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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, Sweeden

Glass-mirrored structure hanging from trees

Image credit: Treehotel Sweeden

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

BREAKING: Salone del Mobile postponed until 2021

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
BREAKING: Salone del Mobile postponed until 2021

The 2020 edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano has been suspended to 2021 due to the COVID–19 pandemic…

Just weeks after Salone del Mobile.Milano was postponed from April until June of 2020, due to the outbreak of COVID–19, the organisers of the event have now announced that the event has been further suspended until April of 2021. 

Salone del Mobile.Milano, which is the world’s largest and arguably most visible furniture fair in the international design calendar, will now take place between April 13 – 18 2021.

The decision to postpone was made by the Board of the Salone del Mobile.Milano in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that is spreading to almost every country in the world.

In a statement, the show’s organisers said: “Although we were determined to keep to the June date, to allow the annual event to take place as planned, the present, unprecedented circumstances and medium-term uncertainties now mean that this year’s Salone can no longer go ahead.

“The 2021 edition, which will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Salone, will be a special event for the entire sector. For the first time ever, all the biennial exhibitions will be held in conjunction with the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the International Furnishing Accessories Exhibition, Workplace3.0, S.Project and SaloneSatellite. This means that EuroCucina, FTK – Technology For the Kitchen and the International Bathroom Exhibition will also take place next year, along with Euroluce, which was already scheduled for 2021.” 

The sector-wide trade fair is said to represent a fresh opportunity to pull together to revitalise our businesses, the entire supply chain that works in synergy with the Salone, and Milan. 

This is breaking news, more to follow…

Main image credit: Salone del Mobile.Milano/Andrea Mariani

PRODUCT WATCH: Atlas Concorde’s debut decor collection by Piero Lissoni

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Atlas Concorde’s debut decor collection by Piero Lissoni

The global specialist in premium porcelain tiles and wall tiles, Atlas Concorde, has unveiled the new Reverse Canon collection with Piero Lissoni

Atlas Concorde presents the new Reverse Canon collection. The collection is signed by Piero Lissoni, architect and designer known for his unmistakable style and the elegance of his creations.

Canone Inverso reflects a combination of fluidity, materiality and interprets the vision that Atlas Concorde had given Piero Lissoni: create decorative elements for wall and floor tiles.

The designer explains: “The four compositions of the Canone Inverso collection are the variants of a model, a scheme that is composed and recomposed to create a harmonious relationship that like in a musical score is formed by the assembly of different notes, or rather the forms that make it up”.

Image credit: Ceramiche Atlas Concorde S.p.A.

The company adds: “we gave the designer our range to be freely mixed and matched, to create a ‘decor collection’ to be presented individually or to be used in combination with our different collections and surfaces.”

The project is divided into four porcelain tile mosaics inspired by the world of cement and minimalist stones, in shades ranging from warm white to beige with traces of clay and dove grey, from greys in cooler and lighter tones to the darker anthracite and smoke.

Each module of Canone Inverso’s four mosaics has its own particular geometry, in some cases deliberately asymmetrical to create new patterns. Each module also constitutes a colour in the collection, obtained by mixing hues of similar shades selected from the Atlas Concorde range of minimalist cement-effect and stone-effect designs: Boost and Dwell (cement effect), Raw (cement plaster effect), Arkshade (minimalist cement effect), Kone (minimalist limestone effect).

The graphics of the individual tiles recall the cement and stone concept and refer to the collections they derive from, in perfect colour and stylistic harmony. Aesthetically, the surfaces have an almost smooth touch or a slight three-dimensional structure with a perfectly matte texture.

Image credit: Ceramiche Atlas Concorde S.p.A.

An important added value of Canone Inverso is the possibility of creating refined combinations of each mosaic with Atlas Concorde collections.  In particular:

Canone Inverso 1 matches the colors that compose it: Kone White, Arkshade White, Boost White and Dwell Off White.

Canone Inverso 2 goes well with the nuances of Arkshade Dove, Kone Beige, and Arkshade Clay.

