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Lighting design: guests’ demands come first

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Lighting design: guests’ demands come first

Following the industry emerging from the pandemic, lighting brand Franklite explains how guests are at the heart as the hospitality industry enters unchartered waters…

It’s important to understand how the right light can be used in different environments. For instance, in a hotel, light can be used to create an ambience and welcoming feel when paired with the right decor and natural light.

The right light can create a warm and friendly atmosphere; however, the wrong light can easily detract from a nicely decorated room.

Lighting in hotels should be installed with guests at the heart. The entire guest experience starts as soon as you arrive at the front desk of a hotel. If you are arriving late at night, the lighting should be warm and welcoming, helping you to feel relaxed and comforted. This is in contrast to when arriving in the morning, where there should be plenty of daylight or if not possible, bright white lighting, to help you feel energised and awake.

Image credit: Franklite

It’s important to make the best use of light in each space, to create a relaxing atmosphere throughout the entire hotel. For example, the lighting in the restaurant will require different lighting at different times of the day. During the day, where natural light changes are more noticeable, different scenes make it easy to adapt and maintain the right light level. At night, the lighting may be needed to assist in creating a romantic setting.

Understanding these nuances has been the key to Franklite’s success, having manufactured and distributed decorative lighting products from our purpose-built premises for more than 45 years. The brand is renowned, both in the U.K. and abroad, for the quality and versatility of its lighting, a reputation built on using only the finest components in the manufacturing process.

The lighting brand has evolved into a company offering a diverse range of decorative LED lighting products for both interior and exterior, domestic and contract applications, including all areas of hospitality and especially in hotels.

Franklite was one of the first manufacturers of energy saving chandeliers within the U.K. lighting industry. The brand understands the importance of keeping up to date with changes in regulation, the development of super-efficient light sources, and changing interior design trends.

Along with its constantly updated catalogue range, Franklite is able to offer bespoke LED lighting solutions for special projects, ensuring your design is ahead of the game and adding that ‘WOW’ factor when required. The company has dedicated contract sales and technical teams with many years of experience in lighting to assist with all your requirements.

If you would like any assistance or advice on using our products in your next project, please contact us on 01908 691818 or visit the website.

Main image credit: Franklite

 

UPDATE: Sleep & Eat goes virtual for 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
UPDATE: Sleep & Eat goes virtual for 2020

This year’s Sleep & Eat, which was due to physically take place at Olympia London in November, will now happen in a virtual format…

The highly anticipated Sleep & Eat event, which year-on-year welcomes designers, architects and suppliers from across the UK and Europe, has announced that the 2020 event will go ahead, but in a slightly different format.

Instead of being sheltered inside Olympia London, the event will now be rebranded as Sleep & Eat Virtual 2020, following the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement, the organisers said: “For 15 years Sleep & Eat has been the place where the hospitality design community connects, and we understand the importance of this in the current climate. With Sleep & Eat Virtual we are excited to create an event which will enable the industry to continue to gain inspiration, source new products, expand their knowledge and network with contacts old and new.” 

Uniquely, Sleep & Eat Virtual 2020 will also co-locate virtually with Decorex with the aim to bring the industry together on November 3 – 5. This co-location is said to offer new and exciting opportunities for both events, which will attract new audiences.

“For the industry to bounce back quickly there is a real need for us to come together in 2020 and discuss our future,” said Sleep & Event Director, Mark Gordon. “There is still a huge desire for the industry to be united, to be inspired, share knowledge, and spark planned and ad-hoc conversations. Sleep & Eat Virtual will give all the opportunity to achieve this and we are very excited.”

Main image credit: Sleep & Eat

IN PICTURES: inside the new Villa Copenhagen

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
IN PICTURES: inside the new Villa Copenhagen

The 390-key luxury hotel, Villa Copenhagen, has officially opened. Hotel Designs takes a peek inside…

It has been one of the most anticipated openings of 2020, with architecture and design from award-winning studios such as Universal Design Studio and Goddard Littlefair, Villa Copenhagen has officially opened its doors.

Housed in the century-old Danish Post and Telegraph office, adjacent to Tivoli Gardens, Villa Copenhagen is a Grande Dame hotel for the 21st century, offering approachable, conscious luxury through a commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and meaningful experiences that connect guests to the landscape, culture, and energy of the city.

Exterior of the building in Copenhagen

Image credit: Villa Copenhagen

To ensure that the new interiors matched the grandeur of the 1912 Neo-Baroque architecture, and to keep the building at the forefront of Scandinavian design for another hundred years, the hotel appointed several design and architecture firms. The overall look and feel is credit to Universal Design Studio, which was appointed to create 381 guestrooms across the hotel’s five floors and Goddard Littlefair, which, following a number of recent award-winning projects, was responsible for the design of no less than five F&B areas sheltered within the hotel, as well as the wellness areas and meeting areas and conference rooms.

light modern room inside Villa Copenhagen

Image credit: Villa Copenhagen

Evoking the ambiance of a sophisticated Danish residence, rooms feature high ceilings, herringbone floors, restored original windows, gold accents, and muted colour palettes that pay homage to paintings by 19th century Danish master Vilhelm Hammershøi. Thoughtful touches include keyless entry and remote check-in, virtual check-out, and an optional white glove service.

The two-storey Universal Penthouse Suite features a grand walnut and steel spiral staircase leading up to lounge space and a master bedroom. Other contributors include Danish architect Eva Harlou, who designed the sought-after Earth Suite, a fully sustainable suite entirely comprised of recycled materials and textiles with eco-friendly furniture by Mater Design; and Shamballa Jewels, a Danish fine jewellery brand that designed the remaining seven suites, including The Shamballa Master Suite, which is the most expensive suite in Denmark at US$8,100 per night, as well as two other spaces within the hotel, specifically The Courtyard and Old Boardroom.

Image caption: The Courtyard | Image credit: Villa Copenhagen/Stine Christiansen

Image caption: The Courtyard | Image credit: Villa Copenhagen/Stine Christiansen

Villa Copenhagen is also home to the city’s finest private art collection valued at more than US$2 million. With celebrated art curator Sune Nordgren at the helm, current artworks on display include pieces by local talent and celebrated international artists, including Jaume Plensa, Per Kirkeby, and Ian McKeever.

The new luxury address features ample outdoor and interior green spaces, including a generous rooftop pool, to promote a sense of wellbeing and tranquillity across its public areas, going above and beyond current government health and sanitation regulations while maintaining its vision of delivering an inspiring and playful ambiance.

Rooftop pool on top of Villa Copenhagen

Image credit: Villa Copenhagen/Stine Christiansen

Executive Chef Tore Gustafsson is responsible for Villa Copenhagen’s sustainable food profile, which focuses on ‘carbon-free’ dining and zero food waste. He worked with Epicurean, an F&B design studio from celebrated interior design house Goddard Littlefair, to develop all five of the hotel’s food and beverage outlets.

Located on the ground floor in the former sorting room of the Post House, the Public and Rug Bakery outlets make up a spacious breakfast and flexible event space with an open kitchen, where guests are provided with personalised options for fresh bread, pastries, and coffee, including individually sealed to-go ‘FIKA’ bags, as well as à la carte options that can be served via in-room dining.

The T37 Bar & Lounge offers a menu of tongue-in-cheek aesthetic, craft cocktails, and light dishes in a beautifully restored corner with original marble columns.

Image caption: Kontrast | Image credit: Villa Copenhagen/Stine Christiansen

Next door, the Playroom is stocked with table and board games, books, and plush furniture for laidback evenings. Kontrast brasserie has its own street entrance facing Central Station, and provides a cosy all-day restaurant open to city residents with contemporary takes on mid-century décor. Fresh, flavourful dishes made with organic ingredients from the hidden garden and local suppliers are served by Gustafsson and his team from a bustling open kitchen.

Image caption: The Brasserie inside Villa Copenhagen

Image caption: The Brasserie | Image credit: Villa Copenhagen

Opening in the post-pandemic world, in this new era for hospitality, the 390-room hotel has developed its health and hygiene policies in tandem with operational procedures to ensure travellers and local visitors enjoy a seamless guest journey, finding comfort in every corner– from the private sanctuary of the guestrooms and suites, to social hubs and dining outlets.

Main image credit: Villa Copenhagen/Stine Christiansen

STAY luxury accomodation

FEATURE: How ‘hometels’ and long-term stays will thrive

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
FEATURE: How ‘hometels’ and long-term stays will thrive

The extended stay portion of the lodging business continues to see strong demand. But are extended stay brands doing enough to keep up with travellers’ evolving tastes and needs? Editor Hamish Kilburn speaks to Sam Ghosh, Vice President at STAY

A few weeks ago, during Hotel Designs LIVE, former presenter of The Gadget Show Jason Bradbury boldly told me that the hotel model as we know it will change forever in the post-pandemic world.

STAY luxury accomodation

With this in mind, I caught up with Sam Ghosh, who is the Vice President of STAY, a residential brand offering serviced apartments in iconic and well-connected locations that shelters the comforts and convenience of home, while combining the luxuries of a boutique hotel. With the recent opening of STAY Camden and with new properties on the horizon, Ghosh seemed like an apt person to speak to in order to understand the ever-evolving needs and demands of modern travellers.

Image caption: (Left) Sam Ghosh, Vice President, STAY. (Right) Image credit: STAY Camden

Image caption: (Left) Sam Ghosh, Vice President, STAY. (Right) Image credit: STAY Camden

Hamish Kilburn: Hi Sam! So, we have identified that there’s a growing accommodation trend of ‘hometels’, but how does STAY fit within this landscape?

Sam Ghosh: STAY is the residential brand from LABS Collective. Located in Hawley Wharf, STAY residences cater to extended stays offering access to LABS flexible workspaces, which is particularly beneficial for business travellers. The design led  apartments are created to optimise sleep, productivity, and play, ideal for the mobile workforce. 

STAY is a brand that was born with the hybrid ethos in mind – rooms are complete with kitchens with considered design. Guests can also enjoy a concierge service, housekeeping, and premium facilities such as access to a gym. Residents are actively encouraged to make use of the generous communal areas plus it’s on the doorstep of one of London’s most exciting new developments, Hawley Wharf, when it opens in late 2020.

As we emerge out of lockdown, we’re actually seeing a higher demand for serviced apartment living and flexible office space strengthening. Hawley Wharf offers this cautious half step between home and returning full time to offices. Cutting out the commute with STAY and offering a variety of community areas and programming in LABS, we are providing room for people to feel comfortable together again. With careful safety and hygiene adaptations to the space we are creating a comfortable environment for people to re-socialise and feel part of a community.

HK: Can you explain the design scheme inside a STAY property? 

SG: The head of architecture and design for LABS Collective, Yaara Gooner, is the creative eye behind our carefully designed spaces. She leads a team of dedicated in-house designers and architects that magically transform our properties, whether LABS workspaces or STAY residences, to create hubs of enterprise, designed for wellbeing, productivity, and growth. 

The design of STAY Camden holds the need for our long-term guests to relax, work and entertain. Each apartment has been designed to provide superior comfort to each guest, created by combining natural materials, including marble, stone and natural oak with soft furnishings and brass touches. The majority of our furniture has been sourced by Menu, a Scandinavian design brand providing a distinct Nordic influence across the property. 

Within the communal areas, plants also complement the warm colour palette. Nature is imperative to our design process and plants are used for their aesthetic quality and ability to increase productivity, memory retention and decrease stress. They’re also fundamental to creating safe and healthy spaces for our guests and members. Owing to their air purifying qualities we have selected greenery for our public spaces, known to absorb 75 per cent of airborne pollutants. 

Luxury room

Image credit: STAY Camden

HK: Can you tell us more about the new safety measures in place?

SG: As a business, our first priority is always the safety and wellbeing of our staff, members and guests and new standards have been incorporated into LABS Collective’s shared workspaces and serviced apartment environments. The measures in place remain so long as the threat of COVID-19 does, but also inform our strategic approach to design and operations in the long term. STAY Camden in fact remained open and operational since the pandemic began, accepting new bookings for guests seeking mid to long term accommodation, prioritising those categorised as key workers or those displaced from their primary place of residence. 

We have gone above and beyond the recommended Government guidelines, elevating our standards to ensure that members and guests can enjoy our spaces with total confidence and to support the wellbeing of our whole community. As an example, at Hawley Wharf, Camden where LABS members and STAY guests share the same entrance, visitor screenings are in operation on arrival as well as one-way systems to ensure seamless movement throughout the building for all.

For our STAY residences, we have totally reworked our guest protocols to translate the best practices in safety and hygiene standards to the apartments whilst providing comfortable accommodation that feels like home. These new measures include reduction of touch points across STAY’s three apartment buildings, including the use of a digital link to pay instead of the regular chip and pin machine, and digitising the guest registration form to reduce the proximity of interaction needed at the time of guest check-in.

A barrier spray is applied to all furniture that provides long term coverage to kill pathogens on contact. Upon guest check out, the apartments receive a 48 hour deep clean, including the use of Pro Zone machines to cleanse the air and eliminate bacteria. In preparation for new arrivals a ‘seal of reassurance’ will be applied to the front door of each apartment. Guests will have to physically break the seal to enter the apartment, safe in the knowledge it hasn’t been entered into after a deep clean.

“We also know that people are desperate for interaction after such a long time working at home.” – Sam Ghosh, Vice President, STAY.

HK: You mention an increase in the demand of guests/members wanting to use the Hawley Wharf campus due to the LABS and STAY offering. Are you doing anything further to aid this flexibility of working and living?

SG: With many central London offices remaining shut into the Autumn and beyond, we know that businesses are looking for shorter obligations and for safe spaces to bring their workforce back in comfort in residential zones. We also know that people are desperate for interaction after such a long time working at home.

Recognising the important part that flexible workspaces are playing in this transition to normality, LABS and STAY have launched a new membership which offer a cautious half-way step between working from home and returning fully to the office. Residential spaces like STAY which allow access to LABS flexible workspaces cut out the commute and the vast community areas provide ample room for people to feel comfortable together again. The STAY at LABS membership starts at £2,425 a month and includes a one bedroom apartment at STAY Camden and a Roaming membership providing access to all LABS workspaces. 

We are also working to put additional measures in place across all our LABS spaces in London where we have on-site provisions (such as showers and bike storage) for those walking and cycling to work. To support entrepreneurs and start-ups returning to the workplace successfully, LABS has set up a new incubator initiative which provides discounted office space for qualifying small businesses. Initiatives like this will be integral to a future generation of thriving companies and talent.

Main image credit: STAY Camden

PRODUCT WATCH: Aqualisa zones into the smart bathroom

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Aqualisa zones into the smart bathroom

The use of technology as part of the hotel bathroom experience has taken a giant leap forward with Aqualisa, the showering innovation brand…

Personalisation is the mantra and while bespoke services surely must lie at the heart of the modern hotel offering, the bathroom has lagged behind in terms of an enhanced personal experience, which is surprising when showering and bathing have always been such significant differentiators when it comes to  guest evaluation of hotel quality.

Of course, coronavirus too has accelerated the need for technology solutions that will give guests greater peace of mind in terms of personal safety and control, especially when it comes to zero touch facilities.

With the introduction of the first truly smart shower, Aqualisa has developed a genuinely contactless shower and bath fill solution that will completely change the hotel bathroom experience. Full wifi connectivity that allows activation from anywhere and a smart app menu to control flow, temperature and duration at last aligns the hotel bathroom experience to what consumers are increasingly demanding in their daily lives. “Turn on my shower” will be heard more and more in a hotel environment that will have to focus on private rather than communal areas to provide the premium customer experience.

Aqualisa’s leadership in digital showering, based on groundbreaking touch technology, dates back to 2001 and now takes showering forward into the smart revolution based on mobile and the IoT. Two smart ranges, the Quartz and Q Collections, both offer a full menu of shower settings which can be individually selected and managed from a smart device. A variety of modern and compact product design options, all connected and voice activated via Google Home and Amazon Alexa, will look good in all types of room style.

Image credit: Aqualisa

As well as the sheer convenience and indulgence, there are some clear commercial advantages of smart showering in terms of both installation and running costs. The intelligent Aqualisa SmartValve, which is the brains of the system, is sited away from the showering area for easy access but also freeing up more space in the showering area itself. It makes retrospective upgrades easy and straightforward as well as improving the design aesthetic. Perhaps even more compelling in the post Covid economy is the ability of hotel management to centrally monitor water usage and costs, if necessary, adjusting the water flow through hotel bathrooms

If millennials expect smart technology, future generations won’t know anything different and the hotel bathroom, always the litmus test for comfort and well-being, is where the opportunity lies to create an experience zone which plays to the increasingly personal needs of paying guests.

If you would like to talk more about smart showers contact Colin Sinclair on 07801 579958. For further information on Aqualisa’s smart shower collections visit the website or email projects@aqualisa.co.uk.

Main image credit: Aqualisa

PRODUCT WATCH: Boost Pro, the new collection from Atlas Concorde

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Boost Pro, the new collection from Atlas Concorde

The new Boost Pro collection from Atlas Concorde is designed with urban chic spaces in mind…

In line with the latest trends in contemporary living with an urban chic style, Atlas Concorde presents Boost Pro, a collection of porcelain floors tiles and white body wall tiles designed to decorate indoor and outdoor spaces with a metropolitan appeal.

Boost Pro complements the range of the Boost collection, based on the “cool” tones of the concrete effect, adding five warm colours. Produced using the same surface structure, they offer a unique colour palette in terms of breadth and variety, allowing architects, interior designers, and planners to create new, personalised combinations.

Image credit: Atlas Concorde

Ideal for the renovation of former industrial buildings transformed into residential lofts, workspaces, art galleries or places for hospitality and entertainment, Boost Pro underscores the structure’s industrial character with its strong personality and soft colours developed from earthy and powdery tones, from ivory to brown, giving rooms a lived-in charm.

For the floor, the slight “spatula” effect evokes the authenticity of craftsmanship, increasingly popular in contemporary design projects where the imperfection of a “handmade” look is an expression of value and attention to detail. For walls, the accents of Mustard and Powder Blue allow for strong creative discontinuities accentuated by the availability of material and graphic decorations with a strong visual impact.

In fact, the walls can also be transformed into spectacular three-dimensional frescoes thanks to the use of large porcelain slabs covered with tropical forests, Nordic forests and metropolitan views. Of the numerous formats available, the new 37.5×75 cm takes the classic 30×60 cm to a larger size. The availability of the 20 mm thickness also allows for outdoor use, for coordinated total-look projects.

Colours

On the floor: Ivory, Cream, Clay (light tones), Taupe and Tobacco (dark tones).

On walls: Ivory, Cream, Clay (light tones), Mustard and Powder Blue.

Formats

The exceptionally wide range includes different large formats, from 120×278 cm to 160×320 cm (in the colors of the collection and in the decorative version). The different thicknesses – 6, 9 and 20 mm – allow for their application in different design settings, both indoors and out. The white-body wall tiles are available in the classic 40×80 cm format in two different versions, natural and 3D Urban relief.

Decorations

The extensive range of Boost Pro decorations makes it possible to respond to different design requirements, even in combination with numerous other Atlas Concorde collections.

  • GROVE 120×278, thickness 6 mm

A forest of beech trees designed in graphite in Clay and Taupe tones.

  • PAINT 120×278, thickness 6 mm

Spatula-effect surfaces, marked by time, with strong material contrasts.

  • LEAVES 120×278, thickness 6 mm

The watercolor technique recreates the intensity of a tropical forest for spectacular walls with a green effect.

  • HEX MOSAIC

Colored Murano glass and classic hexagonal tiles add style and depth to Boost Pro walls.

  • SHAPES MOSAIC

Tiles with different shapes and irregular shades create a surprising, original overall effect.

  • 30×30 MOSAIC

The minimalist simplicity of the classic mosaic and the warm tones are ideal for covering floors and walls of bathtubs and showers.

  • MINIBRICK 5×30.5

The rigour of the small rectangular tile for universal interior walls embellished with reflective inserts can be used in any room with all the colors of the collection.

If you want to get more information regarding our products please visit our website www.atlasconcorde.com  or contact us at projects@atlasconcorde.it .

Main image credit: Atlas Concorde

IN PICTURES: Sneak peek of Four Seasons Hotel Madrid

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
IN PICTURES: Sneak peek of Four Seasons Hotel Madrid

Opening this September, after being on the drawing boards for nearly a decade, Four Seasons Hotel Madrid has been designed in collaboration between designers from BAMO, BG Architecture, Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, AvroKO and Luis Bustamante…

After a seven-year reconceptualisation and meticulous restoration of a collection of seven historic buildings, the new Four Seasons Hotel Madrid will open September 15, 2020.

With a soaring grand lobby welcoming guests at its heart, the hotel is located within Madrid’s Centro Canalejas, also home to 22 Four Seasons Private Residences and the Galería Canalejas luxury shopping centre. Architects Estudio Lamela led the restoration, preserving more than 3,700 artefacts throughout. Inside, interiors are by an international team of designers including BAMO, BG Architecture, Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, AvroKO and Luis Bustamante.

Exterior of the hotel

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotel Madrid

“It’s truly been a labour of passion and love as these beautiful buildings transform into a fantastic setting for a new chapter in their histories,” says Christoph Schmidinger, Four Seasons Regional Vice President and the Hotel’s General Manager. “Our owner partners OHL Desarrollos and Mohari Hospitality, and our all-star team of artisans, culinarians and hoteliers, share our vision for offering a very personalised Four Seasons experience in a truly extraordinary setting.”

In a city that is ever changing but always welcoming, visitors will discover something new with every return visit. Four Seasons is just steps from Kilómetro Cerothe central point from which all distances in Spain are measured. In this truly pedestrian-friendly city, most of the main points of interest are within a 20-minute walk, including the 125 hectare (300 acre) Retiro Park with its incredible Glass Palace and endless pathways amid trees, fountains and ponds. Three of the world’s best museums – the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía – form a Golden Triangle in the neighbourhood around Four Seasons.

Luxe, eclectic interiors to reference Madrid's vibrancy in public area

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotel Madrid

Spanish celebrity Chef Dani Garcia will unveil Dani, a new dining concept from the three Michelin-starred chef, with an unmatched rooftop setting envisioned by acclaimed London and New York-based designer Martin Brudnizki. Expect a bright and vivid brasserie with a sophisticated touch, where guests will savour Andalusian cuisine and panoramic views throughout the day and evening, both in the spacious indoors and out in the sunshine on the terrace.

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotel Madrid

Isa, a gastrobar located on the first floor, will continue to move forward the tapas trend that began in Spain, adding modern Asian flavours paired with cutting-edge cocktails in a space created by global design studio AvroKO.  Adjacent to the Hotel’s lobby, El Patio also invites relaxed drinks and dining.

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotel Madrid

The hotel will shelter 200 guestrooms and suites – among them an exceptional triangular Royal Suite with double-height ceilings and numerous historic details.

Staircase in Four Seasons Madrid

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotel Madrid

Elsewhere, the luxury property will also boast the largest spa in the city, offering eight treatment rooms plus a salon and 24/7 fitness centre. It will also offer more than 1,400 square metres (15,400 square feet) of flexible function spaces – including the glamorous oval-shaped Sol Ballroom – can accommodate both business meetings and social events.

Main image credit: Four Seasons Hotel Madrid

USM introduces its first online shop to the UK

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
USM introduces its first online shop to the UK

For the first time, customers in the UK will be able to order furniture directly from the USM website…

A carefully curated selection of beautiful pieces from USM, such as credenzas and bedside tables, can now be ordered in the UK and delivered directly in just three weeks.

USM Haller celebrates its 55th birthday in 2020 a testament to the timeless qualities of this exceptional modular furniture system. The success of USM is due to its simple yet ingenious design. From a few basic components a beautiful and iconic piece of furniture is built, USM Haller has been designed to grow with its environment ever changing needs, no matter what room it has been designed for.

It is the Swiss precision in which the components are made that give the furniture the strength, versatility and clean lines that have made USM Haller a design classic. Launched on to the market in 1965 the USM Haller system has become a watchword for timeless design all over the world. In 1988 it was decided in Germany for the first time ever that the USM Haller furniture system is a work of applied art and should be protected by copyright. Its acceptance into the Design Collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York (USA) at the end of 2001 was a high distinction and confirmed the artistic character of the product. The design classic is used in offices, hospitality and public buildings and increasingly in the style conscious home.

Image credit: USM

The USM online shop offering consists of 24 built pieces of furniture, ranging from a small bedside table to a two unit wide and three unit tall credenza. All products are available in the signature 14 colours which range from monochromes to pops of colours including golden yellow and a gentian blue. The collection also features three pieces of Haller E furniture, Haller E is the newest innovation for USM integrating light and energy directly into the structure of its furniture – completely wirelessly. Dimmable lighting elements can be discreetly retracted into the moving rods to serve a wide variety of purposes: they can light shelves and display cases from the inside or effectively cover a wall in light to set the scene – choosing from a daylight glow or a warm white ambience. Light is not the only integral aspect of USM Haller E – mobile devices can also be charged directly from the structure. Just like the light sources, USB chargers can be attached wherever needed – plugged into pre-defined recesses, they are fully integrated into the rods and barely visible.

Once purchased the furniture can be reconfigured if desired with additional panels and tubes purchased through the USM London showroom.

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

Main image credit: USM Modular Furniture

IN PICTURES: OKKO Hotels’ new design-led guestroom concept

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
IN PICTURES: OKKO Hotels’ new design-led guestroom concept

On July of 2019, in the heart of Paris, along the platform No. 2 at Gare de l’Est, OKKO Hotels unveiled its second generation guestroom concept, designed by Studio Catoir, which chose two models from the Ligne Roset Contract collection as testimonies of a strongly claimed design ambition…

The concept of OKKO Hotels’ second generation guestroom is adapted to the use for a single person, as well as the use for a couple. Concretely, this means separated toilets, more storage space and redesigned ergonomics. The sleeping area has also been re-thought. Many changes had been made in line with sustainable development: choice of materials, implementation of sorting and recycling, use of water fountains. The wish to use natural materials, sometimes raw materials, has been kept. The idea of integrating the codes of interior design into hotel language also remains, by the choice of iconic pieces that are no longer used to being discovered in a nice apartment or a hotel. The choice of the Andrey lamp, design by the Studio Catoir and edited by Ligne Roset, with it design all in finesse and elegance is a great example.

Like most of the international luxury brands, the history of Ligne Roset is rooted in the French craft heritage. In 160 years, the brand has become the symbol of an elegance if life, the imprint of a luxury signed by the greatest contemporary design talents around the world. Ligne Roset, the leading creator-manufacturer-distributor of contemporary French furniture showcases nowdays a whole art of living through its full collection of seats, cabinet, decorative items, lightings, rugs, fabrics and know how to decline, adapt and blend in the bespoke décor imagined by architects and interior designers. It is the expertise of Ligne Roset Contract which is expressed today in the drawings of the Studio Catoir for Okko Hotels. For Okko Hotels, collaborating with a French brands which has an expertise that brilliantly combines craftsmanship and technicality is a strong guarantee of quality.

You will find in the bedrooms the Audrey light, the Rocher chair and Nubo desk.

The hats of the actress Audrey Hepburn inspired Studio Catoir for this lamp which combines great sophistication and resolutely design. A true piece of design, which brings a touch of refinement to the sleeping area of the hotel bedroom.

Image credit: Ligne Roset/OKKO Hotels

Iconic piece by the Berlin duo Hertel & Klarhoefer, manufactured by Ligne Roset, the chair Rocher adopts a fractal design, characterised by a faceted construction. The surface of the shell (seat / back and armrests) seems cut like a diamond. On four white lacquered legs, it brings a feeling of lightness as well as comfort and elegantly complements the office space.

With Nubo, designed by GamFratesi, aesthetic astonishment is provided by the unexpected meeting of the ‘déjà vu’ and a surprising new element: the simple spacesaving wall shelf metamorphoses into a treasure box, evocative of a suitcase such as the Air France blue fabric travelling case of the 1960s. Its rounded cloud shape and luminous yet warm association of natural oak and sky blue wool fabric also fall into the same vintage Scandinavian register.

