degrees at a time when their own universities withheld graduation from female students.

Founded by CEO Ben Weprin in 2014, Graduate Hotels currently has 30 U.S. locations in addition to the two new U.K. properties. Owned by Adventurous Journeys (AJ) Capital Partners, Graduate Hotels’ properties in Oxford and Camdbridge join AJ Capital’s growing portfolio of hotels throughout the U.K. AJ Capital additionally owns and operates Marine & Lawn, a collection of bespoke hotels in the world’s most distinguished golfing destinations. The inaugural properties recently launched with Rusacks Hotel in St Andrews, Scotland and Marine North Berwick in North Berwick, Scotland, and will be followed by Marine Troon in Troon, Scotland.

Main image credit: Graduate Hotels

Accor hotel room on top of mountain

The sky is the limit: Germany’s highest hotel room

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The sky is the limit: Germany’s highest hotel room

Accor, in a bid to raise awareness of its ALL – Accor Live Limitless campaign, has installed a glass box that contains a fully-furnished hotel room on the top of Germany’s highest mountain. But you can’t stay here (not yet anyway)…