Canone Inverso 3 combines with Kone Pearl, Kone Silver, and Raw Pearl.

Canone Inverso 4 reflects the color moods of Dwell Smoke, Boost Smoke, and Arkshade Lead, obviously in any format and in the matte version.

Canone Inverso finds its natural application wherever there is not only the need to decorate floors and walls, but above all, a desire to redesign spaces with decorative elements that act as furnishing elements.  A new tool to interpret ceramic tiles in a creative and personalized way, in line with the latest demands of high-end interior design.

Atlas Concorde 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: Ceramiche Atlas Concorde S.p.A.

VIP Arrivals: hotels opening in April 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
VIP Arrivals: hotels opening in April 2020

Despite COVID-19 putting the brakes on hotel development activity, Hotel Designs’ Hamish Kilburn wants to still celebrate the hotels that were originally planned to open in April so that we have something to look forward once the crisis is over…

It was all going so well. Only last month I wrote that 2020 was shaping up to be a year of expansion for many hotel brands.

A few weeks after publishing that article, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a pandemic following the COVID–19 outbreak. Now with businesses and homes in lockdown – something that everybody is having to comes to terms with – hotels that were originally planned to open in April have hit a temporary red light, but we still want to shine the spotlight on a handful of them away.

Villa Copenhagen

CGI rendering of a light and open classy brasserie

Image caption: CGI rendering of The Brasserie inside Villa Copenhagen

Sheltered inside what was the century-old Central Post and Telegraph Head Office, the 390-key Villa Copenhagen was originally planned to open in April. Traditional Danish and international F&B areas have been designed by London-based studio Goddard Littlefair with the aim to promote wellbeing and sociability. It was described in an interview with Jo Littlefair as “the destination’s answer to The Ned, London”. A member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, the hotel will offer a conscious approach to luxury with a focus on all things eco-friendly.

W Ibiza

Render of green and blue exterior of the hotel

Image credit: W Ibiza

The brainchild of BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERGW Ibiza was slated to open in April. Located off the beaten track, the 167-key hotel strikes a pose on the palm-fringed beachfront of Santa Eulalia. As the only global brand on the island, the design brief was to fuse together the parallel realities of Ibiza with a magnetic pull that turns up the sass.

The design scheme has opened up the public spaces 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,” Alon Baranowitz told Hotel Designs in an exclusive interview. “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.”

Soneva Fushi, Maldives

Render of luxe villa on the water

Image credit: Soneva Fushi, Maldives

Sources have told Hotel Designs that there are no new guests arriving in any of the hotels in the Maldives at the moment, and that hotel staff are being told to self-isolate for at least 14 days.

Meanwhile, Soneva Fushi is preparing to launch new overwater villas, which were expected to be up and running in April. The one- and two-bedroom villas of the refreshed Soneva Fushi will feature private pools, sunken seating areas, catamaran nets strung over water, and retractable roofs.

Six Senses Shaharut

Villa over looking desert

Image credit: Six Senses

Following a significant year of growth for the hotel brand that aggressively extended its luxury portfolio with a number of openings around the globe, Six Senses is preparing to open its first hotel in Israel.

Perched on the edge of a cliff in the south of the Negev Desert, the 58-suite hotel will pride itself of on eco-living, going as far to ban cars on the property as well as all outdoor lighting to further minimise light pollution.

Camp Sarika by Amangiri, Utah

Image credit: Aman/Amangiri

A five-minute drive across the desert from Amangiri, Camp Sarika’s collection of 10 elegant and spacious one- and two-bedroom pavilions was slated to open in April. Complementing the clean lines and natural material palette of Amangiri’s suites, the generously proportioned pavilions each have indoor living and dining areas, as well oversized terraces with fire pits and heated plunge pools.