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

Main image credit: Ligne Roset/OKKO Hotels

Monkey Island Estate opens private residences

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Monkey Island Estate opens private residences

The six new private residences open at Monkey Island Estate in Bray amid post-pandemic luxury consumer demands expecting a surge of self-isolated escapes… 

YTL Hotels’ Monkey Island Estate, which Hotel Designs reviewed shortly after it opened last year, has unveiled six new private residences.

Endearingly named to reflect their individual nature, the residences blend classic style and the warmth of a period home with contemporary and luxury comfort, each with its own intriguing history and story to tell. Guests staying in the residences can enjoy the freedom, space and privacy of staying with loved ones, whilst taking advantage of the hospitality and services of the hotel, just a stone’s throw away.

The residences

Long White Cloud is an embodiment of homely elegance, where Edward Elgar is known to have stayed and composed some of his greatest works.  More recent residents include Formula One racing legend, Sir Stirling Moss. The magnificent 19th Century property has four large bedroom suites accompanied by an impressive kitchen and a charming garden, ideal for alfresco dining in the summer months. Sitting on the banks of the River Thames, Long White Cloud also offers a private pool and jetty, ideal for those who may wish to arrive by boat.

Brook House embodies another spacious offering with four generously sized suites, a lavish living room and a large garden with private outdoor/indoor swimming pool perfect for hot summer afternoons.

Sundial Cottage with its secluded secret garden is quaint yet spacious, steeped in the same exciting history as Monkey Island itself.  Sundial Cottage boasts three gorgeous bedrooms with a kitchen-diner and cosy living room. Those staying in Sundial Cottage will share the same four walls as the famed Sylvia Anderson, the creator of Thunderbirds.

Bray House is a bijou gem just steps away from Bray’s church, offering the ideal country bolthole for those looking to escape the city. The three-bedroom residence has undergone multiple transformations over the years from stable block to cobblers’ shop, antique centre and family home.

Dormer Cottage enchants guests with standout features including wooden beams, a welcoming open fireplace and a dramatic silk-clad wall. The 500-year-old one-bedroom residence offers guests immediate access to the heart of Bray.

Lavender House also sits in the heart of the village offering three bedrooms. With an impressive double fronted cottage façade believed to date back to the early 1700s, the impressive property was once home to several local families in three terraced cottages.

Monkey Island, with its intriguing history dating back 800 years, has been the haunt of monks, monarchs, aristocrats and writers alike. Surrounded by elegant gardens, Monkey Island is accessed only by footbridge, boat or helicopter, offering a secluded country venue, yet is conveniently located less than an hour’s drive from Central London. The addition of the Private Residences offers those who want to enjoy this historic landmark and the delightful village of Bray even more opportunity to do so, in true comfort, style and privacy.

Main image credit: YTL Hotels’ Monkey Island Estate

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: The ‘anything is possible’ approach in interior design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: The ‘anything is possible’ approach in interior design

Timothy Oulton is a British designer who has mastered the ‘anything is possible’ approach greater than most when it comes to interior and product design. Hotel Designs gets comfortable in the Apollo to learn its secrets… 

Nothing epitomises the ‘anything is possible’ ethos that Timothy Oulton Studio is famous for better than Apollo.

It is a unique environment modelled to scale on the Apollo 11 spacecraft, encapsulated in a polished stainless steel shell and featuring luxurious, fully customisable interiors created in-house and by hand by the brand’s skilled cohort of makers and craftspeople.

Image caption: Apollo by Timothy Oulton Studio

Recent research points to just 16 per cent of holiday goers now considering trips abroad, yet the urge to escape the new normal is a powerful force. For the luxury and ultra-luxury hotelier the question of how best to create an experience capable of satisfying this desire, wherever in the world, is more pertinent than ever.

As a commercial interior design studio serving the hotel and hospitality industry, this question is one the Timothy Oulton Studio team has considered from its own perspective. Since the global Covid-19 pandemic took hold, studio founders Timothy Oulton and Simon Laws have been asking themselves what the changed future looks like for a market as vital as the travel and hospitality industry, and for the individual businesses that operate within it.

“Marry the impulse to be transported to another world with a sensitivity to the needs of this one.”

The practice is responsible for delivering unforgettable design concepts that enable its clients to attract, engage and wow visitors – impacting revenue streams by offering unmatched experiences. A potential answer to the question of what next? Marry the impulse to be transported to another world with a sensitivity to the needs of this one. 

An outdoor iteration of the Apollo is something Timothy Oulton Studio has been asked for on numerous occasions. Now, after a year of research, development and prototyping, it is ready to be bought to market and – when the ability to be outdoors in small numbers holds great influence over decisions about where we go and how – the launch seems appropriately timed.

“A design like Apollo can pivot existing businesses in so many ways.”  – Simon Laws, co-founder, Timothy Oulton Studio

For hotels with surrounding land or existing glamping facilities the outdoor Apollo creates a phenomenal point of difference in the luxury market, while larger businesses can use it is an attention-grabbing centrepiece inside or out. At Gordon Ramsey’s Bread Street Kitchen the Apollo is used as a private dining space, enabling small group to drink and eat separately within the buzzy atmosphere of the wider restaurant – this is something that the studio team is expecting more of, as Laws explains. “Now more than ever people want to get away, both physically and metaphorically, and I think perhaps hoteliers are seeing an opportunity to facilitate that for people within their own countries, removing the need to jump on a plane,” he says. “A design like Apollo can pivot existing businesses in so many ways. 

“Being so unique and visually impactful also helps clients understand the value of this particular design – Instagrammability is front of mind for almost everyone in the industry. If it was prevalent before the pandemic it can only be more so now our circumstances have changed and we are out and about less frequently. You only have to take a glance at the breadstreetkitchen hashtag to see what a difference this kind of design makes to the popularity of a business.”

The Apollo can be viewed and bought at Timothy Oulton, Bluebird, 350 King’s Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 5UU.

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

Main image credit: Timothy Oulton Studio/Image caption: Apollo by Timothy Oulton Studio

IN PICTURES: Italy’s Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa opens

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
IN PICTURES: Italy’s Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa opens

The sensitively designed 11-key boutique jewel has opened in the heart of Italy’s White City, Ostuni, Puglia…

With Covid-19 stalling its inaugural opening, the team at Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa are finally able to officially open the doors.  The elegantly restored red palace in the heart of Puglia’s White City, Ostuni, has been meticulously restored to boast 11 individually curated rooms, meaning guest numbers are naturally limited and exclusive takeovers are possible. 

Standing in stark contrast to the whitewashed buildings of Ostuni, Paragon 700’s red brick façade cocoons a lush garden and swimming pool, a rare green space in the heart of the city, offering a spacious, tranquil and exclusive oasis, just a five-minute walk from the main square. 

The Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa team painstakingly restored every inch of the former Italian palace using traditional handcrafted techniques, while injecting a splash of modern flair. French parquet flooring extends throughout all 11 rooms and suites, which feature stonewashed bed linen, cathedral ceilings, period frescos and fireplaces.

Image credit: 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa

Naturally, each guestroom is different, some offering terraces, balconies or in the case of the Paragon Suite, a sunken bathtub and private terrace with sun loungers. Guests who fall in love with the chic interiors will be delighted to discover that they can buy select furniture and décor to take home as the ultimate holiday memento. Any sold pieces will be replaced by the boutique hotel’s stylish owners, who will be happy of an excuse to indulge their passion for sourcing eclectic items.  

The hotel brings a fresh taste to Ostuni, with the opening of Restaurant 700. Head chef Giovanni Cerroni, the protégé of Michelin-starred Paulo Airaudo, offers an enticing menu that celebrates outstanding local ingredients and cuisine. Open to guests and locals alike, this new venue, including the quirky Bar 700, will offer an intimate dining experience, with impeccable service and the finest local vintages from the hotel’s impressive wine cellar.

As the only hotel in the heart of the White City to offer a swimming pool and garden, Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa will also be an unrivalled haven for guests looking to unwind and recharge. The palace’s former water chamber has been transformed into a unique spa offering a Turkish bath, Himalayan salt wall, multi-sensory shower and a natural whirlpool dug into the ground. 

Image credit: 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa

The team at the hotel have put in place a full range of cleanliness and safety measures in light of Covid-19, including daily temperature checks for staff and for guests on arrival, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all those who wish to enjoy this exciting new boutique hotel. 

Main image credit: Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa

CASE STUDY: Creating the art scheme for Great Scotland Yard Hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Creating the art scheme for Great Scotland Yard Hotel

Months after it’s official opening, Hotel Designs gains access inside London’s Great Scotland Yard Hotel for an ‘Unbound’ look into what it took art consultancy firm Elegant Clutter to complete a bespoke artwork scheme…

Most people associate Scotland Yard with the London Metropolitan Police. For some, the words are almost interchangeable.

This is explained by the fact that the original Metropolitan Police Headquarters in Whitehall Place had a rear entrance on a street called Great Scotland Yard. This became the public entrance to the police station and over time the street and the Met Police became synonymous.

It may come as a surprise that Scotland Yard is no longer technically in Scotland Yard. It is less of a surprise that the original 1820’s Grade II listed building, situated only three minutes walk from Trafalgar Square, has been turned into a luxury hotel. It is now proudly the first UK hotel in Hyatt’s Unbound Collection. The renovation has been dramatic and art has played a big part in the hotels development. We take a look behind the scenes at what was involved in creating, curating, handling and finally placing the extensive artwork collection on the walls of this striking hotel.

Image credit: Elegant Clutter

Elegant Clutter was appointed to be part of the team responsible for the transformation of this iconic building. Discussions on how best to deliver the artwork strategy were ongoing for more than two years. The team at Elegant Clutter were required to survey, scope, cost and re-cost in order to help the client plan budgets, feasibility and time scales. With such an iconic London landmark at the heart of the project everyone was focussed on ensuring the content was perfectly matched to the venue and its many backstories.

The first thing to mention is that no two of the 152 bedrooms are the same. And then there are the 15 individually appointed suites that were to be marketed as ‘enjoying a bespoke art selection that celebrates the historical element of your memorable stay’. Whilst this contributes to the hotels appeal and makes the guest feel they are staying somewhere truly unique is poses many challenges to the artwork company. (image – no 2 rooms the same)

The gauntlet was well and truly cast down. Whilst relaxing on their bed, taking in the sumptuous surroundings the guests will have no idea the lengths to which Elegant Clutter went, to make sure the artwork selection and positioning was ‘just so’. The rooms and suites benefit from a collection of investment art from artists such as Belinda Frikh and Nicola Green, bespoke framed by Elegant Clutter as well as custom made and designed artworks by Elegant Clutter themselves.

Image credit: Elegant Clutter

One of the bedroom artworks was inspired by Richard Hamilton’s renowned 1950s pop art piece crafted from painted and layered timber to create a 3D relief. Elegant Clutters highly stylised version picked on references from the period of Robert Peels premiership to create an imaginary London street scene – with a humorous twist. The traditional ‘bobby on the beat’ being replaced by a modern security camera in partnership with the emblematic blue police box. It perfectly fitted the brief from the hotel to fuse its rich history and tradition with modern luxury.

The subtle colours of the various artworks needed to be considerately paired together so that each room had its own mini-collection that worked as one. With all the rooms being so different the artwork selection had to be sympathetic to the colours, shape and layout of each one.

Elegant Clutter developed luxury feel frames for limited edition art and their relationship with the Tate enabled them to print Graham Southerland originals onto luxury silk scarves to be presented in acrylic boxed frames. The spreadsheet required to manage the accurate installation would have been more at home in an accountants office than a fine art studio. The invisible, behind the scenes work is just as important a part of the process as creating the art itself.

Image credit: Elegant Clutter

A key appeal of the hotel is that its historic and cherished buildings hold more hidden stories than any other kind in London. The role of the artwork in the public spaces was also to expose some of those stories but had to remain highly bespoke with a luxury finish.

Elegant Clutter was granted access to the London Metropolitan Polices historical records and memorabilia. These were used to help create story filled installations to give a contemporary museum like experience around the main entrance. Intriguing artefacts were carefully curated and floating display cases were designed and hand made to house them. The feature was brought together by using a metallic digital mural background made up of a rogues gallery of past ‘guests’ of The Yard. What you see as a result is an opulent history wall with multiple layers of interest. What you don’t see is the work involved with making a completely different sized box to house a different item requested by the client at the eleventh hour.

Equal care was taken in the framing of the collectable originals to the same part of the hotel. Pride of place on the ground floor is an imposing Belinda Frikh portrait. Its impact has been boosted with a hand-made frame, non-reflective glazing and a gold leafing to ensure an authentic luxury feel. Gold leafing is sometimes perceived as dying art but Elegant Clutter have painstakingly taken the time to hand gilt frames and even the artwork itself for a variety of luxury hotels. The result is impressive but very few would be aware of the time and diligence taken in the studio to achieve it.

Image credit: Elegant Clutter

With artwork this valuable and unique the Elegant Clutter art handlers insist on a white glove service. It’s an important detail for a project such as Great Scotland Yard where the artwork must be protected at all costs. And it’s not just the art that needs protecting. A 200 year old building must be respected too so an understanding of the walls themselves and the most appropriate fixing solutions is imperative. No one wants to accidentally drill into a lath and plaster wall for a grade II listed building because they haven’t done their homework. An art consultancy needs to be trusted for what they don’t do as well as what they do do. It may not be visible – but its all part of the service.

Image credit: Elegant Clutter

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

Main image credit: Great Scotland Yard Hotel

Exploring what makes design unique through the rich theatre of life

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Exploring what makes design unique through the rich theatre of life

With ‘Finding your lane’ being a topic that Hotel Designs will explore in the first episode of DESIGNPOD, we asked Samantha Crockett, Director of Harris Jackson Interior Design Studio, what makes her design unique…

Very recently an acquaintance of mine Jacqueline Goddard of Atticus Arts wrote an article for her blog & LinkedIn asking, “What was our USP?”.

It struck a chord with me as, while in lockdown, I have been trying to find a way to differentiate myself from other small Hospitality design studios out there.

What makes me unique in an industry that is saturated by designers that have been through the design school/University system? What can I offer my client that makes me differ from all the rest?

Jacqueline states: “What differentiates us from another is our life’s experiences”. Undoubtedly these experiences will be unique to every individual.  My instinct is that no client can decide whether they want to take on my services unless they can resonate with what I have to say. And by that, I mean, what is behind my passion for hospitality design? Why do I do what I do and how did I get here? What makes me? What makes me an informed designer that will create & inspire. Why should a hotelier approach me to design their hotel, members club, Golf club, show home to name but a few?

Firstly, my love on interiors and design stems back to when as a young child l would build Lego models of my ideal home which then shifted into creating my own interior design projects in sketchbooks, tracing textile designs from Colefax & Fowler and drawing differing scales of pattern to place into a space. This was usually my then minuscule bedroom in my family home in West London. I constantly had my head in a sketchbook drawing and sketching what I saw around me. I wish to this day I had the time to still do this.

However, alongside this love of anything design related was my passion for live performance, theatrical arts and film. I would devour the old black and white films from “To kill a Mockingbird “ to “12 Angry men” to Some like it hot”. I would sing and dance & memorise all the routines from the Hollywood film musicals such as “Oklahoma”, “Oliver “& “Cabaret”. My family would spend spectacular evenings in London to see the latest big musical show that had hit the West End. Even to this day I remember the feeling of excitement as, sitting on those plush red velvet seats, the lights dimmed, and the curtains drew back to reveal stunning sets and characters while the orchestra launched into their overture. Those days of peering over the seat in front, chin resting on hands, stays with me to this day.  That feeling of need to distance my actual surroundings and the story unfolding and the sheer joy that was beheld in that proscenium arch in front of me.

With a mother & grandmother, ballerinas in large scale Ballet productions pre and post war Europe accompanying Anna Pavlova & several other family members working as empresarios, my love of theatre and spectacle was entrenched in my psyche.

Rather than follow the traditional route into Interior design by studying at University or one of the established private schools such as KLC or Inchbald. I followed my heart by studying Set & Costume design combining my 2 passions design & theatre. Whilst studying, my Saturdays were spent working my way round every department of what was then Terence Conran’s Habitat. The interiors bug re-awakened.

What my studies taught me was that at every moment theatrical design has to resonate with the audience, to create an emotional reaction, depict a story, which in turn allowed for a longstanding memory. We had to work with the script to develop the character through setting, costume, texture, colour, sound & light. Create the world in which these characters lived & breathed. I can still recall so many details of the sets from the various productions I saw through the 80’s & 90’s down to the intricate detailing in the handmade period or contemporary costumes created for individual characters. My professional career took me to the worlds of Cole Porter & Bob Fosse musicals as well as French restoration comedies through to 1950’s American comedic theatre. They all have contributed over the years to this wealth of reference and the attention to detail stands me in good stead to this day when specifying the FF&E for projects I have worked and collaborated on.

Theatre is all about working as a team, it is a collaboration. One cannot work without the other. Just like in hospitality interiors. The designer cannot create without the client, the brand, the contractors and ultimately without the final experience that the hotelier/group want to impact on the guest. I learnt how to deal with personalities from directors to lead actors recently moved over from LA to tread the boards after decades of Hollywood film work. One cannot underrate the nerves that even the highest paid performers experience when stepping out onto that stage again. We had to reassure, understand & above all, listen. A skill often forgotten.

So, in hotel design how can we create these memories & experiences that will last a lifetime inspiring the guest to come back for more and how do we translate them into the hotel interior? We, the designer, have to tap into that unseen, sometimes un-describable reaction that we get from a given environment, location or atmosphere. Once we have succeeded, we are creating long lasting memories for hundreds of end users who we hope to entice back for another unforgettable stay.

Image caption: The Clubhouse Shanghai

Not only was my background in design and theatre a pre-cursor to my now passion for hospitality environments. But after graduating a stint in the Sales & marketing of luxury interior products instilled me with a desire to keep learning about innovative products & manufacturing. I learnt about the procurement process, what can be achieved by working alongside suppliers, manufacturers & crafts people to create a given look within a budget. It taught me how to design beautifully bespoke details that run through my work today. A move into Interior design in the early 00’s brought a number of years designing high end residential interiors, but it was always the hotels that drew my attention.

Image caption: The lobby inside St Regis Dubai

With this product knowledge came a sound sense of style and design history. I can be given any brief placed throughout time and place and produce an interior that demonstrates both a correct historical reference point but also empathy. Just imagine walking into a Lobby area where the whole effect takes your breath away! This is not just interior design but pure theatre!

One cannot realistically expect to understand what the client wants in a brand/Interior unless you understand human emotion, desires, ambitions, history, religion and culture. I often write about how important the locality and community are for a boutique hotel brand. Maximising on what is local to the property both geographically and naturally as well as culturally. My many travels and experience of living and working both in the Middle East (Dubai) and Asia (Hong Kong) have introduced me to many distinct and different design styles and cultures. How can I design an authentic space if I have no point of reference? How will my design be believed or resonate with the guest if I have not travelled to or experienced the culture? While designing luxury hotels across Asia I was called on to draw on my expertise in classical European interiors & architecture for a palatial project in Dubai. Whether right or wrong it was my heritage and European education that benefited this collaboration.

Image caption: Conclusion? This is me!

So, when considering what is “my” USP within this exceptional industry and what makes me distinctive, I quote another acquaintance Clare Farthing, business strategy coach, who I have had the pleasure of working with over the last few years: “You are your business”. My USP is my life’s journey and everything that is encompassed within that. No other individual will build on the same training, life experiences and responses. So, when I look back at what I have accomplished it is definitely with a sense of uniqueness that I am what I am and bring to the table a “rich theatre of life”.

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

Main image credit: Harris Jackson Design

Hotel Indigo arrives in Verona

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Indigo arrives in Verona

The 62-key property has stood as one of the most prestigious hotels in Verona for years, and was reopened following an exciting redesign under the Hotel Indigo brand…

IHG’s Hotel Indigo brand currently has 119 properties open globally, and a further 104 in the pipeline. It’s latest unveiling, following a tense lockdown period for the entire industry, is located in the heart of Verona, Italy, a destination that continues to attract travellers from around the world with its links to Shakesphere’s Romeo and Juliet.  

With 62 uniquely designed rooms, Hotel Indigo Verona – Grand Hotel Des Arts draws inspiration from the city’s passion of preserving history. With headboards throughout the bedrooms mimicking the beautifully preserved fresco paintings in the city, and the back panelling in the lobby that plays to the garden of Romeo and Juliet, guests will be able to find nods to the surrounding neighbourhood in the hotel’s design. Red marble native to Verona (Marmo rosso di Verona) throughout the public areas creates an elevated feel of a grand Italian residence – inspired by the most famous love story ever told. Hotel Indigo Verona – Grand Hotel Des Arts is a beautiful tribute to the city it calls home. 

Right when you enter, the reception area combines two elements that characterise the city: The Arena and the Shakespeare theatre. The architecture draws inspiration from the theatrical facades, its draperies, the arches of the Arena, and Juliet’s terrace. The Arena in Verona is a Roman amphitheatre built in the 1st century and is one of the best conserved amphitheatres in Italy. Made up of 44 levels holding up to 22,000 spectators, it is still used today and is internationally famous for hosting some of the world’s most spectacular large-scale opera performances.

“We are very proud to announce the renovation and reopening of Hotel Indigo Verona – Grand Hotel Des Arts, thanks to our affiliation with IHG and the Hotel Indigo brand of boutique hotels in the chain, commented Luca Boccato, CEO of HNH Hospitality Group. “This new opening joins art, culture and comfort at a top level and is the perfect destination for both Italian and international tourists, thanks to the attractions in Verona. In a difficult moment for our sector, we look toward the future with faith, confident that a good project in such an important location will be a success.”

Image credit: IHG/Hotel Indigo

Perhaps the quirkiest Shakespearean touch is the meeting rooms named after the duelling families in Romeo and Juliet, Montechhi, and Capuleti. The event spaces are easily adjustable for different uses – conferences and small functions. The hotel also has an onsite bar, Arya Bar & Mixology, with a selection of locally inspired cocktails and nibbles, perfect for guests to have an aperitif and relax after a day exploring the neighbourhood.

Eric Viale, Managing Director, Southern Europe, IHG, added: “With its iconic architecture and historical charm, Verona is the perfect neighbourhood for Hotel Indigo’s unique design and distinctive guest experience. Hotel Indigo Verona – Grand Hotel Des Arts is the fourth location for the brand in Italy, signalling significant interest in boutique, design-led hotels in the region. Partnering once more with HNH Hospitality, we look forward to being part of the tourism recovery in Italy and welcoming guests from across the country and beyond.” 

Image credit: IHG/Hotel Indigo

Inspired by the neighbourhood around each property, just as no places are alike, no two Hotel Indigo properties are the same. Each Hotel Indigo property features thoughtful design touches and vibrant restaurants and bars connected to the spirit of the local neighbourhood.

Main image credit: IHG/Hotel Indigo

In (Lockdown) Conversation With: Dean Winter, Managing Director, Swire Hotels

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In (Lockdown) Conversation With: Dean Winter, Managing Director, Swire Hotels

Following his recent appointment as Managing Director of Swire Hotels, Dean Winter sits down (virtually) with editor Hamish Kilburn to explain the brand’s change of direction…

Swire Hotels, which shelters luxury and lifestyle brands The House Collective and EAST, has recently announced a new Managing Director.

Dean Winter, who first started working with the hotel group in 2006, has more than 25 years’ experience as a hotelier and restaurateur in destinations such as London, Hong Kong and Singapore. Taking over from Toby Smith, who will now sit as Deputy Chairman for the group, Winter’s new role is part of a wider internal restructuring of management for the group with the aim to continue to inspire teams across the brands.

Following his appointment, I caught up with winter.

Hamish Kilburn: Dean, congratulations on your new role! What are you most looking forward to as Managing Director at Swire Hotels?

Dean Winter: People are central to what we do at Swire Hotels – both our guests and our dedicated team members – and their personal satisfaction is a main priority for me. By training our team and then empowering them to make decisions, we enable them to exceed expectations and build personal relationships with guests and other team members.

This dedication to service is core to our ethos at The House Collective and EAST, Hotels and I couldn’t be more excited to continue to support the people and guide the beliefs of a company that I’ve been part of for over a decade.

woman walking down modern staircase

Image credit: The Middle House, Shanghai

HK: How much does the design of the hotel affect the guest experience of Swire Hotels?

DW: Design lies at the heart of Swire Hotels and its brands. First impressions matter to our guests. When you walk into a hotel, its interior design can affect the way you feel and can influence your mood.

Each hotel within The House Collective all have their own identity, which boast some of the best design signatures in the industry. For example, behind The Opposite House’s unique design as an art gallery-inspired hotel there is visionary architect Kengo Kuma, who made our hotel one of Beijing’s hottest spots to visit.

HK: What are the key characteristic differences between Swire Hotels’ brands, The House Collective and EAST?

DW: All our hotels provide an extremely personalised service with each guest treated as a valued individual. The House Collective is all about design-led homes away from home, each with its own identity rooted in the destination, and a spirited, cultural soul. EAST is adapted to the new business traveller experience in destinations like Hong Kong, Beijing and Miami, blurring the line between business and leisure and enabling authentic experiences through art and design. At EAST, creating spaces that effectively accommodate guests at various points of life or of their day is also and important element. Examples of this would be the Domain spaces at our EAST hotels which function as cafés, meeting spaces, co-working zones and early evening bars; Sugar the rooftop bar is a popular nightspot for guests as well as locals and BEAST with well equipped gym, pool and wellness programmes helps keep our guest fit.

HK: Can you give us an overview of Swire Hotels’ commitment to sustainability?

DW: Swire Hotels is committed to making a positive impact on the environment and in order to manifest this change, we start from our people. What we envision is creating a healthy ecosystem of people who embody our values and care about our impact on the environment. We’re always looking to create meaningful initiative across our properties focusing on reducing water wastage, energy savings and better waste management. Some of these initiatives include removal of single-use packaging, amenities made of recyclable or biodegradable materials, paperless check-in and at EAST Miami, we have a smart pump that regulates water pressure throughout the hotel in order to reduce water usage. We are determined to find new ways to improve the sustainability of our properties, for our guests and the community around us. This way, we can continue delivering wonderful experiences not just for right now, but for many years to come.

“We have been taking advantage to accelerate some planned projects for both in terms of rooms and restaurants enhancements or systems development.” – Dean Winter, Managing Director, Swire Hotels

HK: What does 2021 look like for Swire Hotels?

DW: Overall I think everyone will have a more positive attitude towards travelling given how 2020 has unfolded. This year we’re celebrating the 10th Anniversary of EAST Hong Kong with new packages available to book directly from the hotel’s website and The Opposite House exciting new relaunch with the completion of an extensive renovation of the restaurant and bar spaces will have the celebration continue into the new year.

During the recent downtime, we have been taking advantage to accelerate some planned projects for both in terms of rooms and restaurants enhancements or systems development. So there will be more new spaces to reveal in 2021. We have also embarked on an expansion plan to grow both our brands, The House Collective and EAST, through management contracts throughout Asia Pacific and hope to have some announcement in 2021.

HK: Are you able to give us an insight into any new openings?

DW: We do have some evolving plans for new restaurant spaces next year. I’m excited by these opportunities and how we can continue to demonstrate our creativity on what is a core competency for the group.

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

HK: Where’s next on your travel bucket list?
DW:
Montenegro; I’m facinated by the history and the architecture. Followed by a drive along The Adriatic; ideally in a classic sports car!

HK: What’s one item you cannot travel without? 
DW: A great novel!

HK: Can you describe the Swire Hotels ethos in three words?
DW: Innovation, design, people.

HK: How have Swire Hotels and its two brands been preparing to welcome guests back following the health crisis?

DW: The relationship between The House Collective and EAST, Hotels and our guests have always been centred around trust – we are dedicated to providing the best for our guests, and will continue to uphold our standard of service moving forward from this pandemic. We have already been hosting guests from neighbouring cities to our destinations and are looking forward to welcoming guests from all over the world again. We have introduced various prevention and control measures since the very beginning of the health crisis, such as temperature and travel history checks for all guests upon arrival including our staff members, increased frequency of deep cleaning as well as preparing care kits for our guests with hygiene wet wipes, hand sanitiser and face masks.