Hotel Designs is currently researching and writing the next article in this series, which will identify the top hotels that are opening in May, 2020. If you are working on a hotel project, or know of a hotel that would be suitable for the feature, please email the editorial team

Main image credit: Aman/Amangiri

CASE STUDY: Creating ‘sense-of-place’ in nhow London carpets

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Creating ‘sense-of-place’ in nhow London carpets

Carpet manufacturer Brintons were asked by design studio Project Orange to help them capture the theme of ‘London Reloaded’ in the carpets inside nhow London…

Brintons supplied carpets for key public areas and the Royalist Suite within the UK’s first nhow hotel, a four-star property under NH Hotel Group’s design and lifestyle brand, which is situated on the fringe of Shoreditch.

The hotel, which Hotel Designs was the first to check in to, exploded onto the London hospitality scene earlier this year. Themed ‘London Reloaded’, the interiors were designed by architect James Soane, combining “British icons with unconventional contemporary elements”.

Brintons worked with James Soane at Shoreditch-based design firm Project Orange; together creating carpets to suit both the business traveller and tourist guest of the hotel. The bold, floral carpet designs seen throughout the corridors and staircases of the eight-floor hotel reflect the Walk in the Park theme, while the sharp modern ‘space invaders’ houndstooth that forms the design in the three meeting rooms called Laboratories enhance the hotel’s modern structure.

“Working with the creative brief ‘London Reloaded’, Project Orange continued their long-time collaboration with Brintons to develop original and playful designs that tell a story,” said James Soane, Director at Project Orange. “The guest corridor was pictured as a Walk in the Park – where the bedroom doors are painted different bright colours complete with brass door knockers along with a dark green carpet strewn with roses. This romantic and theatrical experience offers the guest an immersive experience unlike any hotel and is truly unique.”

Image caption: Brintons supplied thew carpets for the Royalist Suite inside nhow London

Image caption: Brintons supplied thew carpets for the Royalist Suite inside nhow London

The East End’s coolest new hotel, plays homage to both the area’s industrial past and technological future. Throughout the hotel, bold and fresh design takes inspiration from traditional British icons, such as the Royal Family, London landmarks and the underground. This quirky new offering is the fifth property in the nhow portfolio, joining hotels in Milan, Berlin, Rotterdam and Marseille.

Image caption: Brintons supplied carpets for all the meeting rooms inside nhow London, including the Tech Lab.

Image caption: Brintons supplied carpets for all the meeting rooms inside nhow London, including the Tech Lab.

Loughton Contracts were commissioned to install the carpet for the project. “It was great to work with Brintons on such an amazing project,” added Craig Anstey, Divisional Director at Loughton Contracts. “The vibrant and luxurious carpet design worked perfectly with the eclectic and industrial look of London’s first nhow Hotel. I can’t wait for the next collaboration between Loughton Contracts and Brintons.”

nhow, commissioned Brintons to supply custom axminster carpets to run throughout the corridors, staircases and meeting room areas, and to create a bespoke axminster rug for the Royalist Suite, each echoing the contemporary feel of the hotel setting.

Main image credit: Brintons

Naturalmat launches 500 thread count, organic percale bed linen

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Naturalmat launches 500 thread count, organic percale bed linen

Made by hand in Devon, Naturalmat’s new luxury 500 thread count, organic cotton percale bed linen is the answer to a good sleep, which is what we all need right about now… 

Naturalmat, the award-winning brand in organic and ethically made mattresses and beds that has been supplying the industry for more than 20 years, has launched its keenly awaited luxurious, new wholly organic bed linen.

All Naturalmat’s new bed linen is a premium 500 thread count cotton percale which is delightfully soft, crisp and more luxurious than high street brands. This, combined with its organic credentials, offers a unique combination.

The organic bed linen collection has been a long time in the making. This is because Naturalmat distinguishes itself in its singular quest to deliver a luxurious, wholly organic, ethically made yet affordable offering… a bed linen collection that meets the most stringent organic credentials.

“From the outset at Naturalmat we have made it our purpose to deliver a luxury yet ethical and organic alternative offering,” said the company’s CEO, Mark Tremlett. “This is more important than ever now as we have become increasingly aware of concerns over environmental impact and the importance of sustainability. I am excited that Naturalmat can finally deliver consumers a high quality yet affordable bed linen which meets the most stringent social, ecological and healthiest organic criteria.”

The new bed linen collection is GOTS-certified – GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) is a worldwide standard for organic fibres incorporating both ecological and social criteria. From the time the cotton seed is planted to growing it without pesticides or chemicals, through to harvesting and processing it is done in a way that doesn’t deteriorate the land and looks after the welfare of workers. Naturalmat sources the cotton from a mill in southern India – known to produce the best quality cotton for some of the most prestigious brands in the world.

The mill is fully certified organic and is unique in that it carries out the entire production process… here they spin, weave, wash, finish, cut and sew the cotton to create and realise the Naturalmat organic bed linen collection. This is reflective of and entirely in keeping with Naturalmat’s ethos – all its beds and mattresses are made completely from scratch at its Devon-based bedworks which generates its own Green electricity and only sources its wool from organic sheep farms within a 50 mile radius of the bedworks.

The buttons on Naturalmat’s organic duvet covers are made from nuts produced by Tagua Palms which grow naturally in equatorial rainforests and enables local people to make a living from the nuts produced by these trees. The Tagua tree has such an economic and sustainable status that it’s saving rainforests. The resulting button is as hard wearing as polyester but has as beautiful a finish as ivory.

Naturalmat’s fitted sheets are unique in that they have capacity to accommodate both a super thick mattress as well as a topper yet are elasticated the entire way around – not just the corners. This elasticated perimeter stretches or contracts under the mattress to provide a perfect smooth, wrinkle-free sheet atop… whether it’s to fit mattress only, or a super thick mattress combined with topper. With the increase in prevalence to combine topper with mattress, these sheets are versatile enough to suit both and ensure there’s no need to purchase new bed sheets due to the addition of a topper.

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

Main image credit: Naturalmat

In Conversation With: Interior Designer of the Year 2019, Jo Littlefair

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Interior Designer of the Year 2019, Jo Littlefair

Securing her place in the history books, Jo Littlefair came out on top last year at The Brit List Awards 2019, spectacularly winning the coveted title, Interior Designer of the Year. A few months later, she welcomes editor Hamish Kilburn into the Goddard Littlefair HQ to give him a glimpse into studio life…

“Jo, can I borrow you for just a second,” says senior associate and architect David Lee Hood as Jo Littlefair and I walk through the studio. “This archway,” he says pointing to a life-like rendering on his monitor, “what are your thoughts on adding in a line of colour here?” As he shows the before and after, it is a game of ‘spot the difference’ to the untrained eye. But for the multi-layered studio Goddard Littlefair, where the devil is so often in the detail, it could be the difference between winning a pitch or losing it, as any design practice operating on today’s international scene will confirm.

“We have made a few changes to encourage people to come and talk to us more.” – Jo Littlefair, co-founder, Goddard Littlefair

The short but important moment is proof, if ever I needed it, that Littlefair likes to naturally lead from within her team. And as we walk through the open-planned office that is flooded with natural light towards her workstation, I notice also that there is no door, and no boundary, between herself and everyone else in the building.

Image caption: The Lowry Presidential Suite, designed sensitively by Goddard Littlefair

Image caption: The Lowry Presidential Suite, designed sensitively by Goddard Littlefair

“We got to the point last year when, as we reached 60 employees, we decided Goddard Littlefair was too big as a studio,” she confesses. “We have made a few changes to encourage people to come and talk to us more, because I would rather know about something – and be able to comment at a point where it is possible to comment – rather than get further down the line and it be too late. At the end of the day, leading this design studio with Martin Goddard has always been a collaboration, not just between himself and I but also our team.” As the designer is explaining, I notice that there’s a cordial and relaxed atmosphere in the Clerkenwell studio, and the strong relationship between the co-founders and their team is apparent.