Main image credit: Swire Hotels

FEATURE: The ever-growing importance of biophilic design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
FEATURE: The ever-growing importance of biophilic design

While sustainability remains high-up on the agenda, and following editor Hamish Kilburn’s panel discussion at the Surface Design Show on biophilic materials in surface design, Nest explores the importance of bringing nature in…

If there’s one thing we’ve noticed over the past few months, it’s been how much people have been connecting with nature.

In times of stress, we crave a relationship with the natural world – whether this be walking through our local park, filling our homes with houseplants or being able to relax in our gardens. Exposure to nature and the colour green has been shown to provoke the release of good endorphins; it can even help people heal faster. Mental health charities across the world also recommend spending more time outdoors to combat problems such as anxiety and depression.

So, with nature’s proven impact on our mental health and physical wellbeing, could biophilic design principles hold the key to creating sustainable and inviting spaces in the post-pandemic landscape?

How biophilic design can be applied in a hospitality setting

Wellbeing is huge industry that will only continue to grow. Spaces that can improve our health and wellness will play an ever bigger part as the hospitality sector looks to entice people back to international travel.

Biophilic design principles suggest that humans have an innate connection with the natural world. Through bringing elements of nature into our interiors, we can elevate the well-being of those inhabiting the space.

“Oliver Heath suggests that guests are willing to pay 23 per cent more for rooms with views of biophilic elements.”

As shown in many studies show, biophilia has the potential to be very powerful within a hospitality setting. A cost-effective way of improving the experience for guests, Oliver Heath suggests that guests are willing to pay 23 per cent more for rooms with views of biophilic elements. This is something that can be clearly seen in the link between the price of hotel rooms and whether they have a sea view.

But biophilic design is not just about views or introducing plants to your spaces. Materials, textures, colour, shape, lighting and ventilation all combines in well-designed biophilic spaces to create an environment which is calming and inviting.

We’ve picked out a few key ways in which you can start to introduce biophilic design principles into your interiors:

Directly introduce nature into a space

Whether this be through framing a striking view out of the window or simply displaying a bunch of fresh flowers in a statement vase, bringing the great outdoors inside is easier than you may think. Layer up your greenery to create a statement feature or even invest in dried flowers if keeping plants watered is too much to handle. This is an easy and often affordable way to introduce biophilic design principles into a space.

Image caption: Nest’s Fritz Hansen Lily Chair | Image credit: Nest

Make it easy for people to access the outdoors

As well as providing glimpses of nature within your interiors, consider how your building allows people to access the outdoors. Could you introduce outdoor seating onto a patio to create a place of refuge outdoors? Does your courtyard encourage people to spend time in it? An inviting outdoor space may well be key in a socially distanced future.

Introduce natural motifs

A pattern in the wallpaper, the form of a vase or the curves in a chair – organic forms that suggest shapes from nature are a great way to introduce another nod to nature into your interiors.

Make the most of natural materials

Textures that tempt our fingertips – combining materials such as cork, rattan, wool and wood in a space creates a natural material palette which can put us at ease. Tactile stimulation has been shown to help reduce our cortisol levels (which cause stress) and trigger the release of oxytocin (the love hormone) helping us to feel happier and more relaxed.

Consider the colour temperature of your lighting

Lighting can have a huge impact on our mood and alertness. There are now a number of circadian lighting systems on the market which mimic natural daylight through colour-changing LEDs. By subtly removing the stimulating blue spectrum of light in the mornings and evenings, these lighting systems help to improve both alertness and sleep quality by creating a more adaptable space.

As many of us continue to spend more time indoors, spaces that support us both physically and mentally will only continue to grow in importance.

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

Main image caption: Nest’s Hashira Table Lamp | Image credit: Nest

“You can’t touch this” – handsfree sensor taps by GESSI

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
“You can’t touch this” – handsfree sensor taps by GESSI

Bathroom brand GESSI has injected hygienic and antibacterial electronic hi-tech technology into its taps to cater to evolving modern traveller demands…

Inciso by David Rockwell, Rilievo by HBA, the gleaming steel of Gessi 316, Anello&Ingranaggio and Goccia, are all the latest multi-award winning creations from Gessi.

The sophisticated minimalism of the design by Gessi acquires an advanced technology that combines the beauty of the lines with the functionality of “no touch” electronics. The water supply doesn’t need to be handled or touched as it can be switched on by a movement as simple as the passage of the hand before the sensor.

Thanks to Gessi no-touch system, the beauty of the shape is pure and anti-fingerprint, achieving a better hygiene and avoiding possible damages to the tap.

For the first time, Gessi sensor taps bring the refined elegance of a sophisticated design in public space, where aesthetically simple electronic taps are used to be installed, providing endless finishings with the possibility to choose among a wide range of nuances never seen before. Splendid Gessi Sensor Taps suit also private environments, of course.

Here’s a closer look at some of GESSI’s products, which now feature touchless tech…

GESSI316

Image caption: The GESSI 316 range | Image credit: GESSI

Woven steel

Gessi’s Creativity and style infuse a total new perceptibility into steel itself, giving a material which is usually “technical” and cold, an unprecedented heat, and a special furnishing capacity. Gessi has indeed enriched the body of the faucet with aesthetic and decorative details, such as textures and patterns with different tastes; the steel seems thus “dressed” by the texture. Handles and distinguishable reed valves, finishes of contemporary charm, and an innovative

New technology

Gessi electronic taps are in the vanguard and come available with different technological solutions. The sensor can be incorporated into the tap body or into the very spout, otherwise it can fit into a proper remote plate. In the first two cases the water flow is automatically switched on or off by bringing the hands towards the spout. In the case of the remote detector, the flow is activated or turned off simply by the hand crossing over the detector: it’s almost like a magic move.

Aesthetic and smart

The technology of the electronic taps by Gessi not only makes life easier but it’s also environmental friendly. Thanks to the automatic activation of the flow, water is delivered only for the time it is actually needed. Without any waste.

The warm modern style of New York design

From surface and floor coverings to lighting and furniture, the firm celebrates pro-duct design as a natural extension of its immersive environments. Drawing on an encyclopedic knowledge of design, Rockwell Group creates flexible, transformable products that support new ways of living, working, and communicating. The collaboration with Gessi on the firm’s first-ever line of bath fittings and accessories was a thrilling challenge for David Rockwell. Defined by simplicity and possibility, the Inciso Collection weds modern style with heritage details and finishes that invite tactile discovery.

Pure beauty

Thanks to its no touch system, the beauty of shapes is pure and free from prints, guarantying the hygiene and avoiding tap’s damages. Gessi electronic taps first provide the refined elegance of most sophisticated design to public settings, where electronic devices have usually simply aesthetics. What is more they are available in many finishings, giving the possibility to choose different nuance for the first time in this field. Of course, these beautiful taps are suitable also for private space.

Subtle and elegant industrial details

The bathroom interior fit with the Inciso Collection was not intended to feel unapproachably minimal, but rather calmly chic and warmingly inviting. The goal was to create a design that be both timeless and timely.

RILIEVO

Image caption: The Rilievo range by GESSI | Image credit: GESSI

A concept of tidiness and harmony

If harmony, based on order, is dictated by a mathematical/geometric ratio between parts, the maximum expression of purity of form is probably the enrolment of a circle into a square. This geometric and architectural figure has been greatly evocative through time and across continents and cultures. The circle evokes eternal movement; the square symbolises eternity and immutability.

Discreet and low-impact

The electronic detector can be connected to the normal electricity network or to a lithium battery, ensuring in both cases a minimum water consumption. The electronic technology fits in a graceful way to the tap, preserving the perfect shapes of its studied design, or even better enhancing its essential and simple beauty.

Inspiration meets with innovation

A circle inscribed into a square is the theme that RILIEVO brilliantly brings to life. This design gives gracing touch and sight and it evokes that body and soul equilibrium take center-stage in the bathroom. A new balance between style, emotion and functionality.

GOCCIA

The brilliant beauty of water

Goccia demonstrates how creativity and innovation, together with a content of poetry and respect for the world can turn dreams into objects. This is all Gessi’s accomplishment, a company different by nature

Not only is Goccia a style and a product philosophy, it’s also an eco-friendly creation. All of the Goccia taps are equipped with a technology allowing for a 50% saving of water without compromising the functionality of the tap itself. Goccia is indeed the epitome of a more intimate feeling for luxury, one attentive to the elegance and glamour of the objects as well as to their impact on the environment.

Matter, shape, function

Goccia is not a mere complement, it’s the very distinguishing feature of the design of an interior. It’s an original concept that induces new gestures, new interactions with water, living space and the person. Goccia makes the beauty and usefulness of water available wherever it is needed or desired, with charming and fresh solutions.

ANELLO & INGRANAGGIO

Gessi succeeds in developing its own distinctive and characteristic design language: pure lines with an emphatic recall to primary shapes, like the suggestive ring shape. Symbol of continuity and perfection, Anello evokes the most sober and elegant pledge of a deep blend.

The precious mark of metal

Gessi offers new options to choose and finishing combinations that boost the strong design peculiarity with colours and materials through different architectural effects. As a result, the new living design trends will be conveyed in bathroom spaces, creating also innovative and original creative solutions. The new deep and warm polished brass version and the fascinating and elegant rough burned brass finishing represent a surprising change respect the typical metallic surface of taps. Anello gives also the opportunity to realize innovative look thanks to a prestigious velvet opaque black, besides chrome, copper, black metal, and brushed ones.

Beyond its time

Anello concept meets the desire of freedom in décor and customisation of the bathroom, even more than other Collection before.

RETTANGOLO

Image caption: Rettangolo by GESSI | Image credit: GESSI

Original and iconic

To bring to life this unprecedented aspiration – moving the flow of water to wherever we desired – Gessi thought up a radical design based on the purity of an absolute, strong and rigorous form: abstraction in its essence, like parallel lines traced on a designer’s sketchbook, in any form.

The sign

Rettangolo was born from an expression of creative freedom, from the original and ironic exploration of iconic symbols, in simple yet evocative forms. The rectangle is a surprising and unusual geometric shape for taps, a perfect demonstration of how design, with its ability to infuse art and liveability in consumer and everyday products, can enrich the spaces in which we live, transforming simple, everyday actions and places into something special.

Visionary innovation

With a long-standing, 100-year history of brass castings and round taps, Gessi created the world’s first tap built of solid brass, providing it with a square, almost sharp body; an explosive concept of innovation.

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

Main image credit: GESSI

Hamilton Litestat to sponsor technology seminar at Hotel Designs LIVE

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hamilton Litestat to sponsor technology seminar at Hotel Designs LIVE

As part of its ongoing support as a solutions provider to the hotel sector, Hamilton Litestat will sponsor Hotel Designs LIVE, a one-day virtual conference for the hotel industry, to be held on June 23, 2020…

Hamilton Litestat will sponsor the technology seminar at Hotel Designs LIVE, which takes place on June 23.

The online conference consists of a series of engaging seminars featuring leading figures from the international hotel design sector, covering hot industry topics along with innovations that support the guest experience.

Hamilton will sponsor Hotel Designs LIVE’s first seminar, ‘Technology’s role in tomorrow’s hotel’, where Jason Bradbury, tech influencer and former presenter of The Gadget Show, will be in conversation with Hotel Designs’ editor, Hamish Kilburn. The pair will discuss products and innovations, and how technology will influence hotel design in the future.

“For decades, Hamilton has been supporting the hotel industry with technology and solutions that enhance the guest experience, and we’re pleased to support this discussion of innovation and the future of hotel design,” says Gavin Williams, Hamilton’s Sales & Marketing Director. “There are so many simple, easy to use and effective solutions that can make all the difference to a guest and keep them returning time and time again.”

With hotel rooms working as a multifunctional space – accommodating relaxing, sleeping, and often working – Hamilton will present its technologies to support the guest experience in suites and communal spaces. Its Smart Lighting Control solutions aid the versatility of these rooms, helping to transform them between the functional uses with just the touch of a button or swipe of a finger. Lighting in a hotel reception can really make a statement and set the mood for a stay, while pre-set lighting schemes can create an ambience that takes dining areas from breakfast to cocktail hour and through to cosy evening meals.

Hamilton’s smart lighting and audio control solutions are supported by a vast portfolio of on-trend decorative wiring accessories that can be selected to suit any hotel design scheme or functionality requirement, with a bespoke service also available to provide just the right finishing touch.

Designers, architects, hoteliers and developers who wish to attend the free conference can do so by registering online here (registration closes June 19 at 5pm (BST)).

Main image credit: Hamilton Litestat

#HotelDesignsLIVE

5 Minutes With: F&B talk with Mark Bithrey, Founder & Creative Director, B3 Designers

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
5 Minutes With: F&B talk with Mark Bithrey, Founder & Creative Director, B3 Designers

There is a serious question being put to the industry on whether public areas will ever be the same again. In an exclusive interview with Hotel Designs, Mark Bithrey, the Founder and Creative Director of B3 Designers sits down virtually with editor Hamish Kilburn to discuss F&B design in a post-pandemic world…

In just a few days time, Hotel Designs will go live to the world with its debut virtual conference. The topics we will explore during Hotel Designs LIVE will include technology, sleep, wellness and whether public areas will ever be the same again. In order to understand the role of F&B areas, while also getting an access-all-areas deeper look into the inner workings of the studio, I caught up with Mark Bithrey, the Founder and Creative Director of B3 Designers. The award-winning studio has transformed many F&B hospitality projects, such as The Prince Akatoki, Marriott Hotel Budapest and Ritz-Carlton Geneva among many others.

Hamish Kilburn: Thanks for joining me, Mark. How are you feeling right now as a hospitality interior designer?

Mark Bithrey: The world has been through really tough times, but this one has definitely knocked the hospitality industry for a six. I have always believed in 2 things: that hospitality will forever have a strong place in the world in some form or other, and two, that design plays a pivotal role in shaping a changing world. So I’m feeling a mix of anxious and eager.

HK: When restaurants do eventually open up, we are still looking at reduced covers and therefore revenue. What are your thoughts there?

MB: We have been helping clients redesign their restaurants for social distancing, with beautiful screens and additional features like plants and cushions. But you are right, it can mean reduced revenue. Some of our clients have been really creative and opened up whole new streams of revenue.

Image caption: Design in F&B has spilled into the marketing and packaging of products with a rise in demand for deliver/takeaway service. | Image credit: B3 Designers

HK: There is obviously a lot of focus on takeaways at the moment. How can F&B businesses be more creative when adapting to the times?

MB: Quick service has immense potential. Think about kiosks where you are able to churn out dishes quickly. Our clients at Mei Mei are doing just that, with Michelin star winning Chef Elizabeth Haigh at its helm. Also consider Itsu/Pret style shops, with impactful branding and graphics on the floor. You can look into takeaway/delivery-only kitchens with creative food packaging. Extra brownie points for eco-friendly packing! We are working with a Vietnamese restaurant in London at the moment to use clever packaging to build out loyalty, repeat orders, and engagement.

Image caption: Mei Mei has adapted its offer during the pandemic to focus on takeaway service | Image credit: B3 Designers

HK: Speaking of food delivery, it does mean that restaurants are reliant on the large delivery services that eat into their revenue considerably. How can they move away from using the shared delivery systems?

MB: Yes, indeed! Have you heard of Mumbai’s dabbawalas? It’s an incredible concept. Think localised kitchens, subscription meals, and your own fleet of delivery folk racing food on bicycles. Typically, a kitchen will cook a few hundred meals a day. The subscription lunch will include food that can be batch cooked – so a lentil dish, a curry, rice, and perhaps some bread. This is then packed into stainless steel “tiffin” boxes, and delivered quickly, while the food is still hot. Because the kitchens are localised, nobody is travelling more than a couple of kilometers and they are often the service teams themselves. The previous day’s box is picked up and brought back – no packaging waste!

Food trucks are another way to circumvent delivery commissions. With all the right permissions, you could set up in a park/outdoor space and serve up anything you want to, really. Think also about drive-throughs or walk-past counters for food pick up. You can even offer an interesting experience (graphics/games) while they wait in line.

Image caption: Gourmet takeaway food truck | Image credit: B3 Designers

Image caption: Gourmet takeaway food truck | Image credit: B3 Designers

HK: What about fine dining, how can businesses integrate social distancing into this concept?

MB: Without a doubt, fine dining is going to change for a while. Restaurants that get very crowded are going to have to give customers more room – which can be quite cool if you think about it.

Smaller restaurants however, are quite fortunate and can use their spaces to offer truly caring experiences. We have worked with Michelin star winning Chef Tom Aikens in the past, whose restaurant Muse spans 950 sq ft. “Muse is very unique in that it is for guests not only looking for great food in a very special restaurant, but welcomes them as if they were in their own home. Guests will always get special care and now more than ever, of being looked after and pampered,” said Aikens.

If you have outdoor space, however small, milk it. Erect pods or beautiful temporary structures. Adapt for weather changes with fans and space heaters. You could also think about bringing your restaurant completely outside – are you on a street that could be pedestrianised, or do you have parking space that could be converted?

For indoor spaces, think gorgeous on-brand free standing folding screens. In hotels, use your banquet rooms as restaurants so you can offer more space between tables.

If you want to be really creative, as the rules relax more, consider catering services for small gatherings, or even a fine dining experience that you can take to people’s homes. We may follow off where you mention that Muse is small, and say that it is massive in experience.

HK: Is there a way for F&B professionals to go where customers already are?

MB: Supermarkets and the internet! This is a great time to consider creating your own line of sauces/pastas/food kits. Paired with solid branding and graphics, it could open up a whole new stream of revenue. Could you create barbecue kits for example, with recipes and ingredients?

We are spending a ridiculous amount of time on the internet now. Host cooking lessons and sell kits after. And remember to up your digital presence – it is the only way people will learn of your restaurant/hotel’s F&B offerings.

Main image credit: B3 Designers

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Visualising the future of F&B spaces in hotel design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Visualising the future of F&B spaces in hotel design

Hospitality will awake from the pandemic to face new challenges when it comes to designing F&B spaces. Hotel Designs turns to the CGI experts at North Made Studio to try and visualise the future of these public-facing outlets…

With the industry on a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be some important future choices to make for hoteliers.

These choices will need to be made in all areas, but may become most stark within the F&B spaces of their hotels.

Until government guidelines are released, exactly how this sector of the hotel industry will proceed is a mystery. Dictating dates for reopening and the easing of certain measures will be crucial to define how the industry needs to adapt.

Should measures not be eased enough and distancing remain in place for the foreseeable future, questions will need to asked about profitably for certain spaces in a ‘socially-distanced’ world. Within the hotel sector F&B spaces may not be deemed a profitable use of available space.

From a visualisation perspective there may be more focus put on the finer details of a F&B space. Viewpoints centred around individual seating areas, up-selling the attributes of the table setting, rather then focusing on the overall aspect of the whole F&B interior area.

Some hoteliers my choose to get ahead of the game and move F&B spaces outdoors, allowing the potential for these spaces to open sooner. Over the last few years interior design for the luxury F&B sector has tried to bring the outdoors in, with Biophilia becoming a growing trend. This potential move of F&B spaces from indoor to outdoors would switch this around. Visually this could allow for outdoor F&B spaces to be depicted with extensive greenery, using the current trend and taking it beyond what was capable within an indoor environment. Or the alternative could happen, and a drive to bring the indoor aesthetic to outdoor spaces could become a trend.

The visualisation sector is geared up to work with both interior and exterior spaces, minimising any differentiation between the CG imagery produced in terms quality or realism.

Another possibly trend for F&B spaces within the hotel sector may be to move more than just the seating/eating areas outdoors. With the popularity of street food kiosks, van and trailers, There is the potential to move the complete catering service outside. Providing an innovative feature to the hotel experience that also opens up the F&B space to the general public, increasing potential custom.

Another great possibility of this is that the catering trailer/van can easily be switched out, to provide customers will different food and drink offerings on a regular basis. Incredible engaging visualisation can be produced for these kinds of external spaces. Creating the scene is just the start, population elements can be embedded within the scene to built a complete visual that includes food trailers, tables, chairs, different demographic of people. Finer details can also be added such as drinks on tables, litter bins. The more detailed the space is visualised, the more realistic and engaging it can be.

To further explore the future of F&B spaces in hotel design, we need to take things back to a pre-COVID stage. Many companies are simply waiting out the Coronavirus pandemic, putting projects on hold, in the hope that things will return to some semblance of normality. For these type of businesses the visual aspects of their F&B spaces will continue to follow current trends.

Experiential

Customers need to be enticed to utilise the F&B facilities within the hotel, creating engaging design with attractive styling is key. Sell these experiences during the early phases of a project with 360 degree viewpoints and visual reality tours can be a great way of boosting interest and getting designs approved.

Convenience

A core factor for F&B spaces in hotels is their convenience. Ensuring the spaces are easily accessible and positioned close to heavy footfall areas, will help to increase their usage. Positioning and ‘eye-catching’ features can be showcased via traditional still CG images, assisting the planing and development phases.

Variety

No two hotel customers are the same, with hotel spaces being used for both business and pleasure, the needs of specific customers will vary. Offering a variety of services with a F&B space will accommodate for ‘on the go’ customers as well as those customers who have more time to sit down and have a full meal. Showcase these innovative features via the use of cameo shot visuals.

Adaptability

The ability for a F&B space to be multi-purpose is vital. Catering for breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner and drinks allows for the capture of more customers throughout the day.

With the core features of the space remaining the same, the F&B space can be created in CGI for visualisation purposes, and redressed several times to show the adaptability of the space.

Image credit: North Made Studio

Overall F&B spaces within hotels are facing some challenging times. But whatever happens in the future regarding reaction to COVID, these spaces will always be required  in some form. And the visualisation sector will be there to assist with what changes to the design ethos are needed. If new ways to communicate a space are required, the technological advancements in virtual reality could be the key to creating ongoing engagement in the future.

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

Main image credit: North Made Studio

It’s a hat-trick! Ruby Hotels announces third hotel in London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
It’s a hat-trick! Ruby Hotels announces third hotel in London

Ruby Hotels, which only recently entered into the UK hospitality market, has announced that it will open a 173-key property in London’s Notting Hill area in 2023…

Just months after making its London debut with the launch of Ruby Lucy on London’s Southbank, and while construction is underway to open a 153-key hotel in Clerkenwell next year, Ruby Hotels has announced that its third property in London will be based in Notting Hill.

Ruby Zoe, which is being built in conjunction with UK investor and developer Frogmore, will shelter 173 rooms.

Led by founder and CEO Michael Struck, Ruby Hotels has set its sights on further international expansion with a third hotel planned for London. The new-build, 173-bed property will be in the heart of colourful Notting Hill and will include a spacious street-front public area combining retail and hotel elements.

“Based on the model of modern luxury yachts, we accommodate our luxury in a relatively small area and simply leave out the unimportant,” explains Struck. “We also organise ourselves using our own technical solutions in a very different way to the rest of the industry. We plan and build in a modular way, centralise more, and automate consistently behind the scenes. As well as helping us to make a luxurious and unique hotel experience affordable for our guests, this approach gives us a leaner and more adaptable cost structure and means lower risks for our real estate partners. This combination of advantages helps us especially in these unpredictable times.”

After the successful opening of Ruby Lucy on the South Bank earlier this year and Ruby Stella set to open in 2022 in Clerkenwell, expanding to the west of the city is the next logical step for Ruby in the thriving London hotel market.

Jo Allen, Chief Executive of Frogmore commented: “We are delighted to have secured Ruby Hotels as an occupier on our Notting Hill Gate Estate. When we asked Gerard Nolan and Partners to market the hotel opportunity in our West Block we received 13 bids from 10 different hotel operators. We really love Ruby’s approach and vision for the project which we believe will complement the area. The Ruby Team have been fabulous to work with, have convincing development and construction competence together with the financial resources to deliver something special which I hope will be enjoyed by many.”

Ruby Zoe follows Ruby Group’s Lean Luxury philosophy: a top location, high-quality fittings, and outstanding design. All of this is offered at an affordable price by rigorously cutting out the superfluous and focusing on the essential.

Main image credit: Ruby Hotels

Judges announced for Surface Design Awards 2021

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Judges announced for Surface Design Awards 2021

Steve Webb of Webb Yates Engineers and Basha-Franklin’s Creative Director, Nicola Osborn, have been appointed as Co-Chairs of the  Surface Design Awards for 2021

Steve Webb and Nicola Osborn have joined the judging panel of the Surface Design Awards 2021, and will be joined by a multi-disciplinary team of fellow judges selected from the architecture and design communities.

The Co-Chairs invite their own team of design industry colleagues to join them on the judging panel. Steve Webb has invited Sarah Castle from IF_DO; Joseph Henry of GLA’s Regeneration Team and Architecture Initiative’s Lee Mainwaring.

“I am delighted that Sarah, Joseph and Lee have joined my team of judges, they bring a wealth of design knowledge and skill,” comments Steve Webb. “I know from being part of the 2020 judging team that they face an exciting and challenging task!”

Nicola Osborn has drawn on her contacts in the interiors world to bring together Nic Fallows of BNF Capital; Simona Auteri and Sofia Steffenoni from Matter of Stuff and Kresse Wesling MBE from Elvis + Kresse.

“I really enjoyed my experience of judging the Awards in 2015,” said Nicola Osborn. “I wanted to bring together a diverse team, so have invited a design-led property investor, a contemporary design & manufacturing consultancy and an environmental entrepreneur…judging day should be fun!”

For the 2021 Awards, greater emphasis will be paid both on the selection process for the different surface materials used in the entries and on their sustainability credentials with each entry being accompanied by a statement and calculation for the carbon footprint kgCO2/m2 of the cladding/material surface.

London’s Business Design Centre will be Sponsoring the 2021 Supreme Award – the project selected by the judges as being ‘the winner amongst winners.’

“The Awards Presentation is taking place at the Business Design Centre on Thurs 11 Feb next year and we are delighted once again to be sponsor of the Supreme Award,” said Max Bull, Executive Director of Venue Sales at the BDC. “The BDC is home to many design-led businesses and we are keen to support the sector.”

The 2021 Surface Design Awards will open for entries in June 2020 with a closing date of Friday 25 September 2020. The Awards Presentation ceremony will be on Thursday 11 February 2021 as part of the annual Surface Design Show taking place in London’s Business Design Centre from 9-11 February.

The Supreme Winner of the 2020 Surface Design Awards went to the Krushi Bhawan building in Bhubaneswar, India by Studio Lotus.

Other winners included Sterling Prize winner Goldsmith Street by Mikhail Riches with Cathy Hawley; Nobu Hotel in London by Ben Adams Architects; CF Toronto Eaton Centre Bridge by WilkinsonEyre and Zeidler Architecture and University of Sheffield Concourse by Arup Lighting.

Entries are now OPEN! Head over to the website to read more.

Main image credit: Surface Design Awards

In (Lockdown) Conversation With: Design legend Jean-Michel Gathy

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In (Lockdown) Conversation With: Design legend Jean-Michel Gathy

If the renders on the boards are anything to go by, Jean-Michel Gathy, who is widely considered as one of the industry’s finest, has embarked on one of his most ambitious hospitality projects to date, to design Amaala Island. Editor Hamish Kilburn learns more…

There is not a hotel designer or architect alive today who has not heard of the name Jean-Michel Gathy, and for good reason. The creative mastermind, who doesn’t just design but more reinvents hotel experiences, has been repainting the backdrop of luxury for what is coming up to three decades.

Not shy of his ambition – he once stated that he wanted to be the first person to design a hotel on the moon – Gathy’s approach to a project is all-encompassing, allowing him to further push (and at times break through) conventional barriers.

Arrival experience, luxury

Image credit: Capella Sanya, designed by Jean-Michel Gathy/Denniston

His latest project, Amaala Island will be an ultra luxury resort destination spanning three sites, a first for the region of Saudi Arabia. Designed to evolve and elevate the very best in travel, the island is an ultra-luxury destination that focuses on curating transformative personal journeys inspired by arts, wellness and the purity of the Red Sea.

To find out more about the project, and in homage to the designer’s award-winning career, I managed to speak to the architect/designer.

Hamish Kilburn: Jean-Michel, how will the ultra-luxe Amaala Island – aka the “Diamond of the Red Sea” – challenge conventional island developments?