Image caption: The bar inside Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, designed by Goddard Littlefair

“We look at the finer details, as you have just seen, that perhaps make a space look and feel more residential,” the designer explains. “Things like tabs on the curtain pole having a little leather strap and a metal rivet, and it’s those elements that give it quality and detail. It’s important that someone has thought about it in that much detail, and there is a reason why it’s leather and why it’s embossed, or whatever.”

“What’s most important is that it has to be right for our client, the property and the location every time.” – Jo Littlefair, co-founder, Goddard Littlefair

Recently completed projects within the studio’s portfolio include The Biltmore Mayfair  London, Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik , Sheraton  Grand Warsaw , the new F&B areas inside Hilton Munich City, The Lowry in Manchester and the Kimpton Charlotte Square. Having followed many, if not all, of these projects from concept through to completion, it’s fair to say that the studio believes that variety is the spice of life. “We don’t like being pigeon-holed,” explains Littlefair. “We have a great variety of style, which is fantastic. Also, we are not divas when it comes to our personal taste. What’s most important is that it has to be right for our client, the property and the location every time.”

Modern award-winning bar

Image caption: The award-winning Juliet Rose at Hilton Munich, designed by Goddard Littlefair, has become the city’s new destination bar.

Despite the studio clocking up the air miles with unavoidable trips abroad for site visits and account management, in order for the team to understand the culture and fabrics of new destinations, the studio’s HQ is positioned slap-bang in the epicentre of the design community in London, just a few streets behind some of the city’s major design showrooms in Clerkenwell. “There is always a corner of London that you can find a narrative to that is really individual,” says Littlefair. “Whether  When? you are living, working and breathing in London, like many of our designers, the city becomes a fantastic place. I think that’s because it is made up of villages that have, over time, morphed together. As a designer working on a project here, the identity of what those villages were can really shine through.”

“I literally had to work my way around the world, and it made me a different person.” – Jo Littlefair, co-founder, Goddard Littlefair

Despite London having its place in the designer’s heart, Littlefair mostly finds inspiration in design from nature, and decompresses daily from city life, after a hefty commute, in Buckinghamshire where she lives. “It’s a very open community, close enough to London for work, but full of fresh air,” she explains. “My kids love it there, and so do I!”

But where was Littlefair’s inquisitive nature born, I wonder? “When I left university and went travelling, technology as we know it now didn’t exist; email had just come out for crying out loud,” she admits. “I used to pay to sit in a café to type an email home to say I’m alive. For me, that was about really cutting off from the world. My mum didn’t think I was going to come back,” she laughs, “I did some crazy things; I worked out on boats and I threw myself into experiential travel, albeit on a shoestring. I literally had to work my way around the world, and it made me a different person. Experiencing places and learning about people and cultures.”

Image caption: The Principal York's luxe, residential look and feel was designed by Goddard Littlefair

Image caption: The Principal York’s luxe, residential look and feel was designed by Goddard Littlefair

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

Hamish Kilburn: What trend do you hope will never return?
Jo Littlefair: Rag-rolled walls and transitional furniture.

HK: What’s next on your travel bucket list?
JL: Chile , Argentina and Egypt.

HK: What would you say is the number-one tool for success?
JL: Hard work, and you can’t teach taste. I learn something new every day, nobody can know everything!

HK: Who was your inspiration growing up?
JL: The reason I made it into interiors is because I used to work on super yacht designed by Terence Tisdale. I couldn’t believe that somebody got paid to put this together and design with  all those beautiful timber veneers and mirrors everywhere, which I had to clean! I spent four months in the Med working on this 64m Feadship  . It had everything and gave me an insight into luxury and interior design.

HK: What is the one item you cannot travel without?
JL: This is ridiculous but my cashmere jumper, which is so not me. You will always find a lightweight cashmere jumper in my flight bag!

HK: What is the last item that will show up on your bank statement?
JL: Whole beans for my coffee machine. Always buy a small bag because you want the freshest roasted beans for your coffee.

HK: What has the last year taught you?
JL: To keep everyone in the studio on one floor, so that we are working together. Also that quality far outweighs quantity.