Jean-Michel Gathy: The development of ‘The Island’ will be an immersive and interactive art-inspired jewel. Its lifestyle components, its landscaping, the museums, and art installations together with the art community will transform this island into the “Diamond of the Red Sea”. It will feature many different venues for permanent installations or temporary exhibitions and artistic performances. The graphic layout of its spine will be distinctive from the air and will be recognised internationally as an iconic landmark. The project features all elements programmed and reflects the areas, numbers and facilities. This is truly unique, nothing like it has ever been planned before.

“It’s not a matter of a specific place; it is the fact that when you travel, your mind is continually challenged by the happenings around you.” – Jean-Michel Gathy

HK: How does your approach differ when designing a destination from you’re designing a hotel?

JMG: Constant travel is a huge part of the job. It allows me to observe and to be constantly inquisitive about my surroundings. Travelling builds a subconscious library of ideas, which are expressed in my work and helps my ideas remain innovative and fresh. It’s not a matter of a specific place; it is the fact that when you travel, your mind is continually challenged by the happenings around you. It’s not about where you travel, either – what counts is that you explore. No matter where you are, every country has something new to offer in terms of inspiration.

Luxury spa area that frames unspoilt view through rustic blinds

Image credit: Image credit: The Chedi Muscat, Oman, designed by Jean-Michel Gathy/Denniston

HK: What have been some of your design highlights in your career?

JMG: Perhaps the one for which I am most renowned is the overwater hammocks or ‘basking nets’, which I initiated in the Maldives at the One&Only Reethi Rah in 2000. Until then, you would find balustrades around the terraces of villas. I decided to alter that – if anyone was going to fall off the terrace, they could fall on to the nets. And I put scatter cushions on them.

Image credit: One&Only Reethi Rah Maldives, designed by Jean-Michel Gathy/Denniston

Today, just about every hotel uses this idea. Another pioneering step was turning standalone tents for safari-style camps into a commodity. The accommodation at these hotels used to be basic but this started to change after I designed luxurious tents for the Amanwana in 1990. I am also known for my oversized, dramatic swimming pools such as the one on the roof of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

Large, oversized swimming pool

Image credit: The Setai Miami, designed by Jean-Michel Gathy/Denniston

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

HK: What has been the most demanding request you have received from a client to date?

JMG: I guess I take every client that I work with as a challenge more than a demanding request.

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

JMG: I would love to travel to Iceland to see its rugged landscapes, glaciers, rough seas, hot springs and volcanoes. I’d also like to visit the south of Chile and the peninsula of Kamchatka in Russia, which has extraordinary wildlife and endless forests.

HK: What’s your biggest indulgence when travelling?

JMG: Collecting art – I like to collect and invest in local artwork whilst on my travels.

HK: What lesson would you teach to your younger self?

JMG: The pathway to success is never easy, it takes hard work, dedication and passion.

HK: If you could design a hotel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

JMG: I’d love to design a hotel in Antarctica. There’s an ice hotel in Sweden, but that’s only open four months a year, so I want to do one that permanently remains ice.

HK: What’s been your favourite year on the international design scene?

JMG: To be honest, every year working with my team at Denniston has been and is special to me.

HK: What’s one item you cannot travel without?

JMG: I travel light, but I always ensure I have a cashmere scarf for the plane, and a sweater (I’m a big cashmere fan). I also travel with my camera, a Canon EOS 5D Mark III.

“The hotels where you arrive and lay on the beach and do nothing have progressively disappeared.” – Jean-Michel Gathy.

HK: How is the perception of luxury changing – and how is this evolving the way in which you create spaces in the luxury arena?

JMG: Before, hotels were just a place where you go and relax. Today, guests are connected: they want spas, they want food and beverage, they want activities, they want things to do. The hotels where you arrive and lay on the beach and do nothing have progressively disappeared, because life is such that people have become more and more active. I think luxury property clients are now asking for more than simply great rooms. They want retail facilities, a cinema, an extraordinary spa, award-winning F&B offerings and outdoor activities all integrated into the hotel.

“In terms of reliability, price strategy, and brand positioning, Toyota is a fantastic commercial car – but I prefer a Bentley.” – Jean-Michel Gathy.

HK: What’s the value of having designers and architects in your practice?

JMG: There are many good architects, but we have a specific niche. I’m going to compare us to branding: thousands of people buy Toyotas, but few people buy Bentleys. I believe that we are more Bentley than Toyota. This doesn’t mean that a Toyota is not a good car. In terms of reliability, price strategy, and brand positioning, Toyota is a fantastic commercial car – but I prefer a Bentley. Designers are the same; many prefer commercial projects and properties, because their interest is financial. They just want to make money, which means they’re not romantic about their projects. Then you have other designers, which is where I belong, who are more interested in the success of the project, the excitement of the journey of designing a hotel, and having the pride of making something fantastic, even though you earn less money.

Restaurant overlooking ocean in the Maldives

Image credit: One&Only Maldives, designed by Jean-Michel Gathy/Denniston

HK: Has the way in which you source inspiration changed over the years?

JMG: I’m someone who designs from the heart so my style is one that’s charismatic. It’s not an ego trip like the architects who design for themselves. I design elements that are a composition of dramatic effect; I create large and dramatic space, in opposition to intimate areas, so the space is always dynamic. Secondly, I design for the sensation you get out of it. I want every space in the hotel to be comfortable and for my clients to come back and say, I like this space. Sometimes they don’t know why they like it, but if they walk in and feel good, I know I’ve succeeded.

And succeeded Gathy has in widening the path of innovative hotel experiences in far-flung destinations around the world. While his past hotel projects have firmly etched his name into the architecture, design and luxury hospitality history books, his latest ideas and concepts that are currently on the boards highlight Gathy and Denniston’s ambitions. Inspired by his worldly perspective of design and architecture, I believe that Gathy’s aspiration is yet to peak as he continues to think big with the future landscape of luxury international hotel design patiently waiting in his sketchbook for its cue to emerge.

Main image credit: Jean-Michel Gathy/Denniston

CASE STUDY: Carpeting 1 Hotel South Beach Miami

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Carpeting 1 Hotel South Beach Miami

Hotel Designs goes behind the scenes to understand Barry Sternlicht and his team’s unique design ethos for 1 Hotel South Beach Miami, and why Ulster Carpets had the ultimate solution when it came to the commercial carpet design…

As designers and manufacturers of wool rich bespoke carpets, we have always been in the business of creating sustainable products that enhance any space both in terms of aesthetics and quality.

As industry pioneers we continually review our processes to find more efficient and sustainable ways to manufacture luxury carpet, helping our clients to meet their own sustainable goals.

Wool is a rapidly renewable material as well as luxurious and versatile, at Ulster Carpets we use only the best wool sourced from Britain, Ireland & New Zealand. Wool fleece re-grows every 12 months providing a constant supply of high quality raw material. Naturally stain repellent, flame resistant, non combustible and easily cleaned, wool is both sustainable and a safe choice.

There are many health benefits from including wool within indoor spaces. Research shows that wool carpets effectively trap dust and allergens in its top layer. Its natural filtering effect makes it perfect for people with asthma or allergies. Naturally absorbing humidity and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a wool-rich carpet will provide a cleaner, more comfortable space to sit back, relax and breathe in.

Alongside the comfort of their guests, 1 Hotel is a brand whose focus, as with Ulster Carpets, is also on prioritising sustainability, environmental protection and community engagement. On their website, Barry Sternlicht their CEO & Chairman says: “I wanted to capture the beauty of nature in a hotel and commit to safeguarding it as best I can, a responsibility that I believe we all share. It’s 1 world. But 1 is more than a hotel – it’s a philosophy and a platform for change.”

Organic, raw, natural and reclaimed materials are therefore an important part of any design brief they develop. From using reclaimed driftwood as wall coverings, plant walls and green spaces to details such as ditching plastic key cards in favour of recycled wooden tags & providing hangers made from 100% post consumer waste.

Image credit: 1 Hotel South Beach, Miami FL | Design Firm: Meyer Davis | Photography – Eric Laignel

Therefore commissioning bespoke wool rich carpets from Ulster Carpets for their 1 Hotel South Beach, Miami was an obvious choice. A retreat wholly inspired by its natural surroundings, namely the 600-feet of beach along the Atlantic Ocean, Ulster Carpet’s creative team took inspiration from these elements to create the texture and look of wood grain, echoing the driftwood and natural materials in the interior of the hotel. The bold yet calming pattern moves though the hotel pulling all the strands together of this sustainable and luxurious hotel.

As a company, Ulster Carpets were delighted to be part of 1 Hotel’s vision, where our beautifully crafted product plays a role in delivering a sustainable experience without compromising on quality or artistic flair.

Visit Ulster Carpets website to learn more about their sustainable business and the beautiful carpets they have designed and manufactured across the globe.

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

Main image credit: 1 Hotel South Beach, Miami FL | Design Firm: Meyer Davis | Photography: Eric Laignel

Helping hotels heal: The service bringing re-opening advice directly to the door

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Helping hotels heal: The service bringing re-opening advice directly to the door

In the wake of editor Hamish Kilburn interviewing Katie McCarthy, the founder and design director of Design Equals, Hotel Designs asks the firm to explain more about its Design= in a box

In the absence of government guidance Design Equals, an agency network of creative experts for the hotel industry, has launched a new support service which will provide on-going business advice to the industry as it navigates the roadmap of re-opening.

The recovery package consists of initiatives – including a monthly subscription service to expert advice – to aid recovery of the hospitality industry, helping independents and small chains to rebuild their business, attract high-value guests and optimise cash flow.

Katie McCarthy, founder and design director at Design Equals, is behind some of the North’s most well-known hotel interiors, including the Lake District’s Storrs Hall and Cheshire’s boutique Ryland’s Hotel.

Image credit: Design Equals

She said: “The industry has unexpectedly evolved, almost overnight, due to Covid-19. The way our customers must experience hotels and short breaks will not be the same for some time, maybe never even the same again. We are working with our community, our partners, leading experts and from our European and are cascading that information to businesses in a simple, creative way – through Design= in a box.”

With a recent survey from Design Equals finding that 72 per cent of businesses saw increased footfall and 54 per cent saw a rise in profits following a refurbishment it’s now more important than ever to ensure that whilst hotels are adhering to new social distancing rules, they are retaining an appealing interior.

“There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for recovery.”

Image credit: Design Equals

There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for recovery, however with their eclectic team of creatives the company are able to offer a tailored approach to businesses, ensuring their unique core values are met and creative concepts of venues aren’t compromised.

There are three options for businesses to choose from, each offers different levels of guidance and addresses the main areas of priorities such as safety, space and style.

The most popular option is the ‘Back to Business’ subscription box which retails at £59.99 per month and will keep you up-to-date of the latest guidance and advice regarding Covid-19. It will also share details of design ideas, products and discounts to help you prepare for your re-opening. As well as interior design advice you will also receive operational guidance and insights into individual business’ plans, the Back to Business subscription box will ensure you’re well informed and prepared for the big open day.

‘The Essentials’ support box (RRP £180) is a one-off purchase which provides an extensive guide on preparing and prioritising your space for re-opening.

This includes a one to one consultation with a designer to discuss space, cost effective solutions such as revised use of seating arrangements, flow of operation safe spaces and flexible partitions for creating safe distancing.

The full-service ‘Invest In Your Future’ support kit (RRP £999) is a fully personalised business solution which is developed with you by a team of experts. Customers will receive three meetings with a dedicated DESIGN=creative team specifically selected with skill sets considered to the venue type.

The five biggest benefits seen by the hospitality industry from an interior design refurbishment have been revealed as:

  1. Increased footfall (72 per cent)
  2. Increased turnover/ profits (54 per cent)
  3. Ability to increase prices/ improve margins (37 per cent)
  4. Attracting a new, more desired customer base (36 per cent)
  5. Attracting competitors customers (33 per cent)

The team are set to reveal the latest addition to their support package with their ‘S is for Safety Book’ in the coming weeks. The documents will explore how businesses can meet new safety measures while not compromising on style.

Katie added: “We wanted to launch a solution that would help hotel owners prepare for re-opening, including being ready to open their doors whilst adhering to new guidelines. We need to act now to be ready to successfully re-open. Our message to outlets is whilst your doors are closed be open to change.

“We have an army of creatives who are working together to provide sensible, educated and affordable ideas for the industry which will arm them with the knowledge and products to a successful re-opening.

“These Design Equals packages are the first step in our long journey to rebuild a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable hotel industry. We are all incredibly eager to return to this new normality awaiting us but we have to be responsible to protect yet survive to thrive once more.”

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

PRODUCT WATCH: Kaldewei Cayonoplan Multispace receives Red Dot Award

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Kaldewei Cayonoplan Multispace receives Red Dot Award

The jury at the Red Dot Awards were “won over” by Kaldewei’s certified shower surface with integrated room for manoeuvre. Hotel Designs gets a closer look…

It is not only bathroom professionals, architects and builders who are captivated by Kaldewei’s world-first for barrier-free mini bathrooms.

At the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2020 the exceptional innovation and aesthetic of the Kaldewei Cayonoplan Multispace made it the winner of one of the most important international competitions for product design and architecture. The Red Dot Award is presented annually by a 40-member expert jury for the best designs in the areas of aesthetic, chosen materials, crafting of the surface structure, ergonomics and functionality; it is one of the most prestigious quality checkmarks for outstanding design.

Image credit: Kaldewei Cayonoplan Multispace in lava black matt with Secure Plus

“By giving us this award, the jury has highlighted the design quality of our new bathroom solution. For us, it is an affirmation of a very special combination of materials. With Kaldewei steel enamel, steel and glass form a long-lasting, hygienic and sustainable bond which is what the Kaldewei brand has stood for, for decades,” says Yvonne Piu, Director Marketing at Kaldewei. “There are  a great  many  small bathrooms at last, with the Cayonoplan Multispace they too can be made into barrier-free yet design-oriented spaces – with all of the associated benefits for bathroom professionals and builders. Alongside the distinctive aesthetic, the advantages include maximum comfort and bathroom design in line with prescribed standards so grant applications for barrier-free bathroom refurbishments can be made with confidence.”

Barrier-free design for mini bathrooms

The Kaldewei Cayonoplan Multispace for floor-level installation is the first certified enamelled shower surface that meets all requirements relating to barrier-freedom; furthermore, 60 per cent of its surface area can be counted as room for manoeuvre in the bathroom. With Kaldewei’s shower system, even tiny bathrooms with an area of just four square metres can be easily equipped to meet accessibility requirements. The Cayonoplan Multispace is available in all twelve shades of the Coordinated Colours Collection and comes with the anti-slip Secure Plus finish as standard.

The Cayonoplan Multispace – truly excellent

“The winners of the Red Dot Award have proved that they have created truly excellent products that possess not only an exceptional aesthetic but are also uniquely functional. The award winners have raised the benchmark within their industry with their designs. I sincerely congratulate them on their success,” says Professor Dr. Peter Zec, initiator and CEO of Red Dot.

The Kaldewei Cayonoplan Multispace which was honoured at the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2020 will be installed on 22 June at the “Design on Stage” exhibition at the Red Dot Design Museum Essen which presents the winners selected from 18,000 entries.

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

Main image credit: Kaldewei

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Art in hotels – an accessory or a necessity?

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Art in hotels – an accessory or a necessity?

As the industry prepares to makes its grand return, there’s a debate forming around art’s vital role in meaningful interior design in hospitality. Hotel Designs asks the consultants at Portobello Art to investigate… 

Art has always been present in hotels, but the role of art has evolved hugely over the last 20 years, possibly more so than any other element of hotel design.

In the 1990s and early 2000s hotel guests would see the same uninspired art of flower paintings and landscapes again and again in hotels all over the country. But the main reason for this wasn’t just the brands – it was also the technology.

It was poster artwork, where everything was on paper and what you saw is exactly what you got. The sole technology available 20 years ago was to buy cheap, mass-produced art from poster catalogues which were printed using offset lithography. Designers, chains and franchises would literally have to choose their images from the dozens of catalogues that were available to everybody, then hang them in nondescript frames.

But now, thanks to the digital revolution, printing pictures and customising them, is now so much more accessible. You can create any image in any colour, any size and you can print them on to a wide variety of materials. This has given hoteliers far more options for choosing artwork and tailoring it to fit their brand and location.

Art is no longer used as an accessory, nor as a way of following protocol for typical hotel design, but as a way of evoking emotion, playing a significant role in promoting the unique identity of a hotel and is recognised as being a key component of creating the feel and atmosphere and bringing colour, vitality and inspiration to all environments.

Something Angela Rawson, Director of AJ&Co Interior Design, with whom we’ve worked on several projects, wholeheartedly agrees. “The trend for personalisation, authenticity and a unique experience within hotel interior design is here to stay,” she says. “Hotels strive to create a sense of place for their guests to immerse themselves in local history, culture, and heritage. Visual art and curated pieces not only play a huge part in conveying this personalisation through the interior design but can add statement and talking point – whether it is literal or abstracted interpretation.

“Considered artwork enriches the personality and ambiance of a space and ties together the design narrative and interior design.”

So what kind of artwork can we expect to see?

Framed Prints are still very popular but with the help of digital enhancement even a group of framed images can mean so much more than a couple of pictures hanging on a wall as they used to be years ago.  The framed images above were all created from different sized local images (of Edinburgh), enlarged, then close up details were cropped out, all resized to the same size and framed in the same simple style to create an interesting but uniform collection of prints.

At Portobello, almost every hotel project is for bespoke products and the style is different every time.  Usually hoteliers or hotel designers will have a concept in mind with a particular theme, but it varies greatly depending on the hotel size, style and location.  Generally we will advise on what sort of artwork would work best to create the right look and ambience in that particular hotel, whether it be for framed or canvas prints, mirrors, digital wallpaper or bric-a-brac.

There will usually be either a theme or colour scheme that would need to be adhered to and as art consultants, Portobello have access to literally millions of images from online image banks and we are happy to source these for you and with our technical expertise and in-house design capabilities we can then adapt any image to fit your individual requirements.

A prime example of this was a project for the Cigar room at 10 Manchester Street, London, where the designer wanted a gallery wall of cigar smoking celebrities which we suggested should be oil paintings rather than framed prints.  So we asked our in-house artists for their own interpretation and were delighted with the overall effect.

Dining room with art on the walls

Image credit: Bespoke Hotels – No. Ten Manchester Street/Portobello Art

Artwork must not only have relevance to the hotel’s design and location but must also be fun and memorable, tell a story and therefore make their hotel stand out from the crowd.

Digitally printed wallpaper has been popular for years for feature walls in open spaces, but one-piece wallpaper has gone a step further.  This eradicates any previous issues, such as joining intrinsic designs seamlessly, as the ‘One Piece’ covers expansive areas eliminating the need for seams. There have always been some limitations with certain designs and images (like maps and faces) where the joins are notoriously difficult to match up but with one piece wallpaper the image is printed seamlessly up to five metres high and almost any width imaginable!  This has now given us the ability to create enormous collages made up of numerous individual images which was not previously possible with normal digitally printed wallpaper.

One example which illustrates this  is the Holiday Inn in Liverpool where they wanted to add some interest to a huge blank wall in the restaurant. This was great fun to create, first sourcing all the separate images, in a Liverpudlian theme of course, and then merging them all together to create a dramatic collage.

Image credit: Holiday Inn/Portobello Art

Visual art in hotels and their public spaces influences a visitor’s first impressions, and sets the tone for the rest of the hotel. Artwork isn’t just what hangs on the walls but also the Bric-a-brac (decorative accessories) displayed around the open spaces. One of the biggest trends over the last few years has been in hotel lobbies where it is no longer just a place for arrivals and departures.  IHG’s introduction in 2013 of the Open Lobby Concept has created a flexible environment were guests can eat, drink, work, meet, relax, socialise and have fun in one integrated space.

Portobello is delighted to have been involved in IHG’s concept from the beginning and have provided artwork and bric-a-brac for many Holiday Inns over the last few years and indeed, as this trend has taken hold, to other hotel chains who are also embracing the concept as well.

Image credit: Holiday Inn/Portobello Art

Can a hotel be updated / refurbished by changing the artwork alone?

As a hotel owner or manager, you might dread the idea of going through a renovation. After all, it’s a huge expense — one that often requires you to scale back operations for a period of time and all of the work can be an inconvenience to your guests, which in turn can have an impact on future business.

However, simply avoiding renovations isn’t a wise choice, since it can diminish the attraction and value of your property.

So updating the artwork every 2 or 3 years, with a new coat of paint on the walls, could definitely give a refreshing lift to a hotel without going through the upheaval of a full renovation and replacing all the furniture, carpets and wallcoverings etc.

Certainly for bedrooms or corridors this is entirely possible. Normally the standard bedroom artwork will be fairly understated so designers often have one large piece of artwork above the bed, and these could easily be changed every few years.

Image credit: Holiday Inn/Portobello Art

It would be a bit more challenging in the lobby and reception areas where something more dramatic and memorable is needed to create that real WOW factor but as long as existing artwork can be replaced with a new image that compliments the existing décor.

This can be seen in the images below where we provided artwork for two very different hotels. The ultra-modern Holiday Inn in the centre of Bristol wanted a local image so we suggested having a black and white image of Brunel’s S.S. Great Britain, and created it as a huge picture on multiple tiled canvas prints.  It certainly brought some drama to the contemporary reception area. And for The Langley, a luxurious 18th century manor house in Buckinghamshire, it had to be original paintings showing the opulence and timeless luxury of elegant country living.

Image credit: Holiday Inn/Portobello Art and The Langley, Marriott/Portobello Art

There has always been artwork on display in hotels but in the last 10 years art has become very on trend and in some cases is almost used as therapy; it can help inspire, console, comfort and reawaken us, and is necessary to create these emotions and lure the guest into the whole experience.  Various scientific studies show that when looking at a beautiful art piece, you feel better, so it helps in uplifting the mood of the guests and making them feel at ease in that perfectly designed space.

Another designer we’ve done work for, Joanna Knight of J K Interiors,  reinforces this. “The use of artwork in hospitality interiors is absolutely integral to the interior scheme,” she explains. “It can pull a whole scheme together, convey a deeper meaning to the guest, and invoke an emotional response that comforts, excites or stirs the inquisitive mind.

“Whatever feeling the designer is trying to elicit, can be reinforced or enhanced by the use of appropriate artwork. Conversely, poorly thought through and executed artwork can leave the guest feeling ‘flat’ and underwhelmed – which in turn can colour their judgement of the hospitality space and the time they want to spend in it.”

From boutique hotels to international chains all hotels will usually remain faithful to their brand image, simply because brand matters more than anything else in the hospitality industry. Guests will often choose the same hotel chain because they like the “feel” of it. Every aspect of the decor, including the art, needs to provide that comforting familiarity.

While artwork may not always be the first thing guests notice when they walk into a hotel, it can certainly make a big impact on the overall design and feel. When done right, artwork can be the focal point of any hotel lobby or guestroom, and should be considered as important as any other major design element.

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

Main image credit: Marriott Courtyard/Portobello Art

CASE STUDY: Designing modern interiors for Kahani

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Designing modern interiors for Kahani

KAI Interiors were approached by Michelin starred chef Peter Joseph to design his first solo venture restaurant, Kahani…

Taking inspiration from the concept of sharing food and swapping stories, essences of Indian anecdotes and fables have been scattered around the restaurant, this led to the name ‘Kahani’ meaning stories in Hindi.

Set in the beautiful Sloane square, underneath the Phoenix House Hotel and opposite Cadogan Hall you will discover a deep green set of double doors nestled into the classic architecture of Wilbraham Place.

As you enter, you see a beautiful upholstered wall that is made of soft blush, woven leather, this leads guests down the stairs. Indian antiquities and Kavaad [Indian story boxes] line the steps. You pass a warm mustard velvet curtained private dining room that is inspired by India’s national bird, the peacock. It’s a luxurious room in deep blues and greens. Using a large deep blue leather table top with brass trim and an elegant slim brass chandelier above, this space creates a cosy environment in which guests can enjoy a unique and intimate experience.

The ceiling is filled with an imprint of millions of miniscule beads laid out in an elegant weaving pattern. The chairs are deep blue velvet with a woven leather backing. Bespoke wallpaper, beautifully hand drawn by the team at Lyons and Tigers Creative Agency hangs as a backdrop to the room. The private room overlooks the main restaurant space with a balcony style mezzanine level. From above you might be able to notice the K within the timber floor boards, laid in different angles with brass trims.

Image credit: Kahani/KAI Interiors

One of the main obstacles we had to face was that this is a lower ground floor restaurant, we wanted the space to feel indulgent and luxurious rather than like a basement. To do this the main restaurant opens out to a double height ceiling with beautiful bespoke, suede ribbon chandeliers emphasising the height and openness.

Additionally, the back wall of the restaurant is home to the extensive wine cellar, exposed through a huge wall of glass it again emphasises the scale of the space.

As you enter the main restaurant, on the left there is one of KAI’s favourite features, a beautiful mosaic wall. This involved mixing a special render to obtain the exact colour, then meticulously hand placing the small, square mosaic tiles piece by piece into a pattern that was taken from Indian architecture. Sat in line with the mosaic wall is beautiful teal velvet seating, embellished with Indian embroidered ribbon.

The room dividers give privacy to the bar area with a peacock feather embossed glass and timber panel. Sat in the back corner is the original fireplace with cosy armchairs and a traditional Indian carved table.

One of the challenges was finding a balance between making the interiors exciting and welcoming but without detracting too much from the food and drink. Peter’s food is amazing, it’s so colourful and we had to think about how it would look on the table. The edge of the tables were etched with a henna pattern which linked with the bespoke henna style wallpaper we had hand drawn. If you look closely you can follow several fables within the wallpaper. We’ve used warm colours in the upholstery that don’t detract and kept the walls quite neutral, we wanted to ensure hints of India enriched the space.

Image credit: Kahani/KAI Interiors

The toilets are intimate yet exciting spaces. Taking inspiration from a colourful wall painting in India. We developed a pattern that was filled with hands poised in different positions replicating the different Mudras (hand gestures), rich greens and soft pinks covered the walls. As you look in the mirror your reflection is engulfed in the pattern behind. Terrazzo basins echoed the colours from the walls, matched with elegant brass taps.

The bar, meanwhile, has been modelled on Chand Baori, which is a beautiful step well of 3,500 narrow steps built over a thousand years ago in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Textured wallpapers are a back drop to the brass cantilevered steps that appear to be floating whilst displaying the premium alcohol offering. Elegant tubular pendant lights glow above the bar counter which is timber with marble infill’s. The bar façade is a unique herringbone veneer to give a subtle nod to the back bar steps.

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

Main image credit: Kahani/KAI Interiors

Europe’s hotel construction pipeline continues to expand despite pandemic

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Europe’s hotel construction pipeline continues to expand despite pandemic

Analysts at Lodging Econometrics (LE) report that at the close of the first quarter of 2020, Europe’s hotel construction pipeline expanded to near-record highs with 1,840 projects and 294,047 rooms, a 10 per cent increase in projects and a 15 per cent increase in rooms, year-over-year (YOY)…

Projects under construction in Europe stand at 878 projects, with an all-time high of 142,185 rooms; while projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months stand at 522 projects with a record-high 82,229 rooms. Projects in the early planning stage have 440 projects/69,633 rooms; up significantly at 27 per cent and 44 per cent respectively, YOY. During the first quarter of 2020, Europe opened 84 new hotels with 10,469 rooms.

The United Kingdom leads the construction pipeline with 342 projects with an all-time high of 52,231 rooms, and then Germany with 323 projects/58,935 rooms. France follows with 172 projects/21,070 rooms. Next is Portugal with 120 projects and a record 13,049 rooms and then Poland with 92 projects/14,529 rooms. 

The cities in Europe with the largest pipelines are London with 96 projects and an all-time high 18,055 rooms, Dusseldorf at 58 projects/11,290 rooms, and Paris at 39 projects/6,108 rooms. Next is Hamburg, with 34 projects/7,294 rooms and then Lisbon with 33 projects/3,116 rooms. 

Accor Hotels is the leading franchise company with the largest European pipeline by projects with 238 projects/32,763 rooms; followed closely by Marriott International, with 227 projects/37,764 rooms. Hilton Worldwide is next with an all-time high of 195 projects/30,289 rooms, then InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) with 160 projects/25,632 rooms. These four global franchise companies account for 45 per cent of all projects in Europe’s pipeline.