“Think of it as the destination’s answer to The Ned.” – Jo Littlefair, co-founder, Goddard Littlefair

Back to today, and the studio is currently hard at work with a number of projects on the drawing boards. The studio is currently working on designing four restaurants and bars inside the soon-to-open 360-key Villa Copenhagen. “Think of it as the destination’s answer to The Ned,” Littlefair teases. “But it’s so not about men and women in suits. Instead, the whole project has been about understanding the Danish vernacular, the locals’ way of life.”

Other projects that the studio is working on include five star resorts on the Mediterranean coast line, the repurposing of a beautiful Viennese building to a 150 plus bedroom five star hotel and what may be the future best spa in London.

Image credit: The atmospheric restaurant Cucina Mia inside Shertaton Warsaw, designed by Goddard Littlefair

Image credit: The atmospheric restaurant InAzia restaurant in Sheraton Warsaw, designed by Goddard Littlefair

As two people who are, parallel to others in the industry, so thoughtfully leading interior design forward in terms of meaningful innovation, Goddard and Littlefair both feel pressure to adapt sensitively with the times while also maintaining a fundamental quality. And their approach to evolution is enlightening.  “Someone once told me that everything in life is a phase,” explains Littlefair. “I have learned to embrace change and see it as a positive. It is intrinsically scary to human nature, but when you learn that it is necessary to be a little bit cathartic about things, life runs smoother.” I would argue that it is this breath-of-fresh-air attitude that led the designer to win The Brit List Awards’ Interior Designer of the Year 2020.

“You have no idea how much the award means to me.” – Jo Littlefair, co-founder, Goddard Littlefair

“I just can’t believe it,” she said fresh off stage at the event in November when her new-found title was revealed in front of a sea of leading designers, architects, hoteliers and developers. Months later, and the reality of ‘that win’ hasn’t quite sunk in. “You have no idea how much the award means to me,” she says now. “The line-up of people you had there was fantastic, they are my peer group and I am very respectful of what everyone else is doing. So, that people within this industry consider what we are doing here to such high regard means everything!”

Image caption: Interior Designer of the Year, Goddard Litterfair's Jo Littlefair with editor Hamish Kilburn at The Brit List Awards 2020

Image caption: Interior Designer of the Year, Goddard Litterfair’s Jo Littlefair with editor Hamish Kilburn at The Brit List Awards 2020

In a recent roundtable discussion that Littlefair attended, it was mentioned that all designers are having to work harder than ever before in order to differentiate from other styles and common motifs. As I sit around the table in the hub of her studio, I wonder how Littlefair and her team approach this topic when it comes to designing future hotels. “We are getting to the point where people have not seen a beautifully letter-pressed card before,” she says. “The ‘tech revolution’ has changed everything that we do and the way our work is perceived, but we can’t lose touch of humanity in the process.”

“We crowned a really worthy winner,” I can’t help by think to myself after I’ve said my goodbyes to the  Goddard Littlefair team. For me, it’s not necessary  necessarily? Littlefair’s work that is the most inspiring thing about but  the designer, but more her incredible journey, which was fuelled by hard-work, passion and determination, that I believe every single designer can learn from – or at least be energised by.

Main image credit: Goddard Littlefair

Editor Checks In: The hospitality industry fights back

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor Checks In: The hospitality industry fights back

In his monthly column, editor Hamish Kilburn, like others, is self-isolating. He is reflecting on where it all went wrong – and, crucially, how we can make it right again for the hospitality industry. In the eye of the COVID–19 storm, which will pass, he finds himself praising the hospitality industry for showing compassion and versatility in uncertain times…

It’s amazing – and equally devastating – to witness just how quickly things can change on the international hospitality scene. Just a few weeks ago, I was on stage at HRC in London presenting to a crowded audience how, because of new technology and the evolutions of social media, competition is no longer just on a hotel’s doorstep. And here I am, writing my monthly Editor’s Letter, as the United Kingdom, like other countries around the world, is in lockdown following the Pandemic outbreak of COVID-19. The doors into nations are firmly closed, social distancing guidelines have been set and new measures are being put into action in order to slow down the spread of the virus.