The leading brands for these four companies are Accor Hotel’s Ibis brands with 108 projects/13,779 rooms and then Novotel and Mercure Hotels with 25 projects/3,890 rooms and 25 projects/3,177 rooms, respectively. Marriott International’s top brands are Moxy with 75 projects/13,386 rooms, Courtyard by Marriott has 28 projects/4,892 rooms, and Autograph Collection with 20 projects, and an all-time high 1,909 rooms.

Hilton Worldwide is led by Hampton by Hilton at an all-time high of 81 projects/ 12,736 rooms, Hilton Garden Inn with 42 projects/7,093 rooms, and DoubleTree by Hilton with an all-time high 28 projects having 3,354 rooms. IHG’s top brands include Holiday Inn Express with 70 projects/10,844 rooms, Holiday Inn with 31 projects/7,196 rooms, and Hotel Indigo with 16 projects/1,661 rooms.

Similar to other pipelines around the world, Europe’s hotel construction pipeline is experiencing temporary delays of approximately two to four months. Hotel construction across the region varies by country; some countries have resumed construction while others are still waiting for guidance on precautionary measures, guidelines and start dates. 

Countries across Europe are working on plans to safely reopen existing hotels, with plans varying by country. Some countries have partially reopened under strict guidelines, while others plan to roll out “phased reopenings” through June and into July. 

Main image credit: Pixabay

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: An ode to sustainable refurbishments

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: An ode to sustainable refurbishments

Designer and architect from Flair Studios Federico Schilling explains the challenges and solutions regarding sustainable refurbishments…

Until the lockdown, we have seen a strong momentum for environmental causes culminating with the Extinction Rebellion movement and more industry-specific calls to action (including the RIBA Climate Challenge).

Architects and interior designers are called to take responsibility for the climate change by applying a more ethical approach and achieving a substantial reduction of carbon emissions, with special focus on the regeneration and adaptation of the existing buildings.

But making sustainable refurbishments which are also financially viable is a task that architects and interior designers can’t take on alone. The shortage of government funding or incentives to promote more sustainable alternatives still plays a deterrent in the U.K., especially for the consumer market. At the same time, the lack of legislation and implementation of building regulations allows for obsolete products and technologies to keep dominating the market. On the other hand, and although thanks to the above-mentioned campaigns the interest is growing more and more, not all clients are interested to embark on sustainability for refurbishment projects and especially when this involves more costs and complexity, sustainability has been often viewed as a nice-to-have item. Also, new measurement parameters for green refurbishments should be introduced, which are easier and less expensive than the industry standard (Breams and Leed) certificates.

“If development, design and government doesn’t join forces, unite as a powerful lobby and face the challenges ahead, we may stumble into a future in which the real value of everything we’ve built is nothing”, writes Christine Murray

Of Course, design professionals can play a huge role as specifiers by limiting the impact that a new building or a refurbishment has on the environment. They can do so by implementing and embedding more sustainable choices within the procurement route and by educating the client on the benefits in the medium and long term for more ethical and environmental choices. Unfortunately, and especially for commercial and hospitality projects, it is sometimes frustrating to see these solutions value-engineered out of the final build specification. In order to prevent this, design professionals should establish strong relationships with their clients and try to include a commitment to sustainability already at briefing stage, by establishing a link between sustainability and added value and explaining the advantages in terms of efficiency and well-being for customers or end-users.

Refurbishing a building or a space which then becomes more performant, ethical and desirable, as well as functionally and aesthetically appealing, is sometimes still seen as an hassle within the industry but should become a major priority instead. Sustainability can then become the driving factor to combat both climate change and the coronavirus crisis as it can contribute decisively to an environmentally friendly post-lockdown economic recovery.

CASE STUDY: Designing sleek bathrooms inside The Audo

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Designing sleek bathrooms inside The Audo

The Audo is a unique design hybrid which now marries elegant design with work, hospitality and community in one sophisticated setting. When designing the bathrooms, it called for Unidrain’s sharp and contemporary bathroom products…

Unidrain is renowned for its work with leading architects and designers, whose imagination and insight enables them to create elegant, quirky, unique and always excellent structures.

The original Unidrain concept was the brain child of an architect so it comes as no surprise that an historic, bold red building located in the heart Denmark, once belonging to the Russian Trading Co is the latest project to incorporate Unidrain within their designs.

The Audo; a unique design hybrid which now marries elegant design with work, hospitality and community in one sophisticated setting including a restaurant, café, concept store, material library, work and event area, plus hotel.

There are 10 suites in total and each of the bathrooms is equipped with Unidrain’s HighLine Custom solution, providing an almost invisible drain that blends elegantly with the large bathroom tiles. Stylish, discrete with a slight industrial air, Unidrain was the only choice for this project.

Image credit: The Audo

After a devastating fire almost destroyed the building, leading brand design agency, MENU teamed up with Norm Architects to restore it and create The Audo. It was the perfect platform for their new concept, at the start of the 19th century Copenhagen was moving on from beautiful neo-classicist architecture and embracing the dawn of early modernism. The original building was elegant on the exterior but internally it was an industrial concrete structure which willingly lent itself to this transformation.

Not only is the Audo MENU’s headquarters, but a hotel, whose cosy, earth-toned rooms double up as show spaces for MENU’s new furniture and homeware collections. “We wanted Menu to take a new approach to running a design business through openness, knowledge-sharing and collaboration,” explained Joachim Hansen, director of MENU. “By showing our collection in different contexts within hospitality we will make the collection become more alive,”

Image credit: Unidrain

To create the event area and showroom space most of the pre-existing partition walls were knocked through, forming a vast, open-plan ground level with concrete tile floors and perforated black metal ceilings. Adjacent to this is the hotel store, a small cafe and restaurant.

A large circular staircase leads to the Menu offices and communal workspace, which are hidden by glazed black-framed panels. Guests take a lift up to their rooms, which tucked away in the building’s former attic and situated underneath the original timber ceiling beams.

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

Main image credit: Unidrain

Editor Checks In: “And we’re going live in 3, 2, 1…”

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor Checks In: “And we’re going live in 3, 2, 1…”

During the COVID–19 pandemic, the team at Hotel Designs have announced initiatives to help further create conversations like no other. It’s safe to say that the editorial team have been anything but taking it easy during lockdown, as editor Hamish Kilburn explains… 

I have come to the conclusion this month that there are two types of people at the moment: those who are twiddling their thumbs or baking banana bread as a result of being furloughed and those who are practically performing CPR on their brands and businesses in order to maintain a strong pulse of exposure.

To be honest, neither camps are principally inviting, as there really is no middle ground in between these two extreme circumstances.

“If the pandemic was a storm, we are in the eye, while hospitality is preparing to rebuild and adjust its thinking in order to live up to the hefty demands of tomorrow’s modern travellers.” – editor Hamish Kilburn.

Our job at Hotel Designs has been simple: to compliment the incredible ideas and campaigns that the hospitality industry has conjured up during the time its doors were forced shut. And while we have done this to the best of our ability, by following Hospitality For Heroes campaign and checking in on a handful of our leaders during lockdown, I have also wanted to ensure that we don’t lose sight of conversations we were having before. For example, this month we asked  Senior Associate at HBA EMEA Erica Pritchard to investigate why sustainability needs to remain high up on the industry’s agenda, while also keeping our focus on the latest product innovations.

Only by thinking outside the box and by creating robust media platforms can we really help the industry as a whole sail through these turbulent waters. If the pandemic was a storm, which I have heard it metaphorically referred to a number of times in recent days, we are in the eye, while hospitality is preparing to rebuild and adjust its thinking in order to live up to the hefty demands of tomorrow’s modern travellers.

Now, I believe, is the perfect time for the launch of a one-day virtual conference that will shelter meaningful conversations around how we move the market forward. Cue the launch of Hotel Designs LIVE, which is taking place on June 23 and aims to define the point on international design by putting four of the most relevant topics (technology, public areas, sleep and wellness) through the editorial lens. With world-renowned speakers confirmed such as Jason Bradbury (former presenter of The Gadget Show), Simon Naudi (CEO of Corinthia Hotels), Emma King (Head of Design at IHG (EU)), Greg Keffer (Partner-In-Charge at Rockwell Group) and many more, we have searched far and wide in our quest to bring together a wealth of experience and knowledge for our first ever virtual conference in order to find solutions to today’s problems.

In addition to the live seminar sessions – and to ensure that the event is bridging the gap between hospitality suppliers and designers, architects, hoteliers and developers – the conference will also include structured ‘PRODUCT WATCH’ pitches around each session, allowing suppliers the opportunity to pitch their products and services in a ‘live’ environment to the hospitality buyers that are tuned in.

What’s more, Hotel Designs LIVE is free to attend. So if you are a designer, architect, hotelier or developer and would like to be part in the audience, please register in order to save your complimentary seat in the audience.

In the meantime, feel free to keep in touch with our team on TwitterFacebookInstagram or LinkedIn, because one of the biggest lessons that Covid-19 has taught me is that the industry is stronger when its components work together.

Editor, Hotel Designs

Main image credit: ACT Studios

Hotel Designs becomes media partner for EHMA

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs becomes media partner for EHMA

Hotel Designs has proudly become a media partner for the European Hotel Managers Association (EHMA) in a bid to further connect with its hospitality readers in Europe…

Hotel Designs, which is the leading international hotel design website, has become a media partner for the European Hotel Managers Association (EHMA).

EHMA currently has 421 members in 27 European countries, corresponding to a market share of approx. 10 per cent, and is committed to growing this valuable network with the help of the meaningful exposure that Hotel Designs can offer. “EHMA is the most relevant Hotel Managers Association of European four and five star deluxe hotels,” explained a representative for the association. “The number one platform for collective intelligence, education, networking and professional development among its members whose objective and mission is the professional improvement to better serve the industry pursuing excellence. The Association thus establishes relationships with privileged trade and media partners such as Hotel Designs.”

Today the association promotes Europe as a whole through its members in individual countries, encouraging training and job exchanges. The organisation has developed a modern and progressive approach, promoting an expansionist outlook that adapts renowned European know-how to the demands of the rapidly changing international hospitality industry.

“Our new-found relationship with the EHMA is invaluable as we recognise Europe’s growth in hotel development – a report in February 2020 from Lodging Econometrics showed that Europe’s hotel construction pipeline was up by 19 per cent in projects,” explained editor Hamish Kilburn. “Therefore, we are excited to start meaningful conversations with more hotel managers in Europe who are on the front line of this important development in hospitality.”

Main image credit: Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas

BIID becomes industry partners for all Hotel Designs’ MEET UP events

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
BIID becomes industry partners for all Hotel Designs’ MEET UP events

The British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) has become an industry support partner for MEET UP London (September 15, 2020), MEET UP North (February 25, 2021) and The Brit List Awards

From becoming a partner of The Brit List Awards to offering exclusive interviews, the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) has supported Hotel Designs’ growth as the leading international hotel design website.

“We see our relationship with the BIID as more of a meaningful friendship that has evolved over the years,” explained editor Hamish Kilburn. “The association becoming an industry parter of all our networking events in the UK is just a further example of how forward-thinking the BIID is to connect with the British designers on the international design scene who are shaping the future of interior design.”

As the industry prepares to emerge from lockdown, and expects a new era of networking events post-pandemic, the BIID has signed an agreement to become an industry partner across all Hotel Designs’ MEET UP networking events, as well as the highly anticipated The Brit List Awards.

“On behalf of the BIID, we are delighted to partner with Hotel Designs for its Meet Up events, as well as The Brit List Awards for the third year running,” said Harriet Forde, the current president of the BIID and Hotel Designs’ co-host of its new podcast, DESIGNPOD. “In these challenging times, it is important to look ahead to occasions when we will be able to come together once again, to network with fellow design professionals and celebrate the outstanding level of design within the hospitality industry.”

Hotel Designs‘ next networking event, MEET UP London, will take place on September 15 at Minotti London’s stunning showroom. The event, which will be aptly themed ‘Inspiring Creativity’ will welcome award-winning sound designer and functional music innovation Tom Middleton and award-winning research entrepreneur Ari Peralta to become headline speakers.

Applying principles of neuroscience, behaviour and psychology, the visionaries will respond to MEET UP London’s theme by immersing our audience into a sensory experience like no other before. This will be followed by an engaging talk discussing how and why sound should be considered when designing the hotel of the future. From Jet Lag to Mindfulness solutions, their unique collaboration represents the synergy and creativity needed to future-proof hospitality.

 

CASE STUDY: Lighting the iconic Britannia Hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Lighting the iconic Britannia Hotel

Following an extensive three-year renovation, the iconic Britannia hotel reopened in April 2019 as a luxury five star hotel and member of The Leading Hotels of the World. The complete refurbishment was designed by leading interior architects Metropolis, working with renowned lighting designers Stokkan Lys

Metropolis’ clear attention to detailing and use of quality materials have resulted in 22,000 square metres of contemporary classic style, dressed with continental and local references.

Selected to deliver highlights in the contemporary classic aesthetic, key Heathfield lighting can be found throughout the 257 hotel rooms. Junior, Superior and Deluxe suites feature Amelia or Antero bedside table lamps in their bestselling Antique glass finish, completed with an Andro desk lamp in each room.

Heathfield  & Co’s Czarina Old Gold chandelier forms the central feature of the high-end Signature suite, whilst a pair of Herzog Champagne table lamps draw focus in the inviting conference centre lounge.

Image credit: Britannia/Heathfield Lighting

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

Main image credit: Britannia/Heathfield Lighting

HD launches a one-day virtual conference, Hotel Designs LIVE

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
HD launches a one-day virtual conference, Hotel Designs LIVE

Hotel Designs LIVE, which takes place online on June 23, will consist of engaging seminars by the leading figures on the international hotel design scene, while also putting the latest products and innovations under the spotlight…

If you are designer, architect, hotelier or developer, secure your complimentary place at Hotel Designs LIVE here.

Hotel Designs, the leading international hotel design website, has launched Hotel Designs LIVE, a one-day virtual conference to serve the industry during the Covid-19 crisis.

The inaugural Hotel Designs LIVE, which takes place online on June 23, will define the point on international hotel design’s most relevant topics with the help of some of design, architecture and hospitality’s leading figures as well as identifying the latest product innovations on the market.

“Not even lockdown will prevent Hotel Designs from creating conversations like no other,” explains editor Hamish Kilburn who will host the virtual event on June 23. “The concept of Hotel Designs LIVE is to use a new method to engage with our audience, and will so do that by hosting  thought-provoking discussions and identifying the latest products on the market in a concise and meaningful way.”

Designers, architects, hoteliers and developers who wish to attend the free conference can do so by registering online. The seminars, which will be divided into four relevant sections throughout the day (technology, public areas, sleep and wellness), will include discussions and insights from leading individuals on the international hotel design scene.

What’s on the agenda? 

 

In addition to the live seminar sessions – and to ensure that the event is bridging the gap between hospitality suppliers and designers, architects, hoteliers and developers – the conference will also include structured ‘PRODUCT WATCH’ pitches around each session, allowing suppliers the opportunity to pitch their products and services in a ‘live’ environment to the hospitality buyers that are tuned in.

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

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

PRODUCT WATCH: Bisque’s Optic bathroom towel warmer

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Bisque’s Optic bathroom towel warmer

Iconic British design firm, Bisque (part of the wider Zehnder Group) has added a new radiator to its already extensive range of bathroom products…

The Bisque Optic towel warmer by Bisque is now available in its flagship store in Islington and across the UK through Bisque’s network of dealers.

The square-tubed towel radiator is ideal for contemporary and modern homes. Offering a simple yet contemporary design, the Optic was produced to further the brand’s bathroom offering, and works seamlessly in en-suites, family bathrooms and cloakrooms. It is available from stock in three colourways – matt black, traffic white RAL 9016 and classic chrome – all of which have been chosen to complement popular bathroom accessories.

The matt black finish has a soft surface for an uber luxurious feel, and is still hugely popular in today’s interiors market. Meanwhile its popular chrome finish has a glow-reflecting shine. It is also available in a timeless white, providing a clean, crisp finish to complement existing tiles, baths and other bathroom fixtures. This Optic is also available via Bisque’s colour-matching service, which can cater to popular paint brands such as Farrow & Ball and Little Greene.

Following the recent launch of Bisque’s first-ever traditional range, the addition of the Optic solidifies its status as the market leader of towel rails and radiators for both classic and contemporary bathrooms. Bisque prides itself on offering its customers the greatest choice, whether that be through its wide range of colours and finishes, or its bespoke, made to measure sizes.

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

Main image credit: Bisque

PRODUCT WATCH: The new 8mm Shower Enclosure Range from Crosswater

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: The new 8mm Shower Enclosure Range from Crosswater

Bathroom brand Crosswater’s new collection of 8mm shower enclosures in its premium bathroom range encompasses shower screen solutions, fittings and accessories, all designed to give customers the ultimate showering experience…

Combining modern design with superior functionality, the new Design 8, Svelte 8 and Infinity 8 collections by Crosswater provide an unrivalled choice of exceptional designs that will suit any contemporary interior, fitting effortlessly into a range of bathroom configurations and lifestyle requirements.

Each collection features Sliding, Hinged, Pivot, Quadrant and Walk-In designs that will add a designer aesthetic to the modern lifestyle hotel.

Svelte 8

Image caption: Svelte 8 by Crosswater

Manufactured to create maximum effect and crafted with a luxurious Stainless Steel finish, the contemporary Svelte 8 collection comes in an array of diverse styles that will fit into bathrooms of all styles and sizes. Svelte 8 not only offers a sleek design but it also has watertight magnetic seals, a clear glass open handle design, larger wheels for the smoothest and quietest running system and seamless wall profiles with concealed fixings – making it the ideal shower range for any bathroom.

Infinity 8

Image caption: Infinity 8 by Crosswater

Perfect for a shower tray or tiled floor installation, Infinity 8 takes showering luxury to a whole new level of sophistication. Each design across this exclusive range features smooth silent doors, watertight seals and seamless wall profiles with concealed fixings for easy and quick adjustment. Exceptionally crafted with a timeless fully-framed design and finished in Stainless Steel, this contemporary yet beautifully constructed range provides guests with a sleek and on-trend shower enclosure that will be at home in any modern or traditional bathroom scheme.

Design 8

Image caption: Design 8 by Crosswater

Introducing a refined and contrasting finish, Design 8 gives homeowners the option to be bold with design. Intelligently built across an extensive range of door options and sizes, the simple and sleek semi-frameless form with strong 8mm toughened glass offers complete durability. Cleverly designed with door seals and finished in Matt Black or Silver anodised aluminium coating, Design 8 delivers a supreme cutting edge look that is both functional and truly aesthetically pleasing.

Recognised as ‘The Home of Showering’, Crosswater is recognised as a leading supplier of premium shower enclosures, trays, bath screens and accessories. Each design from the 8mm range has been exceptionally crafted with high-quality materials and certified finishes as well as holding a lifetime guarantee, making for an exclusive new range for products of the highest possible calibre.

Crosswater, which is a Partner at MEET UP London, is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Crosswater

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Using glass meaningfully in hotel public spaces

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Using glass meaningfully in hotel public spaces

While Europe is gradually reopening after lockdown measures have started to be relaxed, hotels are entering an adapted era of hospitality. Portobello Art explains how the story could be narrated behind glass walls (in public areas at least)…

With a glimmer of hope on the horizon from the latest government announcement that hotels might be able to reopen in July, all hoteliers, big and small, will now be planning their reopening scenarios and adapting their offerings based on current advice and guidelines in order to keep their staff and guests safe.

The requirements will be very strict and one of the main priorities of course will be to implement social distancing policies.  This means the design and layout of public spaces, including reception desks, lobbies and restaurants, is going to have to change to allow for this.

One of the obvious solutions would be to introduce Acrylic/Perspex or Glass screens in these areas which would provide effective separation without affecting the brightness of the overall venue.

But rather than introducing plain see through screens which might make your venues look too institutional, why not give free rein to your imagination and consider adding bespoke images to create a bit of fun and make your spaces more interesting.

Portobello Art can source images and/or create bespoke artwork to suit any theme or style and print vinyl manifestations at any size to fit any screen.

The artwork can be informative.

Image credit: Portobello Art

Or decorative.

Image credit: Portobello Art

Or promotional… using branding or inspiration.

Image credit: Portobello Art

Any size – small or large.

Image credit: Portobello Art

The most difficult areas are probably going to be the restaurants and here are a couple of ideas for going forward.

Image credit: Portobello Art

If you have enough space in your restaurants you could create a Glass/Perspex box per table with dividing screens or if you have outside dining areas, a bit extreme, but why not have small greenhouses (as seen here in the Netherlands!).  You’re only limited by your own imagination!

In all seriousness, exterior areas could be the way to go with outside dining over the summer months, enabling social distancing to be created more easily.  There are numerous varieties of partitioning available but rest assured that all our vinyl manifestations can be used safely and securely on any outdoor screening solutions.

Whatever your requirements, our designers are here to help you create innovative artwork to brighten up your venues.

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

Main image credit: Portobello Art

A textile brand is manufacturing non-medical masks during pandemic

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
A textile brand is manufacturing non-medical masks during pandemic

Hotel Designs learns more about how textile brand Backhausen is doing more than its bit, by designing non-medical masks, during the fight against the spread of COVID–19 coronavirus…

As COVID-19 started to spread around the globe, businesses in all industries started adjusting to the “new normal” by assessing core functions, as well as contributing and assisting positively to their communities.

Backhausen became conscious of the need for non-medical face masks in early March 2020, after the COVID–19 pandemic hit the company’s home country of Austria and other parts of the world. The company wanted to do something significant for its community – something that would take advantage of its expertise and craftsmanship and would benefit other people and businesses without forgetting about the environment and the planet.

“Our design and production teams adapted the manufacturing facilities at our textile mill in Hoheneich, in the heart of picturesque Waldviertel, to create a new quality fabric,” explains Maria Florencia Caruso from the brand. “We have carefully selected premium quality cotton yarn that is ÖKO-TEX certified and developed a 100 per cent cotton fabric that is sustainable and durable for reusable non-medical masks for everyday wear.”

Image credit: Backhausen

The company has designed a mask that provides comfort, protection and is aesthetically pleasing. The double overlap in the design allows the mask to be worn comfortably with glasses. The double tie bands allow the mask to be adjusted and fitted for wear.

Its aim has been to create a mask that is washable, comfortable, sustainable and customisable, from the beginning of its development. Backhausen’s mask is for individual customers, and the retail, hospitality and service industries. “We encourage and aspire to create a more comforting and assured return to the work environment and make this “new normal” less daunting and intimidating for everyone,” added Caruso. “At Backhausen, our strength and value has always been to provide flexibility, as a business and with our fabrics. The masks have been designed, focusing on their seamless incorporation into everyday business, with an option for customisation. The masks can be customised by colour and/or logo designs can be either embroidered or woven on the fabric.”

During these difficult times, Backhausen is donating €1 for every mask sold to the Austrian charity Lebenshilfe. This charitable organisation supports more than 11,000 people with pre-existing medical conditions and intellectual disabilities at 500 locations throughout Austria. The charity aspires to re-establish their independence after the COVID–19 pandemic, which has been so disruptive to their day-to-day lives. It will enable people with disabilities to select their own development opportunities in all phases and areas of life, reshape their lives independently, choose their support freely and take advantage of social offerings confidently and in line with their personal needs.

Please contact info@backhausen.com or call +43 2852 502 for the purchase of face masks, (minimum pack of five), for larger quantities and for customisation enquiries. From May 13, 2020, the non-medical grade masks will be also available for purchase at Backhausen’s Design Shop.

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

Main image credit: Backhausen

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Photographing a hotel for design press

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Photographing a hotel for design press

Following on from the popular feature that explained how to style a hotel’s narrative for design press, Hotel Designs asks photographer Brenden Cox of The Towner  what to consider when framing and capturing a hotel’s interior design scheme…

One of the first questions I always ask a client when I’m photographing is: ‘what are you trying to say’ and ‘who is your target audience’. These questions play a vital role in dictating what these images will look like.

If your hotel has a strong and consistent message, why not express this with your photography?

Image caption: A luxury villa in Ibiza | Image credit: Image credit: Brendan Cox/The Tower

Image caption: A luxury villa in Ibiza | Image credit: Image credit: Brendan Cox/The Towner

People will choose a hotel as they want to be part of the story that the hotel has created. Joseph Campbell wrote that all good stories start with a ‘Call To Adventure’ which is exactly what these photos need to be. Unique angles of rooms or communal spaces makes you want to explore what is around the next corner. Framing an image through a doorway or partly into a room draws the viewer in and excites their imagination. This can also help hide some unflattering but necessary utilities, make these angles work for you! Draw your viewer in and capture their attention with what they find.

Showing what a space looks like is a very important part of advertising your hotel, but as with any great story it comes down to the details. Showing off interesting and unique textures, fabrics and finishes in a hotel gives a taste of what the customer can experience. The great thing is these images can be shot all year round. When booking photoshoots, walking the line of wanting to have beautiful weather but not wanting to disrupt your clientele can be extremely difficult. That is why focusing on detail shots can help increase your content and will compliment beautifully those ‘Hero Shots’ you capture when you have nice weather.

Image caption: Luxury villa in Ibiza: Image credit: Brendan Cox/The Tower

Image caption: Luxury villa in Ibiza: Image credit: Brendan Cox/The Towner

Customers are also usually looking for a certain type of atmosphere when choosing a hotel. Is your hotel in a busy area, surrounded by the lights of the city and the noise and romance of late night dinner spots? Then a dark and moody photograph, showing off the rich textures and colours of your hotel’s interiors, suggests the perfect intimate hideaway. Fitting perfectly with the holiday experience your customer is piecing together in their mind. This is all about playing a role in the story that they are trying to create.

Image caption: The Giri, Ibiza | Image credit: Brendan Cox/The Tower

Image caption: The Giri, Ibiza | Image credit: Brendan Cox/The Towner

Conversely, are you trying to appeal to young families, big groups or people just travelling for business. Having your images wide and bright gives comfort to parents that they will be able to see where their children are playing. Groups know there is space for everyone and there will be no shock about what it looks like when arriving. A photograph is there to put the viewers mind at ease, that the hotel will deliver on what their message says. A dark and rich photograph of a hotel restaurant has the same importance as a wide and well-lit image of that hotels conference room. It is all about what you are trying to say!

Image caption: Inside Eilean Shona Hotel, Vanessa Branson's island, Scotland | Image credit: Brendan Cox/The Tower

Image caption: Inside Eilean Shona Hotel, Vanessa Branson’s island, Scotland | Image credit: Brendan Cox/The Towner

Colour plays a very significant role in expressing what a space has to offer. A photographer will usually take the lead of the interior designer or stylist who has decorated a room by trying to reiterate what it is they are trying to say. Dark woods and rich upholstery will compliment beautifully with a warm light and deep saturation. Reds and oranges are associated with hunger and desire, drawing the viewer in and leaving them wanting more.

When showcasing a rooftop pool or beautiful garden and outdoor area, blues and greens express relaxation, nature and freshness. Using these colours has the added benefit of really making an image stand out. Colours are incredibly versatile and are there to be used to your advantage. Try and keep your branding in mind when discussing with your photographer as well. Most companies have a style guide which all their promotional materials reside within, so why wouldn’t your photos?

Image caption: Luxury villa in Ibiza | Image credit: Brendan Cox/The Tower

Image caption: Luxury villa in Ibiza | Image credit: Brendan Cox/The Towner

One of the best ways to tell a story with photographs, is juxtaposing them in a way that celebrates not only your beautiful hotel but also the area in which it is located. This again will be closely tied to the interior designers approach and how they have tied the styling into the look and history of the surrounding area. Images of white towels and large glass windows, complimented next to rolling surf and white sandy beaches, tell your potential customers all they need to know to convince them to stay!

This is also a great opportunity to really make you hotel stand out from the crowd. How is your space interesting and unique to the area it inhabits. Images of a busy London street next to a photo of a chic Japanese inspired interior excites the imagination and curiosity. As well as images of an open African savannah adjacent to a secluded glass room overhanging it, tells such a vivid story with only two images.