“Mother nature has simply had enough – she has sent us all to our rooms to think about what we have done.”

Meanwhile, face-to-face interactions, which have been a key element for our socially driven industry since the dawn of time, are restricted, and we are all well and truly on our knees. Major events such as Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam, Clerkenwell Design Week, Salone del Mobile in Milan and Hotel Summit were all compelled to postpone when the outbreak became a pandemic. Even the Olympics, the largest sporting event on the planet, is stuck in the traffic jam of uncertainty and will not make it time for 2020.

Mother nature has simply had enough – she has sent us all to our rooms to think about what we have done ­– and it’s time to reflect on how we can respond to the global catastrophe.

Lessons for the wellbeing of earth can surely be learned from this. In just days of the countries closing their borders and going into lockdown, both China and Italy recorded major declines in nitrogen dioxide – a serious air pollutant and powerful warming chemical – as a direct result of reducing industrial activity and car journeys.

Elsewhere, locals in Venice noticed a significant improvement in the water quality of the iconic canals that flow through through the city as the area was cleared of tourists.

With millions of people now in isolation around the world, social media and technology is playing a leading role in order to help people interact, entertain and be kept informed of news as well as vital government instructions.

“In times of crisis, we become stronger than we thought we were.”

Neighbours have united once more, with residents seen singing and applauding health workers from balconies. As I type, my best friend, who owns her own tattoo studio, is currently delivering vital medicine to the sick and elderly in and around her community in the wake of having to temporarily close down her local business. In times of crisis, we become stronger than we thought we were.

The selfless acts of kindness don’t end there. The hospitality industry, despite being one of the most affected in this crisis, is fighting hard to prevent the spread of COVID–19, and I am totally overwhelmed with pride to see how adaptable our market is. One by one, hotel chains, brands and boutique independents are unveiling how they innovatively plan to help fight the invisible enemy of COVID-19.

The last few weeks have raised a lot of questions about the future design of hotels: should we encourage guests to gather in public spaces, should we introduce working-from-home measures and is touchless technology the way forward? As things are changing day-by-day as we are all told to #stayhome, this will no-doubt make us think deeper about how we can meaningfully design and open better social spaces for all.

To be honest, I am at a loss for words, which, for anyone who knows me, is really saying something. I cannot predict what happens next, but from all of us at Hotel Designs HQ, we wish for you all to remain safe during this unpredictable period. And remember, storms don’t last forever. If it’s any consolation, the whole world is going to need a holiday when all this is over.

Feel free to keep in touch with our team on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, and let us all distribute the weight of this disruption evenly, because we are all in this fight together.

Editor, Hotel Designs

UK hotels to become shelters for homeless people during COVID-19 outbreak

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
UK hotels to become shelters for homeless people during COVID-19 outbreak

Hotels will be transformed into emergency safe spaces, outlines a new national action plan to fight the Coronavirus COVID–19 pandemic…

In a new action plan drawn up by government outlines that hotels will be converted into temporary safe spaces after the government was accused of “sleepwalking” on homeless people’s vulnerability to Covid-19, reports The Guardian.

The strategy to safeguard the homeless is expected to be announced imminently following the lead of California in allowing vacant hotels to be requisitioned into homes for rough sleepers and those vulnerable to the virus.

Hotels, which are currently empty in the wake of social distancing and self-isolation guidelines, are being seen as a ‘ready-made solution’ during COVID–19 outbreak, and some hotel chains are already in talks with the government on converting their hotels into hospitals.

It has been reported, that, in practical terms, 45,000 ‘self-contained accommodation spaces’ need to be found in order to protect and shelter the UK’s population of homeless people and rough sleepers.

Although ambitious, this is not unachievable, as the capacity for housing homeless people in hotels certainly exists. London alone is to have almost 160,000 hotel rooms, with further 8,000 sheltered under 65 new hotels that are projected to open this year.