With all this in mind, the most important thing is to really try and explore what you can achieve with your imagery. Due to the rise of social media people are always on the lookout for what is new and exciting. Staying in a hotel can be luxurious and full of adventure, and that should be taken advantage of when planning a photoshoot.

Main image credit: The Towner/Brendan Cox

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Organising large, open-plan spaces

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Organising large, open-plan spaces

Hotel Designs asks design studio Design By Deborah to explore the challenges and solutions when designing large, open-plan spaces that have different functions and moods…

There has been a movement in both the residential and commercial market towards open plan spaces. No longer do we want rooms dedicated to one purpose. Instead, we want to have flexibility in how we use the space and we want the airy and light feeling that attracts many people to open plan living and working.

Of course, there are those hotels that are in old premises and part of their character are the hidden corners where someone can feel cosseted and hidden away and these characteristics should be embraced. We love them for it.

Open plan spaces can present challenges. At the heart of the hotel you may well have the reception area, bar area, lounge and access to other parts of the hotel. This may also be where you serve meals either as a restaurant or as bar food. This may sound obvious, but guests need to know quickly and easily where these zones are. This is particularly important if your guests are not generally repeat customers.

There are many ways of creating zones. The most obvious is how the furniture is laid out. Placement of the furniture can create aisles, direct the flow of traffic by creating entrance and exit points. The style of furniture can also help the guests understand the function of each space. This does not just apply to the seating but other occasional furniture such as side and bar tables, coffee tables and consoles. Plants and if you have space, trees can create screens helping define zones too and introduce something natural and calming in what can be a busy and noisy space. It is important to create conversation groups of varying sizes and style to not only create interest, but also various guests will be attracted to different zones for different reasons.

Flooring can be used to define areas, using different colours, textures and style. The floor is often the largest visible surface, however it is often overlooked. The nature of the floor can transform a space and has a big impact on your initial impression. Contrast a heavily patterned carpet, irregular wooden planks and fine marble tiles. Each has a very distinct personality.  If you have high ceilings this can also be an opportunity to absorb sounds and create a sense of coziness. Don’t forget that suitcases don’t run well across different floor surfaces.

Lighting is another area of definition that is often used in the interior design of large open spaces. It can not only define areas but create moods that can be altered throughout 24hours. The style, level and colour of lighting are all very important. Lighting can come from many different sources not just lamps and ceiling lights. There are areas where decorative lighting is needed such as chandeliers and pendant lights, but sometimes it is not the source of light that is important but the area that is being lit. It could be the floor, wall, artwork, fireplace, seating, wooden beams, in fact any feature that you want to highlight, even a vase of flowers. A good interior designer will layer lighting and this can be the difference between a good interior and an amazing space.

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

Main image credit: Design By Deborah

Duravit takes c-bonded technology to a new level

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Duravit takes c-bonded technology to a new level

Bathroom manufacturer Duravit has taken the c- shaped technology one step further in the Happy D.2 Plus c-bonded range, in collaboration with sieger design…

With Happy D.2 Plus, Duravit teamed up with sieger design to realise current trends in colours, design and finishes. The archetypical open oval of the Happy D. design classic runs through the elements of this new, supplementary range.


Above-counter wash bowls with precise lines, stand-alone consoles and matching semi-tall cabinets as well as circular mirrors combine to create perfectly harmonised washing areas.

Innovative technology, highest possible precision

In 2020, the series was extended by a new development – Happy D.2 Plus c-bonded. The innovative, patented c-bonded technology was developed by Duravit in order to meet the highest design requirements in the bathroom. The furniture washbasin is connected almost seamlessly to the vanity unit in a complex process so ceramic and furniture merge to form a single unit. This special look produces an exceptionally-sleek washing area.

Image caption: Specifically developed for the characteristic shape of the Happy D.2 Plus series, for the first time, the patented c-bonded technology enables the practically seamless connection of rounded ceramics with the new floor-standing metal console in Black Matt with integrated towel rail. Faucets from the C.1 series | Image credit: Duravit

Rounded c-bonded version for Happy D.2 Plus

For the first time, c-bonded now comes with a rounded outer edge. The frame can be in the same colour as the vanity unit or match the metal console in Black Matt. This continuation of the Happy D.2 Plus series guarantees that the ceramic washbasin and furniture run in perfectly parallel lines with no overhang or recess and a precise gap of 4 mm.

The basins come with a narrow, typically flat edge and harmoniously integrated tap platform. They are available in three widths (575, 775 and 975 mm). A white acrylic cover conceals the fittings beneath the basin, guaranteeing perfect aesthetics from any angle.

Image caption: Happy D.2 Plus bathtub in Graphite Super Matt (80), c-bonded vanity unit and metal console in Black Matt, furniture unit in Brushed Walnut (69), mirror in Radial finish and C.1 faucets | Image credit: Duravit

A choice between console version and vanity unit

The floor-standing, height-adjustable metal consoles in Black Matt with integrated towel rail can be delivered with an optional shelf or built-in drawer. A further option is a seat (width 625 mm)featuring an integrated drawer that can be added as a practical extension of the console on the left or right. Duravit also offers a cushion in matching Greige made from a woven fabric suitable for wet rooms.

Wall-mounted vanity units with two drawers provide additional storage space. These are available in a total of eleven carcass surfaces, one can choose between luxury wood or matt surfaces in light or dark. The Graphite Super Matt variant also comes with an anti- fingerprint coating. A high-class interior furnishing system in Maple or Walnut can be selected as an option.

The new washing area variants can be ideally combined with all elements from the Happy D.2 and Happy D.2 Plus design series, ensuring a consistent design for the all bathroom furnishings. Happy D.2 Plus offers a consistent colour concept with toilets and bidets in Anthracite as well as bathtubs with seamless paneling in Graphite Supermatt – harmonising perfectly with the black metal console and dark furniture surfaces.

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

Image credit: Duravit

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: The importance of masculine design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: The importance of masculine design

Simon Shuck from bespoke lighting design studio Inspired By Design explains the value and need for masculine design in order to create a deeper meaning in the projects currently on the boards…

There is a stereotype that interior design is more of woman’s trade and that the wife makes the decisions regarding the interior of the home and therefore it remains from a woman’s perspective and designed according to women’s tastes.

There is some truth to this but in perpetuating it, we deny the importance of men’s spaces and the masculine design that shapes them. The typical male spaces include the executive and home office, study, library cigar room, gun room, majlis and the “man cave”. However, the style of design that marks these spaces can easily be extended to other areas in the house. Though not specifically a man’s space, it can retain the same masculine energy.

The spirit of the room

Just as a tailored suit is made bespoke to the man wearing it – not just to fit his body but also to fit his lifestyle, his purpose, and his character. So too is a well-designed space for the man using it – it is an expression of his identity, it bears his signature.

An important element of masculine design is that it is, beyond all else, function oriented. So before any design is created, the first question must be “what will you be doing in this room?” and this question has an underlying implication “what do you want the best version of you to be doing and how can this room assist you?”. Thus, a well-designed office will help the man focus, a study and library will help him think and a majlis will promote lively conversation.

The answer to this question will determine the decisions for every other element from the furniture required, the lighting, even the colour scheme. Every aspect of design contributes to creating the spirit of the room, which in turn fosters the spirit of the man.

Materials

When someone imagines a man’s space, they will instinctively imagine materials such as leather, wood and metal yet people will rarely consider the reason. The choice of leather and wood are ancient materials that demonstrate man’s dominance over nature while the use of metal is emblematic of his strength and industry.

Textures

The consequence of selecting these materials invariably provides a variety of different textures from the cold, metal to the rough timber and the smooth leather. The use of different textures provides a more natural feeling environment and as authenticity is an integral element of the design, this prevents a feeling of the artificial.

Colours

There are certain masculine colours that tend to be associated with masculine spaces – grey, black, brown, dark green, navy blue. The choice of colours serves the purpose of tying the natural materials together harmoniously.

Light

Light, as with every other element of the space, should be focused. Directed at illuminating key elements to bring attention to the different layers and textures of the design. In many ways replicating the light given off by a fire in a cave, with a bold warm light that creates dark shadows and directs the man towards the function of the space. The desk light illuminates his working space the floor lamp illuminates his reading chair.

Bespoke

Ultimately, the space should not be designed for just any man, rather it should be designed specifically for him and how he will use the space. This includes a custom-made desk and furniture designed according to how he will use them and a bespoke feature-light that serves to welcomes the man into his space and is a symbol of his unique signature on the room.

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

Main image credit: Inspired By Design

PRODUCT WATCH: Kaldewei’s hygienic wash basins with glass surfaces

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Kaldewei’s hygienic wash basins with glass surfaces

Bathroom brand Kaldewei preempts a post-pandemic consumer demand for more hygienic bathrooms as it highlights the qualities of wash basin products made with non-porous surfaces…

During the past few months in what effectively became an unprecedented global lockdown, it became apparent that frequent hand-washing was a key preventative measure against the spread of coronavirus COVID–19.

This also meant the washbasins used for hand-washing needed to be cleaned effectively too. Products with non-porous surfaces, such as Kaldewei steel enamel washbasins and bowls came to the fore during this time. It is standard for every glass surface on Kaldewei products to have a specific easy-clean finish, meaning that dirt and germs are rinsed away when washing your hands.

The surfaces on Kaldewei products aren’t standard glass, in their factory the steel and glass are fused together into superior Kaldewei steel enamel, a process that was developed over 100 years which now forms the perfect alliance for modern bathroom solutions. Steel is resilient and keeps its shape, whilst enamel is beautiful in look and feel and has the added advantage of being ultra-hygienic and easy to clean. It is these properties that enable Kaldewei steel enamel to meet the exceptionally high standards of hygiene that were vital then and continue to be so now.

This has been confirmed by two independent tests commissioned by Kaldewei; a study by Dr. med. Klaus-Dieter Zastrow1 and one conducted by TÜV Rheinland2 came to the conclusion: Kaldewei enamelled bathroom solutions can be cleaned with ease and speed, leaving no residue – an obvious advantage when hygiene is paramount.

Image caption: Kaldewei's Silenio Washbasin Alpine White With Easy-Clean Finish

Image caption: Kaldewei’s Silenio Washbasin Alpine White With Easy-Clean Finish

Independent studies confirm the material’s superiority with regard to cleaning and maintenance, and come to the same conclusion: steel-enamelled bathroom solutions from Kaldewei can be cleaned with particular ease and speed, leaving no residues.

Steel and glass, fused together into superior Kaldewei steel enamel, form the perfect alliance for modern bathroom solutions. Steel keeps its shape and is resilient. Enamel, in addition to a beautiful look and feel, has the advantages of being ultra-hygienic and easy to clean.

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

Main image credit: Kaldewei

Independent Hotel Show London postponed until 2021

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Independent Hotel Show London postponed until 2021

Due to the significant impact coronavirus (COVID-19) is having across the world, Independent Hotel Show, the business event for luxury and boutique hotels, will be postponed to October 4 – 5, 2021…

The Independent Hotel Show has released a statement explaining why it has made the decision to postpone its London trade show until October 4 – 5, 2021.

The situation around COVID–19 is changing daily and the pressure on the whole industry has led to a number of events – the Independent Hotel Show being the latest of many – feeling obliged to postpone until next year.

“We have been listening to feedback from our community, as well as information from the government and public health authorities and it is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we have made the difficult decision to postpone this year’s show,” the show organisers explained in the statement. “We are truly in awe of the resilience, innovation and kindness that we have seen from so many within our community and understand how important it is to stay connected during this time.”

While the show has felt forced to cancel its physical event, the team at Montgomery are currently working on ways in which to bridge the industry together using virtual methods, such as webinars. Montgomery Group Series is a cluster of weekly webinars with Q&As from leading industry figureheads, aimed to help keep the community updated, inspired and motivated during these difficult times.

In the meantime, the company is preparing to launch number of new initiatives aimed at authentically helping connect suppliers with buyers.

Main image credit: Independent Hotel Show

The Brit List Awards shortlisted for AEO Awards 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Brit List Awards shortlisted for AEO Awards 2020

The Brit List Awards, Hotel Designs’ premium annual awards ceremony, has been shortlisted for the AEO Excellence awards in the ‘Best Live Event’ category… 

Following last year’s successful live event, The Brit List Awards 2019, Hotel Designs is up for an AEO Awards, which “represents the best that the events industry has to offer”.

“We are thrilled to have been shortlisted for this award,” said publisher of the brand Katy Phillips. “The Brit List Awards has developed new elements each year since its inception in 2017 and this has been very much in response to the way the hospitality market has transformed in this time.

“Our 2019 awards was arguably the most successful, with more designers, hoteliers and architects in attendance than ever before. We had a world-class judging panel coupled with an impressive and worthy winners list. 

“So much work goes in to The Brit List Awards behind the scenes – we have an amazing team who come together each year to deliver our most prestigious event of the year. This acknowledgement from the AEO is a real boost for us during these difficult and uncertain times.” 

The Brit List Awards 2020 will return to London later this year. In addition to crowning the winners of eight separate award categories, Hotel Designs will also for the first time unveil The Brit List 100, which is a published list of the top influential British-based designers, architects, hoteliers and developers who are currently operating in the international hotel design arena.

 

Details on how to send in your free-of-charge applications will emerge shortly. In the meantime, if you would like to know more about the various sponsorship opportunities, please contact Katy Phillips.

Headline Partner: Crosswater

Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

Industry Partner: BIID

SPOTLIGHT ON: Hotel spas that naturally self-isolate in style

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SPOTLIGHT ON: Hotel spas that naturally self-isolate in style

Throughout May, Hotel Designs is putting Spas and Outdoor Style under the spotlight. We continue with an editor’s round-up of some of the world’s most awe-inspiring spas. Hamish Kilburn writes…

Before the COVID–19 pandemic, and I am guessing long after the turbulent waters become calm again, architects and designers globally will question and creatively challenge the conventional spa and wellness experience in and out of hotels.

Despite pretty much all travel around the globe currently being on hold, the desire for quality treatments and checking in to relaxing escapes will return. With more and more hotel groups and brands developing their strategy around the rise in demand for wellness and wellbeing, Hotel Designs takes a look at the most dynamically designed hotel spas around the world.

Arctic Bath, Sweden

Establishing shot of the spa on a frozen lake

Image credit: Arctic Bath Hotel, Sweden

Designed by architects Bertil Harström and Johan Kauppi, the Arctic Bath in Sweden was opened recently following much anticipation. The spa, sheltered in the bath house that floats on the frozen River Lule, was designed using natural woods and stone to create an eye-catching ‘birds nest style’ structure.

W Ibiza, Spain

Outdoor pool

Image credit: Marriott Hotels/W Hotels

“When we first entered the building, which is positioned on the beach front, we couldn’t even see the sea,” the founders of  BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG, Irene Kronenberg and Alon Baranowitz, told Hotel Designs when explaining how the concept of W Ibiza was born. “There had been no thought as to how guests would and should use these public spaces.” The energy of the water, unsurprisingly, became the design concept of the 167-key hotel’s public areas. By opening up the space to become a flexible social hub, the hotel becomes a place that nurtures human connections, and through the use of subtle levels creates touchable distance between each functional area. “The idea is that the energy descends into the unconventional pool area,” adds Baranowitz. “As you move up levels, the lobby/lounge area becomes more reclined, but the open architecture scheme allows for a clever connection between all spaces.”

Equinox Hotel New York

Light and bright pool area in the spa

Image credit: Equinox Hotels

In the summer of last year, Equinox – the brand that made its name for opening and managing a tight-knit community of exceptional fitness and wellbeing clubs in major cities dotted around the world – opened its first ever hotel. Designed by David Rockwell and Joyce Wang to evoke comfort, creativity and focus, the ‘world’s fittest hotel’, as Hotel Designs labelled it ahead of its opening, is sheltered in a 14-storey limestone and glass skyscraper designed by architecture firm SOM. The hotel’s immersive 27,000 square foot spa area, which was the brainchild of Joyce Wang Studio and spa design and consultancy firm TLEE, maximises the most valuable commodity, time. The luxury wellness facilities include tailored treatments, an indoor salt water pool, hot and cold plunge pools, and our E.scape Pods — private relaxation areas that capture unparalleled views of the Hudson River.

Cottonmill Spa at Sopwell House, England

Outdoor pool

Image credit: Cottonmill Spa at Sopwell House

Following a £14m investment, Cottonmill’s three-storey, state-of-the-art, private members’ spa at Sopwell House in Hertfordshire is a break away from the conventional hotel spa. Designed by Sparcstudio, the spa has embraced the growing role of technology in the wellness world, with both the Dornbracht luxury shower, Sensory Sky, which recreates the sensation of showering in the open air, and the ELEMIS Biotec machine, which works to switch skin back on, increasing its natural cellular energy. Outside, award-winning garden designer Ann-Marie Powell created a space to enrich the soul. The botanical theme works around three secluded outdoor hot tubs and a swim-in/out hydrotherapy infinity pool.

COMO Shambhala Estate, Bali

Outdoor pool surrounded by jungle

Image credit: COMO Hotels & Resorts

Set in a tropical rainforest in Bali – the hotel is nestled in a clearing above a jungle-covered gorge beside the River Ayung – COMO Shambhala Estate remains unmatched, major player on the world’s wellness scene for its effortless approach to wellbeing. Architect Cheong Yew Kuan worked with interior designer Koichiro Ikebuchi to create the estate, combining local stone, wood and traditional alang-alang roofing to build sophisticated spaces that are at once contemporary and thoroughly traditional.

7123 Hotel, Switzerland

thermal bath overlooking mountains

Image credit: 7132 Hotel

7132 Hotel, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, is described best as a ‘luxury hotel and design hotel wrapped into one’, and was designed by world-famous architects including Tadao Ando, Kengo Kuma, Thom Mayne of Morphosis, and Zumthor. The crown jewel of the hotel is the award-winning thermal spa by Peter Zumthor, constructed from 60,000 slabs of local quartzite. The unique atmosphere and the highly mineralised water that comes out of the St. Peter spring at a pleasant 30° Celsius creates a deeply relaxing and natural experience.

Kagi Maldives Spa Island, Maldives

Birds eye view of villa with pool by the ocean

Image credit: Kagi Maldives Spa Island

The 1,500-square-metre wellness centre, slated to open in September 2020, is designed by architect Yuji Yamazaki, who was the mastermind behind the world’s first underwater villa. The 50-villa property is said to provide “a 360-degree wellness experience” with a fully-integrated wellness hub that sits at the centre of the island. This area will be complete with an open-air, teardrop-shaped sky roof its core, and will appear to float atop the island’s turquoise lagoon waters.

Hôtel Chais Monet, France

luxury hotel pool

Image credit: Hôtel Chais Monet

The luxury spa hotel was described as a “modern take on traditional French luxe” when Hotel Designs first caught wind of the project in 2016. In simple terms, an extensive restoration project to convert the wine cellars into a luxury hotel has given the buildings on site a new lease of life. Beneath the guestrooms and suites, the hotel’s spa wellness facilities include an impressive 25-metre indoor and outdoor pool, which allows guests to soak in the natural landscape while enjoying R&R from exploring the city. In addition, the spa also features a modern jacuzzi, a sauna, a handful of massage therapy rooms and a state-of-the-art gym.

Main image credit: COMO Hotels & Resorts

Ruby Hotels to open first property in Stuttgart, Germany

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Ruby Hotels to open first property in Stuttgart, Germany

Ruby Hotels‘ 10th property in Germany, which is slated to open in the spring of 2023, will shelter 1,700 square-metres of co-working space…

Following its recent London debut, Ruby Hotels has announced that it will open its first property in Stuttgart, which will take the brand’s portfolio in Germany into double figures.

The 150-key hotel, which is slated to open in the spring of 2023, will be situated in Central Stuttgart’s Gerber Shopping Mall, and has been designed with both the modern traveller and the city’s locals in mind. For the first time since the brand launched in 2013, Ruby will combine its lean luxury philosophy for a hotel and a co-working space under one roof. The new urban hotel and ‘Ruby Works’ co-working space (with approx. 190 workstations) forms part of an ambitious expansion plan to unveil a total of seventeen new properties by 2023, which will include new properties in Munich, Hamburg and Asia. 

Lounge area

Image credit: Ruby Hotels

It is the second time a Ruby Hotel has been integrated into a shopping mall and the first time actual retail space has been converted for this purpose. The challenging conversion work of the 8,000 metre-squared space is scheduled to start in the autumn of 2021 in collaboration with the Stuttgart architecture firm, BWK Architekten, and will be designed sensitively by the brands Head of Design, Matthew Balon

Image credit: Gerber Shopping Mall/Ruby Hotels

 “As a conversion of former retail space right in the heart of the city, the Gerber project represents a ground-breaking milestone for us,” commented Michael Struck, CEO and founder of Ruby Group. “We have created completely new room types for this project, adapted to the challenging floor layouts. The excellent location, high ceilings and unusual style of the building are a perfect match for our lean luxury philosophy and the project therefore represents an attractive new addition to the Stuttgart hotel market.”

All of the 150 guestrooms, from ‘Nest’ rooms to expansive ‘Loft’ rooms, will showcase the brand’s sleep-scientist-approved formula for a peaceful night’s sleep, with full soundproofing, blackout curtains, high-quality linen and extra-long and wide custom mattresses.

White and simple guestroom

Image credit: Ruby Hotels

Ruby, which currently operates eight hotels, will apply its signature lean luxury philosophy to the Gerber project; a location in the heart of the city that will soon connect locals and modern travellers together as the Ruby brand expands at rapid speed in Europe and beyond.

Main image credit: Ruby Hotels/BWK Architekten

PRODUCT WATCH: Crosswater’s MPRO introduces matt white finish

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Crosswater’s MPRO introduces matt white finish

Designed with modern bathrooms in mind, Crosswater’s iconic MPRO taps will be available in matt white finish from as early as July 2020…

The dynamically crafted MPRO collection by bathroom brand Crosswater, which combines the finest components and materials, is now available in matt white finish.

The matt white finish is added to the five existing finishes in order to continue the evolution of the iconic product range.

The established choice for high quality bathrooms, the MPRO collection delivers the very best in brassware engineering. Combining superb function and precision design, the result is a complete collection of bathroom mixers, valves, and showerheads that meets the exacting demand of today’s modern bathroom.

The matt white finish joins five other finishes that complete the MPRO collection, including brushed brass and matt black. All exquisite finishes are offered across the entire MPRO collection, including a complete set of coordinating accessories.

The finest components and materials ensure that MPRO delivers on flow performance, and as importantly safety and water efficiency, with WRAS and TMV2 certification.

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

Main image credit: Crosswater

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Oh, how the check-in desk has changed

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Oh, how the check-in desk has changed

Today’s lobby, as well as its check-in desk, has to be a multi-functional area in order to live up to modern travellers’ demands. Hotel Designs asks USM Modular Furniture how its latest commercial desk system is suitable for tomorrow’s modern hotels…

A lobby is one of the first thing that guests will see when arriving at the hotel. This means that the reception area presents an opportunity: to shape how guests see your company with an environment that represents your company’s brand, style and ethos.

The design of the USM Haller modular system is the perfect piece of furniture to build a unique reception desk that can be designed for the hotels specific needs and can also be reconfigured if the needs of the reception area changes.

The check-in/reception desk has to fulfil a number of functions: workstation, point of contact for members of staff, and a scene setter for new visitors. The USM Haller system lets you build a reception desk that performs each of these functions for your business flawlessly. Design a completely unique reception desk with built-in storage or display features, tailored to the environment of your reception area.

Image credit: USM Modular Furniture

Colour is one important factor: choose from the 14 classic USM colours to set the tone for the area. Cool grey or dramatic black is ideal for contemporary spaces; minimalist pure white suits fresh, clean settings; bolder yellows, reds and oranges give a more playful introduction.

Shape and structure are also important – and completely customisable. Choose a rigid, closed front for a more traditional set-up, or open the piece up a little with front-facing display modules for magazines, pieces of art, or your company’s own products. For even more playful and welcoming designs, let your imagination run wild: incorporate more open shelves, glass display pieces, or a mixture of different colours.

Bring a stylistic unity to the reception area with a full suite of furniture built on the same principles of elegant simplicity as your reception desk. The USM collection includes a hugely versatile range of surfaces from which you can build bespoke coffee tables and magazine display stands with a beautiful colour-and-chrome finish, mirroring that of the reception desk.

You can also use the USM Haller system to design additional storage and display pieces for the area: freestanding pedestals for documents and stationery; display cases for awards, art and your products; shelving for reading material or any other kind of piece to meet the specific requirements of your business.

The design of the USM Haller system is fantastically simple, however it is the Swiss precision in which the components are made that give the furniture the strength, versatility and clean lines that have made USM a design classic. Launched on to the market in 1965 the USM Haller system has become a watchword for timeless design all over the world. Its acceptance into the Design Collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York (USA) at the end of 2001 was a high distinction and confirmed the artistic character of the product. The design classic is used in offices, the home, public buildings as well as hospitality.

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

Main image credit: USM Modular Furniture

SPOTLIGHT ON: Lighting public areas in Radisson Blu Hotel Cyprus

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SPOTLIGHT ON: Lighting public areas in Radisson Blu Hotel Cyprus

As Hotel Designs conclude putting ‘Public Areas’ under the spotlight, Illumination Physics shares how it gave Radisson Blu Hotel Cyprus’ arrival experience a new meaning with innovative lighting solutions…

Illumination Physics is famous for integrated façade lighting, however that is not all we do. Radisson Blu Hotel’s Chandelier in Cyprus shows a different side of our activities, albeit with the same focus of project specific custom design.

The hotel opened its doors to the public in October 2018. One of the new breed of hospitality venues in the rapidly expanding Cypriot leisure market, this Radisson is actually the first business hotel set in an evolving economy. The influx of ex-patriot investment and the opening of casinos in Cyprus for the first time has created an exciting but competitive market in which the developers must make strong visual statements if they are to stand out in the rapidly changing business landscape.

The Radisson Blu is illuminated externally with dynamic lighting by illumination Physics to draw guests’ attention, as the sense of arrival is critical to their experience. Like most modern hotels, the Radisson Blu has an integrated shopping mall. To succeed, this mall needed a point of difference, both in spectacle and personality.

“There are 4,032 pendants in total descending out of a matt black sky.”

A big statement was required

Therein lay the genesis of the grand chandelier that was conceived of by local architects Fluid Design and Cypriot lighting designers Archtube.

Grand in concept and dimension, the chandelier occupies five hundred square metres in two vast displays that occupy the entire ceiling of the mall, surrounding the elevator core and, in turn, surrounded by the retail hub.Bold in vision, the chandelier is comprised of pendant polished hardwood elements protruding downwardly from the plane of the ceiling in five variable lengths from 0.3 metres to 1.1 metres. The display is comprised of groups of 16 pendants which are repeated. Approximately 10 per cent of the pendants are self-illuminated rods of light in lengths of 700mm lit and 700mm lit + 400mm unlit, specially created for the project by illumination Physics. There are 4,032 pendants in total descending out of a matt black sky. The chandelier occupies five hundred square metres.

Since the geometric design of the chandelier was set, the challenge was to design and manufacture the illuminated pendants. Our challenge was to design the pendants so that their elegance and function befitted their purpose. To meet the challenge, we proposed the following:

  • All fixtures should use white light only with a colour temperature of 2700K.
  • All fixtures were to be 50mm in diameter.
  • A gradient in the illumination level over the length of the fixture was desirable (some early tests had been done with continuous linear LED illumination, but the result resembled the homogenised image of a fluorescent tube, which was entirely the wrong image.
  • No shadows should occur within the pendant.
  • The majority of the fixtures should have an illuminated section of 700mm, contiguous from the plane of the ceiling to the bottom of the pendant.
  • A lesser quantity of the pendants would have an illuminated length of 700mm PLUS an unilluminated section length of 400mm.
  • Both types were to terminate into the ceiling with no visible fixings.
  • A diameter of 50mm should be chosen.
Close up of the lighting installation on the ceiling

Image credit: UNSEEN VIEWS (Charis Solomou Architectural Photography)

With regards to drivers and dimming, there were several options that were discussed. The most elegant solution presented itself to us, namely that we could create 63 groups of fixtures and have individual dimming control over each group. Further, illuminated pendants could be allocated to these groups in such a way so that a sea of slow motion could be created – this option is what we eventually selected.

With regard to the driver protocol, the client requested DALI to interface them with their in-house KNX control system. The first task was to get the optical design and illuminator working perfectly.

Since the illuminated pendant must provide a perfect shadowless view from any angle, the only way to achieve this was to illuminate the 50mm cylinder axially using a single point of illumination. This could only be done from the top end of the pendant so that the light source could be completely concealed either within the non-illuminated section of the pendant or above the plane of the ceiling. It became apparent that none of the commercially available lenses would be good enough so a custom composite optic was designed for the project. This was crucial because we needed to manage the gradient of intensity precisely. We specified an obvious gradient but with maximum and minimum levels of luminance. The LED lens was designed to interact with a reflector which closed the lower end of the tube. With the aesthetics solved, we moved on to practical issues.

Complex yet totally practical, maintenance for function is simple, and cleaning (always a challenge with chandeliers) is facilitated by the bayonet mount that allows a pendant to be taken down in seconds. The downlights that augment the overall lighting level in the mall are neatly concealed amongst the forest.

Now that the decision had been made to have dynamic dimming, some fundamental choices were required. illumination Physics already manufactures a range of LED driver options. Our choice would be influenced by practical considerations.

The space above the ceiling would be effectively inaccessible so the notion of placing drivers and data in the void was not an option that provided practical maintainability. We dismissed the idea of incorporating an individual driver for each pendant. It was far better to centralise the location of larger drivers capable of controlling many pendants in an easily accessible location away from the ceiling void.

Close up of lighting installation

Image credit: UNSEEN VIEWS (Charis Solomou Architectural Photography)

This decision had a consequence because the ELV cables would be long and we would need to manage any losses. The LED engines required constant current supply so voltage drop was manageable with correctly dimensioned cables. The perfect solution presented itself – the 24V illumination Physics HP-LED Driver 12. Twelve groups of five luminaries could be controlled from one rack-mounted driver. These were to be installed in multiple locations to minimise the cabling. We make both a DMX and a DALI version of this unit and since DALI was being used elsewhere at the Radisson, we went with that protocol.

The lighting effect fulfils the promise of the initial design. Like a vast inverted forest, the timber and illuminated pendants both add great interest to a grand space, providing an aspirational design looking to the future.

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

Main image credit: UNSEEN VIEWS (Charis Solomou Architectural Photography)

Hotel Designs launches its official podcast for designers & architects

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs launches its official podcast for designers & architects

Six months in planning, DESIGN POD is the contemporary podcast for all on-the-go interior designers and architects globally…

Hotel Designs’ official podcast, DESIGN POD, will be presented by editor Hamish Kilburn and interior designer Harriet Forde

The topics and personalities amplified on the podcast will give texture and perspective on the key issues that face modern A&D professionals as deadlines become tighter and briefs become narrower.

“I am so very excited to be starting DESIGN POD with Hamish,” says Forde, “and I am looking forward to discussing some interesting topics with great guests.”

In each episode, Kilburn and Forde will welcome influential designers, architects and experts to share their opinions on the conversations and challenges that are shaping our industry. Together, they will embrace innovation while balancing the important issues we all face as modern designers and architects, but are often too busy with life to explore fully.

“Since November, we have been working on the concept of DESIGN POD, in order to introduce an engaging and entertaining media platform for the industry,” explains Kilburn. “I cannot think of a better co-host than Harriet Forde, interior designer and the current President of the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID), who always makes me think, smile and laugh when we discuss our fabulous industry.”

Episode 1: Choosing your lane in design, architecture & business (coming soon)

Whether you are working for a brand, independently or are about to embark in a new journey, choosing your lane – your style, if you like – is an integral and pivotal moment of any design/architecture process. With the COVID–19 crisis adding further uncertainty to all industries around the globe – and arguably hitting the hospitality, building and construction industry the hardest – balancing consistency with creativity is key. To explore this topic in depth, from a creative and business perspective, DESIGN POD welcomes the former Creative Director of HBA London, Constantina Tsoutsikou, onto the show, who has recently launched her own venture: Studio LOST.While we are surrounded by a plethora of voices in design, it is very important to differentiate oneself and take a stand, like Hamish and Harriet are doing with DESIGN POD,” explains Tsoutsikou. “Focus on the values that are important to you, and in time , your work will be an illustration of these, and become what you are known for.”

During lockdown, please tweet us at @HotelDesigns if you have a topic you would like to us to explore.

Cheeky collaborations in Britain’s material world

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Cheeky collaborations in Britain’s material world

When it comes to collaborations between designers and furniture brands, British suppliers are arguably in a league of their own. To celebrate the industry working together, Hotel Designs takes a closer look at some of Cheeky Chairs’ most meaningful partnerships…

The British textile industry is thriving, and its success is driven by a range of factors, one of which is todays eco-conscious zeitgeist that has triggered a desire to buy sustainable, local and authentically sourced materials.

More significantly, there is an emerging renaissance in traditional British manufacturing skills and techniques.

This artisan revival has led to an abundance of traditionally crafted textiles and natural textures. Raw weaves with pronounced warps and wefts, stubby fabrics in rustic checks and bouclés that resemble cloth cut from an artisan weaver’s loom. Traditionally block-printed fabrics featuring abstract art with loose brushstrokes and playful daubs or ikats and motifs. Richly embroidered weaves and tapestries on all manner of natural fabrics including linens velvets and wool.

But the real driving force behind the resurgence in British textiles is a new crop of British textile artists creating vibrant and distinctive prints and weaves forinteriors. This new breed of designers is not only creative, but tech and marketing savvy and so able to run their own businesses, heavily driven by social media. They have skilfully incorporated the unique strengths of British textiles such as heritage, quality and traditional skills to create innovative fabric collections for today’s interiors obsessed consumer seeking a story and provenance behind their purchase.

Cheeky Chairs’ designer fabric collection showcases some of the best British designers. Their stunning and luxurious creations are central to the beauty of the chairs and stools the brand create. Here are four of our favourites.

Kit Kemp – Winner of Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry at The Brit List Awards 2019

Image caption: Marco Chairs upholstered in Hippie Green and Chubby Check by Kit Kemp

Image caption: Marco Chairs upholstered in Hippie Green and Chubby Check by Kit Kemp | Image credit: Cheeky Chairs

Award-winning interior designer Kit Kemp has been developing inspiring, vibrant interiors for almost three decades. With a background in graphic design, this self-taught creative has created her own quintessential British style.

Kemp is the creative force behind the hugely successful Firmdale Hotel group, a boutique collection of hotels renowned for their unique character and stylish use of colour. Her distinctive quirky designs have led her to collaborate with big names including Christopher Farr Cloth to create an inspiring range of totally unique fabrics and wallpapers.

Cheeky Chairs’ selection of Kit Kemp Weaves and prints draws on her whimsical style. It is a carefully curated collection of colourful eclectic patterns and joyful textured weaves to create luxurious chairs and bar stools that are as beautiful as they are comfortable.

Penny Morrison

Image caption: The Marco Armchair upholstered in Morrison’s Andean Vertical Stripe alongside Sanderson’s Linnean Indigo | Image credit: Cheeky Chairs

Image caption: The Marco Armchair upholstered in Morrison’s Andean Vertical Stripe alongside Sanderson’s Linnean Indigo | Image credit: Cheeky Chairs

Penny Morrison is one of the most sought-after Interior Designers in Britain and around the world. Penny is renowned for creating unique designs through seemingly clashing combinations. Pairing unexpected patterns and palettes, her designs are a visual feast brimming with colour and exuding spontaneity and sophistication in equal measure.

Her collection of luxury prints and weaves is a rich accumulation of inspiration from cultures around the world, from Turkish embroidery and Japanese textiles to Anglo-Indian symbols and Ancient Greek motifs.

Andean Vertical Stripe and Anni Orange are stunning colourful designs that ensure the brand’ chairs and bar stools will make a statement in any space.

Margo Selby

Image caption: The Chloe Chair upholstered in Margo Selby’s Motown | Image credit: Cheeky Chairs

Image caption: The Chloe Chair upholstered in Margo Selby’s Motown | Image credit: Cheeky Chairs

Margo is a world renowned British textile designer. Her Jacquard woven textiles have pushed the boundaries of weaving to create contemporary upholstery fabrics that are brimming with colour and style.

Cheeky Chairs’ selected weaves from her Memphis collection brings together a diverse and distinctive range of woven fabrics that are both decorative and luxurious. These jacquard weaves in harmonious but contrasting colours sit beautifully against a multitude of fresh paint colours to create chic and stylish chairs and bar stools to make a vibrant addition to any interior.

Korla

Image caption: Aquamarine Chloe upholstered in Korla’s iconic Kyoto Koi | Image credit: Cheeky Chairs

Image caption: Aquamarine Chloe upholstered in Korla’s iconic Kyoto Koi | Image credit: Cheeky Chairs

Korla, named after a town in China on the Silk Road, create gorgeously graphic fabrics mixing bold colours with strong patterns. All their fabrics are designed, woven and printed to the highest quality entirely in the UK.

Their collection of colourful and contemporary textiles is bold, fun and cheerful. Korla designs feature geometric shapes, small patterns, zigzags and scallops that are wonderfully light-hearted and frivolous. Their colour palette of bright, summery and cool shades is as striking as it is original.

The brand’s pair of signature Korla prints with their eye-catching paint finishes is effortlessly cool and will bring a fresh contemporary look to any style of interior.

Cheeky Chairs is a boutique collection of beautifully crafted wood framed chairs and bar stools that have naturally soft seats upholstered in luxury fabrics. Each Cheeky Chair is made to order and a unique combination of model, designer fabric and colour to create a truly original statement piece.

The brand’s sustainably sourced frames are carefully selected for their design and quality; each seat is meticulously upholstered using natural materials for supreme comfort; its designer fabrics are of the highest quality. The company offers an array of colour and luxury fabric combinations but will also work with customers’ own fabric selection and Cheeky Chairs’ specialist polishing team can create any finish to match a chosen interior.

Main image credit: Cheeky Chairs

Checking in: Hôtel Chais Monnet, Cognac

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Checking in: Hôtel Chais Monnet, Cognac

Four years after Hotel Designs got the on-the-boards industry sneak peek of Hôtel Chais Monnet, editor Hamish Kilburn checks in to the luxury hotel in the heart of Cognac…

Positioned in close proximity of Cognac’s Charente River, Hôtel Chais Monnet took chief architect Didier Poignant of Paris-based Ertim Architects four years to plan, and a further 26 months to convert into a reality.

Built in the 19th century, the site that was the childhood home of Jean Monnet, one of the founding fathers of the European Union. The building had sat uninhabited since 2004 before the decision was made to transform the trading house into a majestic, five-star getaway, combining traditional architecture with cutting-edge contemporary design.

The luxury spa hotel was described as a “modern take on traditional French luxe” when Hotel Designs first caught wind of the project in 2016. In simple terms, the restoration has given the buildings on site a new lease of life.

I would go one step further, though, to say that it has reopened up the destination’s history books, perhaps to a different chapter. For starters, during the restoration process, the architectural plans included adding a new contemporary structure ­­– a rare find in and around the low-level city of Cognac.

Image caption: The arrival experience allows guests to capture the two original buildings on the site that used to be wine cellars | Image credit: Hôtel Chais Monnet

Image caption: The arrival experience allows guests to capture the two original buildings on the site that used to be wine cellars | Image credit: Hôtel Chais Monnet

Despite the property being centrally located – only a ten-minute walk down to some of the great cognac houses in the region – the hotel’s space is not sacrificed, nor is it limited in its ambitious design. Guests arrive through a long driveway, past two retro Citroen 2CVs, and enter the hotel via a walkway that cuts through the two original limestone buildings, which used to be wine cellars. Bridging together these structures at the end of the pathway is a magnificent glass-box building. Inside, the lobby, which evokes a strong first impression and proof that architecture styles of different eras can, in fact, work in harmony.

Image caption: The hotel is a classic tale of old and new architecture meeting in harmony | Image credit: Hôtel Chais Monnet

Although this was very much a heroic rescue operation to retain the site’s heritage, the layout of the hotel allows for a modern design scheme to filter into all areas. Separated off the side of the lobby, making it ideal for locals as well as guests to enjoy, is the characterful Cognac Bar. As well as serving more than 400 varieties of the spirits (I counted them), the bar features quirky lighting, residential-style furniture and idiosyncratic artefacts for good measure.

Image caption: The Cognac Bar | Image credit: Hôtel Chais Monnet

The majority of the hotel’s facilities – the 92 guestrooms, 13 suites, a wellness area and two restaurants – are sheltered in new-build glass structure that is covered with corten steel tendrils. The striking and unrestrained design of the framework compliments the contemporary, light and airy interiors that can be found in each guestroom and suite. With a safe colour scheme of whites, cream and the occasional accent of red in the soft furnishings, the rooms very much channel the spirit of Cognac to evoke a home-from-home, relaxed residential look and feel. Elements such as a rose-gold clocks from Karlsson and arresting chandeliers above the beds add a contemporary layer to the design, while subtle biophilic references in the artwork inject the strong sense of place, far removed from metropolis life.

Image caption: One of the hotel's stylish guestrooms | Image credit: Hôtel Chais Monnet

Image caption: One of the hotel’s stylish guestrooms | Image credit: Hôtel Chais Monnet

The bathrooms, complete with geometric-patterned surfaces and large bath tubs, are contemporary spaces. Quality brands in these generously sized areas include Kohler and Allia Paris basins, Grohe taps and showers and quality WCs from Ideal Standard.

Beneath the guestrooms and suites, the hotel’s spa wellness facilities include an impressive 25-metre indoor and outdoor pool, which allows guests to soak in the natural landscape while enjoying R&R from exploring the city. In addition, the spa also features a modern jacuzzi, a sauna, a handful of massage therapy rooms and a state-of-the-art gym.

Image caption: The 25-metre indoor and outdoor pool inside the hotel | Image credit: Hôtel Chais Monnet

In the two restaurants below, the sites heritage – and its connection to wine – is deeply ingrained in the design scheme. In the gourmet brasserie, Le Distillerie, a wooden ceiling and beams evoke a casual dining experience that is aptly centered around seasonal eating and using fresh, locally sourced produce. The hotel’s fine-dining option, meanwhile, is located on the lower level. Les Foudres, provides an unparalleled entrance that welcomes guests to dine amongst ancient Cognac barrels in the building’s historic Chais.

Since opening its doors in 2018, Hôtel Chais Monnet has become rooted into the community that surrounds it. There’s no better example of this than its recent initiative to freshly prepare and deliver 365 cooked meals to the town’s hospital during the COVID–19 pandemic. Cognac-born pastry chef Isabelle Bovy has paired up with the hotel’s very own pastry chef Camille Roché to create a substantial yet balanced menu to sustain and satisfy these health workers.

The two chefs created a delicious menu which included a starter of quinoa salad, followed by a main course of beef and Grenailles potatoes and finishing with a sweet and sticky lemon cake. “We have enough kitchen space to ensure that everyone can cook safely,” commented Hôtel Chais Monnet’s General Manager, Arnaud Bamvems. “If we can help those in need, let’s do it!”

My conclusion of Hôtel Chais Monnet is that looks can often be deceiving. Its compelling old-meets-new architectural style has unlocked the opportunity for a modern luxury hotel to operate seamlessly on a historic site. Its carefully and sensitively curated design scheme allows for an effortless flow between all areas so that guests and locals alike can be part of the renaissance of Cognac.

Main image credit: Hôtel Chais Monnet

PRODUCT WATCH: Laminam by Casa Ceramica

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Laminam by Casa Ceramica

The large format thin porcelain slabs in the Laminam range by Casa Ceramica are a skin for surfaces and structures, which allow the designer to think outside the box and be innovative, meaning that the ability to achieve previously restricted offerings is now here…

Large format thin porcelain is a versatile material for use in architecture and furnishings, both indoors and outdoors.

They can be used in construction, as a real architectonic skin to clad walls, building facades or floors, and in interior design, as kitchen or bathroom countertops and tables. Producing porcelain slabs with sizes ranging from 1200 x 1200 to 1620 x 3240mm and thicknesses from three to 20mm. There are hundreds of designs with multiple surface finishes.

Image credit: Catania. Habitat Home

Produced using advanced technologies, it teams reduced thickness and large size with high resistance to mechanical stresses, to chemicals, to wear, to scratches, and to deep abrasion, it is hygienic by nature, resistant to frost, fire, mould and mildew, and to the effect of UV rays. All the characteristics and chromatic properties of the slabs are unchanging, designed to stand the test of time in all atmospheric conditions. A revolutionary slab that does not neglect environmental friendliness: natural raw materials, sustainable technology, entirely recyclable products are at the heart of this material’s green philosophy.

The slabs are created with natural materials like quarry clays, granite rocks and ceramic pigments, they do not release any substance into the environment. A revolutionary slab that does not neglect environmental friendliness: natural raw materials, sustainable technology and is an entirely recyclable product.

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

Main image credit: Casa Ceramica

Naturalmat wins the Queen’s Awards for Sustainable Development

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Naturalmat wins the Queen’s Awards for Sustainable Development

The Devon-based company, Naturalmat, has won the prestigious award for sustainable development just months after winning The Eco Award at The Brit List Awards 2019…

Following its memorable win at The Brit List Award 2019, Naturalmat has won the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development.

Naturalmat’s committed team, based in Devon, have been quietly crafting organic, beds and mattresses from sustainable and renewable materials in Devon for more than 20 years. Its mission is to create a healthier sleep environment to benefit not only the health and well-being of those using the products, but also a greener supply, manufacture and disposal process to benefit the wider environment.

The Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development is awarded for commercially successful products, services and management that benefit the environment, society and the economy.

The business grew from the founders – Mark Tremlett’s and Peter Tindall’s desire to harness the luxuriousness of natural materials and avoid the synthetic man-made materials prevalent in the industry. Initially creating mattresses for the marine industry, they saw the poor quality of the plastic foam mattresses used on high spec boats, and developed an alternative that was comfortable, sustainable, organic and all-round superior, making use of local resources. When Mark Tremlett had his own child, they realised that the situation was shockingly the same in the nursery industry, with babies sleeping on polyurethane foam pads covered in plastic. Safer Sleep Guidelines are still clear about reducing the risk of babies overheating – so a breathable, natural fibre mattress from Naturalmat remains a safer choice for parents in the UK and abroad looking for a healthy alternative. Once Naturalmat was established in the worlds of marine and nursery, the business started manufacturing larger mattresses – up to emperor size – for adults looking to furnish their own bedrooms with organic materials, and hotels looking for sustainable alternatives to the mass-produced mattress industry.

Two men holding either side of a mattress in a factory

Image credit: Naturalmat

By developing products that use raw materials from sustainable, renewable resources we drastically reduce our reliance on the petrochemical industry. The majority of the global bed and mattress industry uses synthetic foams and fabrics such as polyurethane foam, polyester and other materials that are derivatives of oil. Not only are these materials not sustainable, they are not as efficacious in their application as natural fibres, which are inherently more breathable allowing heat and moisture to dissipate, making for a healthier sleep environment by reducing the risks of overheating or allergen build up. Unlike much of the UK mattress industry, Naturalmat does not use fire retardant (FR) chemicals in products and are proud to have developed a product range that meets the relevant British Fire Safety Standards without the use of any FR additives.

The company works with local organic farms within a 50-mile radius of its factory in Topsham, Devon to source all of the wool it requires, ensuring a local resource is used in a local product. Wool is a is an extremely versatile material; not only is it a perfect natural insulator, keeping you cool when it’s warm and warm when it’s cold, but it is also a natural fire retardant. Wool slows down the burn rate of the fabric significantly, which means it adheres to the British Fire Safety Standard but does not give off any toxic gases and it will naturally biodegrade at the end of life. This reduces air, water and soil pollution, contamination and ultimately deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals.

Naturalmat’s organic and sustainably made offering is unique, which is why more and more consumers in both the UK and internationally choose to buy from Naturalmat. Naturalmat supplies organic beds and mattresses to the hotel industry all over the world, with clients including Hoxton Hotels, Z Hotels, Qbic, as well as working with the very large international hotel chain in Six Senses Resorts, which leads the way in sustainable, luxury tourism. Through exporting its products Naturalmat is promoting British wool and driving foreign wealth back into the British economy. Overseas customers are willing to spend with Naturalmat as they are reassured by its quality, reputation and sustainable credentials.

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

Main image credit: Naturalmat

Chelsom honoured with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Chelsom honoured with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade

Lighting brand Chelsom has been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade for the second time in three years in recognition of outstanding export achievements over the past three years.

Having achieved 59 per cent growth in international sales over three years, Chelsom has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.

As Britain’s most coveted commercial prize, the Queen’s Award of Enterprise celebrates and encourage business excellence in the UK.

Chelsom designs and manufactures decorative lighting for the global hotel and marine industries. Innovative in-house designs, high quality manufacturing and excellent service levels have contributed towards winning prestigious projects in more than 70 countries across the world. Exports now account for around 58 per cent of all sales and Chelsom has built an exceptionally strong client base including major hotel operators such as Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, IHG, Hilton, Accor, Marriott and on the marine side, Disney Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Virgin Voyages, Celebrity Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Lines.

Will Chelsom, Managing Director, has been instrumental in driving the Export division of the business and diversifying into the marine sector. He says: “We have achieved impressive export growth across multiple markets particularly in North America, the Middle East and Europe. Significant investment in our international sales team, corporate branding and overseas exhibitions have helped raise our international profile and undoubtedly contributed to our success. Winning this export award is a huge honour but it is also confirmation that our innovative product design, overseas sales strategies and all of the accompanying hard work by our superb teams around the world is paying off.”

“We are honoured to receive this award on the back of 2019, our most successful year to date, as it acknowledges the hard work, dedication and passion that every employee has shown in helping to drive the business forward internationally,” added Robert Chelsom, Chairman. “I am delighted to see that our third generation family business is continuing to expand and develop, cementing us as one of the major global players in the industry.”

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

Main image caption: Chelsom supplied the striking chandelier inside Celebrity Cruises’ vessel The Edge, which was designed by Kelly Hoppen | Image credit: Chelsom

The fabrics of Backhausen’s ‘Made in Austria’ heritage

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The fabrics of Backhausen’s ‘Made in Austria’ heritage

With its DNA firmly rooted in Austrian heritage, Backhausen’s quality and style of fabrics is a result of the brand’s authentic craftsmanship. The company’s Maria Florencia Caruso shares its narrative…

Austria, a place known as the home of music, culture, the waltz, ski resorts, palaces, outstanding museums and dramatic landscapes.

However, the country’s history of craftsmanship, attention to detail, precision, art and design is often overlooked. Products ‘Made in Austria’ tend to combine luxury with dependability – redefining, quality, reliability, sustainability, heritage and design.

Backhausen is an Austrian-heritage manufacturing company specialising in premium quality fabrics using natural fibres. The company’s mill is located in the Waldviertel region – more specifically in Hoheneich, which is located in lower Austria and literally translates as the “forest district”. In addition to its breathtaking nature, the Waldviertel has a rich history, culture and know-how in weaving textiles.

The factory, which is located in between rolling mountains and hills in Austria

Image Caption: Backhausen’s factory is located in Waldviertel region, and sits inbetween rolling hills in the countryside | Image credit: Backhausen

“Backhausen’s designs are inspired by an extensive archive developed throughout its 171-year history.”

The brand’s products are designed, manufactured and packaged in Austria. At Backhausen, ‘Made in Austria’ is exemplified through the art of weaving and craftsmanship. The key to creating every woven fabric at Backhausen is its committed team, which uses skills and techniques passed from generation to generation. Backhausen’s expertise is to manufacture elaborate, intricate and diverse fabrics on state-of-the-art Jacquard looms, constructed using infinite design concepts. Jacquard fabrics distinctively incorporate complex patterns and colours into their weave, can feature a raised, luxurious brocade motif and are often reversible.

Furthermore, Backhausen’s designs are inspired by an extensive archive developed throughout its 171-year history, in collaboration with acclaimed local architects, artists and designers. The archive is a treasure trove of daily inspiration for Backhausen’s designs and is part of Austria’s cultural history. The patterns and designs that form the influential archive are protected and not permitted to leave the country without official permission. Through this archive, Backhausen gives ‘Made in Austria’ a deeper and greater meaning.  The company’s strength is finding the right balance between tradition and modern technology through experience and creativity.

Backhausen products give ‘Made in Austria’ an international perspective with its brand pillars of craftsmanship, sustainability, heritage and individuality.

Schönbrunn Palace, the Hofburg Imperial Palace and State Opera House in Vienna are all renowned Austrian landmarks in which Backhausen’s fabrics can be found. Internationally, Backhausen textiles can be seen in first class hotels, theatres, restaurants, cafes, renowned landmarks and high-end residential projects.

The company is in partnership with designers from different industries and backgrounds, in addition to the use of its fabrics for interior upholstery and curtains. The fashion designer, Arthur Arbesser commissioned Backhausen to produce exquisite jacquard fabrics for two of his collections shown at Milan Fashion week and the Leopold Museum in Vienna. Backhausen fabrics can also be found in elegant modes of transport, as they are certified for aviation and marine interiors because of their durability and luxuriousness.

Backhausen’s bespoke options allow designers to express their individuality and creativity by creating project-specific patterns and motifs. Sagmeister & Walsh designed the Colour Room, in creative partnership with Backhausen, for their exhibition “Beauty” at the Vienna MAK (Museum of Applied Arts).

“‘Made in Austria’ is much more than a label.”

To expand on Backhausen’s versatility and its diverse project collection, its textiles are featured on the big screen set designs and decoration. Its influential film portfolio includes the 24th film in the James Bond series, James Bond 007: Spectre (2015) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) by Wes Anderson, a four-times Oscar winning film, one of which was for set design.

‘Made in Austria’ is much more than a label: it represents a passion for art, heritage, tradition, craftsmanship, design and quality. Backhausen’s well-crafted Austrian-made fabrics enhance and inspire with timeless beauty, versatility and durability.

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

Main image credit: Backhausen

PRODUCT WATCH: Floor-level channel shower made of superior Kaldewei steel enamel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Floor-level channel shower made of superior Kaldewei steel enamel

Kaldewei Nexsys is said to be the easiest way to get an exclusive channel shower…

There is no easier or more secure way of having the extremely flat design of a channel shower in a bathroom than with the Kaldewei Nexsys shower surface with its exclusive colours and metallic accents.

The shower – available in 20 different sizes, with three surfaces, in many colours and with elegant design covers – is not only a shower surface of exceptional aesthetic but also a complete, virtually installation-ready system. The familiar Nexsys four-in-one system is already preassembled at the factory, inclusive of sloping support, waste channel and sealing tape.

Tile becomes shower becomes tile: it is only on closer inspection that you can see where the tiling ends and the shower surface begins. Thanks to the large choice of bathroom colours and matt shades of the Kaldewei Coordinated Colours Collection, the Kaldewei Nexsys can be integrated with XXL tiles at floor level, allowing it to disappear completely into the tiling.

Image credit: Kaldewei

The Nexsys brings extra glam factor into the bathroom with a variety of surface finishes for its elegant design cover: The polished gold, polished stainless steel or brushed rose gold versions particularly underline the elegance and value of this exclusive channel shower. An easy-clean finish is available on request, further adding to the shower’s comfort and convenience. In addition, all matt colours can be treated with Kaldewei’s virtually invisible anti-slip Secure Plus finish – for a high level of safety underfoot.

Hardly any other Kaldewei bathroom solutions have won so many awards for their excellent design as the Kaldewei Nexsys shower surface and the Kaldewei Miena washbasin bowl which was designed by Anke Solomon. These accolades range from the “iF DESIGN AWARD” and the Red Dot Award to multiple wins at the ICONIC AWARDS. Perhaps that is why the innovative channel shower and the delicate-looking round or rectangular washbasin bowl enter into such a fascinating “Perfect Match”, the term Kaldewei uses to describe the harmony between design language and uniform materiality.

With installation systems that are preassembled in the factory, the Kaldewei Nexsys ensures that installation is easy and time is saved on the building site. Thanks to the familiar 4-in-1 system, all elements are already connected with each other, inclusive of waste channel, sloping support and sealing tape. The included insulation tape guarantees optimum sound insulation. Thanks to its ultra-low built height, floor-level installation is possible even with limited construction depth. With all these advantages it comes as no surprise that the Kaldewei Nexsys is a favourite not only with architects and bathroom planners but also, first and foremost, with installers who save valuable installation time with the channel shower, allowing them to increase their efficiency on the building site.

The Kaldewei Nexsys is available in a wide range of bathroom colours and the elegant shades of the Kaldewei Coordinated Colours Collection. This means that the channel shower can be a standout feature in the bathroom, producing surprising contrasts.

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

Main image credit: Kaldewei

In Conversation With: Geraldine Dohogne, former designer at Zannier Hotels

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In Conversation With: Geraldine Dohogne, former designer at Zannier Hotels

The designer behind many of Zannier Hotels’ authentic properties, Geraldine Dohogne, is expanding her horizons to go solo on the international design scene. Speaking exclusively to editor Hamish Kilburn, the designer unveils the truth behind her unorthodox arrival into the industry, discusses the challenges she encountered when designing many of Zannier Hotels’ success stories and explains why the meaning of ‘lifestyle’ in design is rapidly changing…

It comes as somewhat of a surprise – I was almost lost for words – when Geraldine Dohogne tells me that she didn’t have any design experience whatsoever prior to when she was handed the reigns to become Zannier Hotels’ Head of Design. In fact, she was not a designer at all, nor was she some talented ‘inner designer’ who was trapped in an architect’s title, which is not uncommon in this industry. Armed with simply an international business degree and a naturally acute eye for detail, Dohogne proved that you didn’t require a design degree to become a top-notch designer.

Open air design, with bath overlooking desert

Image caption: The open-air design of Zannier Hotels Sonop allows a connection between nature and its guests | Image credit: Tibodhermy for Zannier Hotels

That’s not to say that anyone can be a designer – far from it. Spending time with Dohogne, who accurately, in my opinion, describes herself as a designer by passion, allows one to see beyond the brilliant brand her name has been aligned to for years.

We meet in Mayfair’s The Conduit, an airy private members club that was once described by GQ Magazine as a place that provides the brightest minds with the opportunities to meet up and thrash out new ideas. It all sounds wonderfully fitting as it has also become one of Dohogne’s favourite places to work from in recent years.

“I was Zannier Hotels’ first employee.” – Géraldine Dohogne.

Although it may read shocking to some that a curious mind with no design background was asked to lead an entire luxury brand’s design ethos, Dohogne, for many reasons, was the perfect person for the job. For starters, she arguably knew the DNA of Zannier Hotels better than any established designer on the scene did. “I was Zannier Hotels’ first employee,” she explains. “I started in development and also did my time in operations before working in the design department. I mostly worked on my own, doing all the ordering and specifying by myself. It was at this point when I truly believe that my degree in international business kept me organised, focused and on track.”

It’s hard to believe that the premium hotel brand that has been so influential on the luxury travel and design scenes only launched its first property in 2011. It all started in The Alps with the opening of Le Chalet in Megéve. However, considering at the time the brand had already purchased land, properties, and had projects on the drawing boards in Asia and Europe, Zannier Hotels was considered an international player from the moment it was born.

“Without even knowing it, I was always interested in and inspired by design,” – Géraldine Dohogne.

Its unorthodox approach to luxury in both design and service soon gave it its esteemed award-winning reputation. The same way of thinking, I see, is shared – dare I say inspired – by the designer who is sat casually and confidently in front of me in a cosy beige jumper and blue jeans. “Without even knowing it, I was always interested in and inspired by design,” she says, “My curiosity in interiors and luxury travel was married up to the brand’s vision.”

For all designers, however many years’ experience they have amassed (or not), all projects come with a number of different challenges. One of Dohnogne’s most memorable projects was 1988 The Post, an intimate hotel in Ghent, Belgium, that shelters no more than 38 keys. The boutique hotel has been inspired by the old post office building’s 19th century architecture and charm. “Inside, all the fabrics, materials, lighting and colours were inspired by the atmosphere of a post office and from the building period,” the designer explains. The rooms were decorated in a warm style – with high ceilings, dark green walls and antique furniture – complementing the building’s former life.

Masculine looking luxury room

Image caption: 1988 The Post became one of Dohogne’s most challenging design briefs, because of the building’s irregular architecture and heritage in Ghent, Belgium

Although each hotel under the Zannier umbrella is unique to the destination, each follow the same journey of discovery when it comes to establishing the interior scheme and overall narrative. “We always look beyond the obvious,” says Dohogne. “Most of the antiques are sourced locally, which can be harder in some places than others.” For the brand’s most recent hotel in Namibia, more than 550 antiques were handpicked by Dohogne and injected into the property’s interiors that were uniquely constructed on stilts atop of natural boulders in the middle of the Namib desert.

Right when you thought Zannier Hotels had reached its limit of creativity, it is about to open the authentic doors of its next hotel, which will be situated in Vietnam. It’s 75 suites and villas will be sheltered under three various architectural styles, each of them melting into the lush natural background while referencing the local Ede and canal houses that are culturally embedded in Phu Yen (Vietnam). “Most of the villas and suites will have private pools and the public areas will be on the 1km-stretch of beach,” she explains. “The restaurants will really re-discover Vietnamese cuisine.”

Minimalist nature-infused public areas

Image caption: A sneak peek of the interiors inside the soon-to-open Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang, designed by Dohogne | Image credit: Zannier Hotels

While Dohogne continues to piece together Zannier Hotels’ vision of future properties with timeless interiors, in January 2020 embarked on a new, personal and profession journey; branching off to become a solo designer no restricted to hotel design. “It’s a new challenge,” she says, “but when you are challenged, you can bring much more to the drawing board. There is a gap in the market for high-end lifestyle projects in Europe and beyond.”

Quick-fire round

HK: What’s a trend that you hope will never return?
GD: I believe that if you want a project to be ‘timeless’, it should not follow a trend.

HK: What’s the most difficult project you have worked on?
GD:
1988 The Post was challenging because it was an existing building.

HK: What is the one item you cannot travel without?
GD: My Swimming costume and my noise-cancelling Bose headphones.

HK: What does luxury mean to you?
GD: A place where you can disconnect with technology and the world, and where you can feel at home.

HK: Where’s next on your travel bucket list?
GD: Antarctica, Japan and Argentina.

HK: What’s the biggest lesson you have learned in your career?
GD:
Always show your work to a lot of people, and always question yourself until you are 100 per cent sure.

HK: When you pitch an idea, do you keep an open window?
GD: Yes, because the world has changed so much from the beginning of a hotel project to the end.

For more than year now, Dohogne has been setting up the foundations of her own design studio. What strikes me is the link between the authenticity of Zannier Hotels’ expansion and the journey that the designer is also on. Although there is yet a comment as to what projects she is working on, it is clear that Dohogne is meaningfully expanding her reaches to purposefully design a new era of high-end lifestyle social areas and workspaces. Her journey in design continues…

Main image credit: Géraldine Dohogne

The hospitality social media campaign sweeping the nation

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The hospitality social media campaign sweeping the nation

James & Cranwell, a luxury hospitality headhunters company, has presented the ‘Hospitality 4 Heroes Challenge’ in aid of NHS workers during the COVID–19 pandemic…

The Hospitality 4 Heroes Challenge is a simple social media champaign that has emerged during the COVID–19 pandemic with the aim to raise funds for the NHS front line workers.

Set up by Warren James and Matthew Cranwell, the campaign asks the nation to upload a short video on social media doing something related to hospitality. Viewers will then be able to click a link which will direct them to a GoFundMe page that has been set up to support the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Appeal.

“This is our way of giving back to the incredible superheroes at the NHS,” explained Warren James in the video that launched the initiative.

How to join the campaign:

  1. Upload a short video to introduce yourself, followed by a ‘how to’ video of your chosen hospitality-related challenge
  2. Share on your social media accounts, including the GoFundMe link and the hashtag #hospitality4heroes
  3. Tag three people in the post who then have 24 hours to complete their own challenge

The target is to raise £10,000 through the Hospitality for Heroes Challenge. “Whilst everyone’s priority is staying home and staying safe, we know that everyone is looking for ways to help,” the duo explain on the GoFundMe page. “We believe the Hospitality for Heroes Challenge is a powerful way to do that, whilst having some fun in the safety of your own home.”

The duo nominated Michael Bonsor (Managing Director of Rosewood London), Tom Booton (Head Chef of The Grill at The Dorchester) and Thomas Kochs (Managing Director of Corinthia London). Other individuals who have completed their challenges include Vincenzo Arnese (Head Sommelier at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal) and Martin Siska (Director of Scarfes Bar). The campaign is attracting the wide-spread attention of the industry as social media continues to play a crucial role during the COVID–19 pandemic.

The NHS Charities Together represents 140 member NHS charities throughout the UK, and funds from its COVID–19 appeal will help support the health and wellbeing of NHS staff and volunteers supporting COVID–19 patients in ways above and beyond that which NHS funding can ordinarily provide, including wellbeing packs and costs associated with travel, parking, accommodation and volunteer expenses.

Main image credit: Hospitality 4 Heroes

SPOTLIGHT ON: Unconventional public areas

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SPOTLIGHT ON: Unconventional public areas

To mark the change of focus of Hotel Designs’ editorial lens, editor Hamish Kilburn goes on a journey to discover some of the world’s most unconventional hotel lobbies and public spaces… 

From striking rooftop bars above bustling metropolises to home-from-home hot-desk sanctuaries, the design of hotel public areas have evolved to capture not only a property’s rare personality but also a brand’s ethos and character.

While luxury hotel etiquette and demand has changed, one thing has remained firm for the operators and designers alike: you only have one opportunity to make a lasting first impression, which is arguably most true when it comes to designing the hotel lobby and public spaces. It’s a fine balancing skill to master. Designing a space suitable and accessible for everyone, but creating skilfully and meaningfully designing public spaces that add drama in all the right areas without coming across too strong can take a well-designed hotel into the realms of extraordinary masterpieces.

To kickstart Hotel Designs firmly positioning Public Areas under the editorial spotlight this month, here are nine uniquely designed lobbies and public spaces that each aptly amplify a hotel’s purpose and charm.

The Ritz Carlton – Astana

Image credit: Ritz Carlton

With a unique yet graceful design, The Ritz-Carlton – Astana is a natural extension of the square around the nearby Bayterek Tower, a monument and symbol of modern Astana. The property features an architectural lighting scheme designed by Nulty Lighting with carefully positioned luminaires in the soffit, which graze light across the fins for a dappled effect. In the restaurant, surface-mounted spotlights nestle within a bronze trough that cuts through an otherwise architecturally clean ceiling, complemented by a suspended rail with adjustable spotlights, which drops from the same detailing to provide a focus along the continuous marble counter, drawing the eye through the space.

PUBLIC Hotel, New York

Image credit: Public Hotel, New York

Featuring what our editorial team are unofficially concluding as the largest sofa in the world, PUBLIC, designed by legendary designer Ian Schrager, has all the necessary ingredients of a successful urban retreat. The New York-based hotel is known for being refined, sophisticated, smart, simple, yet flamboyant and provocative all at the same time. Its public areas, complete with high ceilings and modern comfortable furniture, attract locals and guests alike to work, socialise and simply chill out in a comfortable setting.

The Standard London

Image credit: The Standard London

The ground floor inside The Standard London was inspired by the groovy 70s, a decade full of character with Psychedelic Furs (the early years), Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin and the debut of The Muppets and Star Wars capturing the movement.

The Standard London’s lobby/lounge features fabulous circular fixtures and quirky furniture that set the scene. The carefully curated library pays homage to the building’s original use. Look down and you’ll notice a sumptuous orange rug leading the way into the hotel, look up and the bright red ceiling offsets the striped wooden walls and the blue mural behind the reception – forcing you to take everything you thought you knew about maximalism and throwing it out the window. The muted lamps and pot plants only enhance the boldness of the lobby’s design.

AKELARRE Hotel

Image credit: AKELARRE Hotel.

Architecture studio Mecanismo was responsible for the construction and interior design of AKELARRE Hotel. The carefully and meaningfully designed public areas evoke a sense of calm with a clever use of curves. The design concept was to use elements that coexist in harmony with the surrounding environment, to connect the interiors with the striking views of landscape that surrounds.

The Murray Hotel, Hong Kong

Image credit: The Murray Hotel

The Murray Hotel was a preservation project undertaken by Foster + Partners, the brief being to design a 336-key luxury hotel within the shell of one of the city’s most iconic landmarks that was built in 1969.

The hotel’s rooftop bar and restaurant both reflect Hong Kong’s vibrant cosmopolitan style, open to the city’s flamboyant population. The interior spaces feature high-end luxury furniture from Minotti, including Aston sofas and Lounge little armchairs animated by vivacious Cesar side tables. A wraparound terrace frames the restaurant with Aston “Cord” Outdoor sofas, armchairs and dining chairs.

Nobis Hotel Copenhagen

Image credit: Nobis Hotel Copenhagen

The patterned-geometric rug, cosy leather seating and contemporary white lighting reflects Scandi modern living. The home-from-home lobby inside Nobis Hotel Copenhagen, designed by Wingårdh Architects, shelters subtle deft touches, clean lines and playful colour while balancing the well-to-do elegance of the original building.

The Langham, Chicago

Image credit: Langham Hotels

The Langham Chicago, designed by Richmond International, is part of the former IBM tower, the final masterpiece of architect Mies Van Der Rohe and a well-loved feature of Chicago’s skyline, which the design team respected while creating a new, luxurious hotel inside its magnificent shell.

The designers opened up the reception with double-height spaces and introduced views of the city and the Chicago River. Materials such as bronze and travertine reference the original building, while decorative elements including onyx and velvet were inspired by the architect’s residences. The result is a warm, elegant hotel that honours its past.

nhow London

‘London Reloaded’ was the interior design concept for nhow London. The design studio Project Orange stretched that broad theme to its limits when imagining the look and feel of the the lobby inside the 190-key hotel. Although the arrival experience is impressive and memorable, we believe that the corridors, which often become ‘dead spaces’ are a true reflection of the studio’s ability to uniquely narrate a story with interiors. Inspired by a London stroll in the park, the corridors feature detailed HD carpets by Brintons and has been brought to life with humour. Each floor, facing the lifts, features a stencil of a bike chained to a fence. As guests move up each levels of the hotel, another part of the bike is removed, which is a playful nod to the reality of most, if not all, for cyclists in the city.

Proper Hotel San Francisco

Image credit: Proper Hotels

The flagship property of Proper Hotels is nestled in a landmarked flatiron-style building in San Francisco’s vibrant Mid-Market district., and features captivating interiors by designer Kelly Wearstler. The designer’s luxury residential style is arguably most felt in the lobby, which has been created using a clash of patterns, colours and textures alongside European furniture pieces from a number of design movements in history.

Main image credit: AKELARRE Hotel

FEATURE: COVID–19 pandemic is forcing an evolution in wellness

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
FEATURE: COVID–19 pandemic is forcing an evolution in wellness

When we eventually return to ‘normal’ life following the worldwide pandemic of COVID–19, we will all have become acutely aware of how Mother Nature can rapidly alter the status quo and severely affect each and every one of us; where we go, who we see, what we do. Room to Breathe gives Hotel Designs an insight on what might change…

There’s no doubt about it, the personal and commercial effects of the current outbreak will be felt for years to come.

Personal and social hygiene awareness has increased exponentially, with a growing scepticism of what and what is not clean.

Whether we are at our workplace, attending leisure facilities or travelling for business or pleasure, we all now have a heightened awareness of how we interact and will now expect and demand a higher level of service from providers that takes cognisance of the perceived risks as a result of this. Put simply, COVID–19 will change the way we work, how we live and how and where we travel.

Image credit: Room to Breathe

Few markets have felt the full force of this pandemic more than the hospitality sector. It has decimated trade, scattered the labour force and threatened the very existence of the supply chain. Travellers, holiday makers and businesspeople alike will now become even more difficult to satisfy and will seek to be given as much reassurance as possible.

A single night stay becomes your biggest issue as each and every night your new customer requires that peace of mind that your room is as safe as possible for them to stay in. Failure to address these new concerns could result in the long-term repeat visitor more likely to ‘go somewhere else next time’.

“By taking steps to show your commitment to your customers’ health and wellbeing is now, more than ever, of paramount importance.”

Family on bed

Image credit: Room to Breathe

Capturing this feeling of assured safety every time must be seen as the focal point for Customer Satisfaction.

What can be done?

So what can the hospitality sector do to insulate itself from the aftershock of COVID–19 and prepare for the inevitable increase in customer demands? What can be done to provide that ‘peace of mind’ that is desired?

Is carrying out the same cleaning protocols more frequently by an already stretched housekeeping department going to provide the reassurance required? In a word, no.

By taking steps to show your commitment to your customers’ health and wellbeing is now, more than ever, of paramount importance.

Image credit: Room to Breathe

A cleaner solution

A new approach to a new problem must be the way forward. It needs to address the worries and concerns of your customers but must, just as importantly, be cost effective. Imagine the cost of a ‘deep clean’ between every guest. This is neither practical nor affordable.

This is where Room to Breathe comes into its own. By providing a room that can demonstrate continuous and permanent ‘self-cleaning’ provision, you can provide customers with an unrivalled level of service and commitment to their needs and concerns.

“Room to Breathe also kills 99.99 per cent of viruses and bacteria, including coronaviruses.”

Originally developed to provide safe, clean accommodation for the millions of travellers who have a hypersensitivity to various toxins, pathogens and allergens, Room to Breathe also kills 99.99 per cent of viruses and bacteria, including coronaviruses (incl. influenza, SARS, MERS).

Step One – deep clean

An initial industrial air purge followed by a combination of steam cleaning above 40℃, ultra-low-penetration air (UPLA) vacuuming and the application of our unique decontamination fluid which is deadly to pathogens (but is safe to all higher living organisms) is fogged into the area ensuring every surface coated.

Additionally, by using innovative UV technology we can rid mattresses, pillows and soft furnishings of undesirable micro-organisms within seconds.

Fogger in room

Image credit: Room to Breathe

Step Two – Anti-microbial coating

Once the area has been decontaminated, our antimicrobial coating ‘BioTouch’, will be is applied. The BioTouch formula bonds to a clean surface and when viruses and bacteria land on the protected surface, the cellular structure is ruptured (not poisoned) and becomes defunct.

The only way BioTouch can be removed is by it being chipped off. Where there is a risk of this, on door handles, light switches for example, we can easily reapply to maintain the coatings efficiency.

Step three – Bedding and soft furnishings

Using our own unique formula, Protext solution provides a layer of invisible protection which permanently interrupts the life cycle of dust mites and bed bugs.

Our method avoids the use of toxins so whilst lethal to bugs and mites does not pose a risk to the client. This is also applied to all fabrics and soft furnishings.

Step Four – continuous air sanification. 

Installing filterless air sanifiers provides the final level of protection. Using technology originally developed by NASA, our sanifiers seek out contaminants and pathogens within the air and on surfaces and neutralise them.

By applying this four step process, we not only eradicate 99.99 per cent of viruses and bacteria, we also provide a continuous level of protection in between our Deep Clean processes.

Certification

On completion certification is provided and displayed either outside or within the room to provide that peace of mind to Customers and employees alike.

A Room Information Pack is provided for guests to simply explain the RTB system, providing that peace of mind. In order to maintain the certification, Steps One and Two are carried out every four months in accordance with our terms and conditions.

On-site training is also provided to Housekeeping staff in order to ensure the efficacy of the RTB system is maintained. This is no more onerous to staff and in fact will simplify their cleaning protocols.

Cost 

Based on an occupancy of 72 per cent, our cost model demonstrates that a ROI of 100 per cent can be achieved in the first year with a surcharge of just £15 per night per room.

We truly believe Room to Breathe is the next step in the evolution of the hospitality market. Our processes not only provide protection from unseen pathogens but are also proven to improve cognitive function, enable better quality of sleep and promote overall wellbeing.

So whether you are wanting ensure the highest level of protection for your customers or are looking to capture the untapped market for those travellers with intolerances or allergies then Room to Breathe could well be the answer.

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

Main image credit: Room to Breathe

GROHE adjusts production across Europe amidst pandemic

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
GROHE adjusts production across Europe amidst pandemic

The bathroom brand GROHE has announced suspended production in Portugal and manufacturing sites in Germany to  run adjusted production schedules in reaction to the COVID–19 pandemic…

GROHE has implemented its next steps in taking action to protect employees across its European manufacturing sites.

Production in Albergaria, Portugal, will be suspended from 30th March 2020, reflecting latest government regulations and the intensifying situation in this region. It is currently planned to resume operations on 12th April 2020. The structured and orderly phasing out period for the production in Albergaria has started. Besides the European plants, the manufacturing site in Klaeng, Thailand, is also following strict procedures including those around temperature controls to ensure increased hygiene standards and safety for employees.

With its measures the GROHE brand wants to uphold the safety and health of its staff and support overall efforts to help contain the pandemic. For all sites, applicable regulations and measures are under constant review and subject to adjustments as necessary. Together with its business partners, the GROHE brand is closely working on managing stock and service levels across the EMENA region, taking into account the circumstances and requirements of individual markets.

“With the spread of the novel coronavirus we witness an unprecedented situation, across the globe. Over the recent weeks, the impact has increased on society and the economy alike. Given the overall dynamics, we have constantly evaluated the rapidly changing circumstances early on to determine necessary actions. It is now, that we are tightening existing measures to further protect our employees,” says Thomas Fuhr, COO Fittings LIXIL International and CEO Grohe AG.

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

Main image credit: GROHE

SNEAK PEEK: Inside Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SNEAK PEEK: Inside Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid

The iconic Hotel Ritz, Madrid is expected to reopen later this year as the Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid, following the most extensive restoration in its 110-year history…

The statuesque property, which will become Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid later this year, was designed and built under the supervision of legendary hotelier César Ritz, and first opened its doors in 1910.

An extensive restoration is underway to significantly enhance the hotel’s facilities and services, while maintaining its unique character, encapsulated in the Belle Époque style of the original building.

Spanish architect, Rafael de La-Hoz, has been instrumental in providing the context for the historical restoration, while French designers, Gilles & Boissier, have overseen the interiors with the aim of increasing the property’s appeal to local and international guests alike while celebrating César Ritz’s pioneering spirit.

The re-design of the public spaces has focused on restoring the hotel’s many fine interior architectural features, while incorporating a number of valuable artistic pieces from the property’s collection, including crystal chandeliers, antique paintings and sculptures.

Image caption: Rendering of the restaurant inside the hotel | Image credit: Mandarin Oriental

Image caption: Rendering of the restaurant inside the hotel | Image credit: Mandarin Oriental

The hotel has always been an integral part of society in Spain’s capital, and has been host to royalty, politicians, corporate leaders and celebrities. It is situated within the ‘Golden Triangle of Art’, an area defined by the most important museums in the city – the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Reina Sofía Museum of Modern Art. The property’s location within a prestigious residential area close to Madrid’s financial and commercial district and to El Retiro Park,  adds to its appeal.

“The meticulous restoration is designed to ensure that this legendary property is once again recognised as one of Europe’s greatest hotels,” said James Riley, Group Chief Executive of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.  “We are confident that the local community will be even more proud of this historic landmark, and we look forward to providing our guests with memorable experiences, in majestic surroundings, all underpinned by Mandarin Oriental’s exceptional service.”

Gilles & Boissier have created a sophisticated design for the hotel’s new guestrooms, encapsulating a classic but contemporary residential style for the 153 rooms including 53 suites. Within the suite inventory, there are several one-of-a-kind speciality suites, featuring unique design elements inspired by the hotel’s historic connections to the city, Spanish culture and art. A spacious Royal Suite and the Presidential Suite feature magnificent views over the Prado museum. Located in the top floor turrets are two new suites, each with private balconies and views over the Prado Museum and Lealtad Square.

Image caption: Rendering of the Royal Suite, designed by Gilles & Boissier | Image credit: Mandarin Oriental

Chef Quique Dacosta, one of the most celebrated chefs in Spain, was appointed to design, develop and oversee all culinary operations at the hotel’s five restaurants and bars.

The hotel’s new leisure and wellness facilities include a heated indoor swimming pool, a vitality pool, experience showers, a steam room and a contemporary fitness centre. A dedicated treatment room has been designed as a hidden sanctuary, providing a range of exclusive local and signature beauty and massage treatments.

As one of the most iconic buildings in the Spanish capital, Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid is ideally placed for memorable social events. The ballroom and functions spaces, with their large windows facing the Prado Museum will be beautifully restored and designed to ensure the hotel is once again the venue of choice for weddings, private dinners and parties.

Main image credit: Mandarin Oriental

Hotels that are self-isolating in style (part 3)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotels that are self-isolating in style (part 3)

The editorial series continues with part three, as editor Hamish Kilburn mentally checks in to some of the best hotels that are self-isolating in style…

The weeks are starting to feel like years. As the number of cases of COVID–19 increases day-by-day, so too do our social restrictions. From our new-found goldfish bowl perspective on the world, travel is beginning to feel like a distant memory.

Following on from parts one and two in this series, Hotel Designs continues to start the week during lockdown with some Monday motivation, – a non-permanent day-dream, if you like – to explore some of the world’s hidden luxury gems. Here are a handful of hotels that are naturally self-isolating in style.

Dharana at Shillim, in the Western Ghats of India

Lounge overlooking greenery

Image caption: Spa Pool Villa’s Living Room | Image credit: Dharana at Shillim

Spread over 3,000 acres of its own fertile valley, Dharana at Shillim used a completely local work force to respectfully build 23 rooms and three Presidential Villas within the forest. Each room celebrates the nature they’re in while also paying homage to Indian local design. The roofs are made out of tin, as a reflection of the village homes surrounding Shillim, and also to heighten the sound of the rain during monsoon season, reminding guests that nature rules here.

Treehotel, Sweden

Glass-mirrored structure hanging from trees

Image credit: Treehotel Sweden

The mirrorcube structure was launched as an “exciting hide-out among the trees, camouflaged by mirrored walls that reflect their surroundings.” Its base consists of an aluminium frame around the tree trunk and the walls are covered with reflective glass. The interior is designed from plywood with a birch surface. The total of six windows provide a stunning panoramic view. A 12-meter-long bridge leads up to the tree room.

Matetsi Victoria Falls

Luxury suite with sensitive interiors

Image credit: Matetsi Victoria Falls

Nestled within a 123,000-acre (55,000 hectres) wild game reserve, Matetsi Victoria Falls is arguably the most self-isolated hotel in the world. The hotel has been constructed to blend into its natural surroundings. The interiors, designed by local designer Kerry van Leenhoff, have been sensitively created to evoke sense-of-place at every turn.

Artist Helen Teede spent much time on site at Matetsi in order to find the inspiration of a unique collection of 18 paintings entitled ‘Mapping Matetsi’. Having done extensive walks and drives in the area, Teede divided the cartographic map of Matetsi unit seven into 18 parts and drew it to scale on each canvas, adding her own impressions of the river, the landscape and the pathways walked in the area, both man and animal-made. These 18 paintings hang separately in each suite. However, put together and these pieces of art actually form the aerial map of the reserve.

Severin*s – The Alpine Retreat

Luxury pool inside the hotel

Image credit: Severin*s – The Alpine Retreat

Severin*s is an uber-luxe hotel in Lech, situated in the Arlberg region which is part of Austria’s largest inter-connected ski areas. It set a new design standard in an otherwise predominantly traditional hotel landscape – Severin*s oozes James Bond glamour with pine interiors, fires in the rooms and fur throws.

The luxury hotel shelters just nine exclusive super-suites, each with private terraces and mountain views, a private four-bed Residence and an indoor luxury spa. 

Heritance Aarah, Maldives

Luxury pool on stilts in the middle of ocean

Image credit: Aitken Spence Hotels

The design of Heritance Aarah compliments the group Aitken Spence Hotels’ policy of sustainability by implementing components such as fuel saving generators, energy saving LED lighting, water saving fixtures and energy efficient air conditioning. The premium all-inclusive resort boasts 150 villas, six restaurants, five bars, a PADI dive centre and the first of its kind IASO Medi Spa.

Main image credit: Dharana at Shillim