The news comes in after Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester block-booked its hotel rooms for NHS workers and InterContinental Hotel Group was the first chain to announced it was block-booking 300 beds for the next three months so that homeless people can self-isolate. The development has designed to halt the spread of coronavirus, and will mean two London hotels are given over to rough sleepers.

Main image credit: Pixabay

Taylor’s Classics unveils new furniture for 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Taylor’s Classics unveils new furniture for 2020

Contract furniture company Taylor’s Classics has launched a number of new chairs into its Modern seating collection…

Recommended Supplier Taylor’s Classics has launched a number of new chairs into its Modern Seating collection.

New products include Benchairs 700 armchair (Benchairs collection), Sunburst dining chair (available in two different options: Straight leg and turned leg – Collection: Traditional Classics) and the Alex armchair (available in two options: Beech and Oak.

Selection of cut outs of seating

Image credit: Taylor’s Classics’ selection of new seating

The full list of products are below:

Max Side Chair

Based upon a classic design of the 1930’s our Max chair has a chrome frame with upholstered seat & back. Ideal for restaurant or bar seating it is a great combination of style and comfort.

Max Armchair

The Max armchair is based upon a classic design of the 1930’s. It has a chrome frame with upholstered seat, back and arms. Ideal for restaurant or bar seating, it is a great combination of style and comfort.

Max High Stool

The Max high stool is based upon a classic design of the 1930’s. It has chrome frame with upholstered seat & back. Ideal for restaurant or bar seating, it is a great combination of style and comfort.

Luna Side Chair

Our oak framed Luna chair provides a really comfortable seating option for restaurants, lounge areas & bars. The chair can be upholstered in a fabric or leather of your choice and the frame polished in one of the standard Taylor’s Classics stains.

Sol Tub Chair

The Sol Tub chair is manufactured in oak and provides a really comfortable seating option for restaurants, lounge areas and bars. This chair can be upholstered in a fabric or leather of your choice and the frame polished in one of the standard Taylor’s Classics stains.

Benchairs 700 Armchair

Our new Benchairs 700 armchair has a beech frame and upholstered seat. It is a really comfortable chair with a relatively small footprint which means that it could be used for dining, bar or lounge areas. The chair is not a Benchairs original but we feel it fits in with the rest of the collection. The chair was designed by Kasper Meldgaard of design studio ‘Says Who’ in Denmark.

Manufactured to meet with contract furniture standards makes this chair suitable for dining or bar locations with heavy day to day use. This piece is one of many from our retro pub chairs collection and is available in a choice of finishes.

Alex Armchair

The Alex chair is available in two different frame options: Oak or Beech. The armchair has a small footprint but provides great comfort and is ideal for use in bars, cafes or restaurants.

Sunburst Dining Chair

We love Art Deco so are very pleased to introduce the Sunburst chair. We think a restaurant full of these chairs could look wonderful. It is a very comfortable dining chair and is available with either straight or turned front legs.

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

Main image credit: Taylor’s Classics

BREAKING: MEET UP London postponed until September

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
BREAKING: MEET UP London postponed until September

BREAKING NEWS: MEET UP London, which is Hotel Designs’ premium networking evening for designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers, has postponed this year’s event until September 15 in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak… 

MEET UP London was due to take place at Minotti London on May 13, but in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, and Government recommendations, the event has been forced to postpone until later in the year.

Sheltering the theme of Inspiring Creativity, the networking evening will still welcome award-winning sound designer and functional music innovation expert Tom Middleton and award-winning research entrepreneur Ari Peralta as headline speakers.

“The decision to unveil the shortlisted finalists of The Brit List Awards 2020 at MEET UP London has come because we want to give the individuals a platform that lasts longer than one awards ceremony.” – said editor Hamish Kilburn

In addition, given the timing of the postponed event, Hotel Designs will use the event as a springboard to unveil the shortlisted finalists for The Brit List Awards 2020. “We are used to adapting to the times here at Hotel Designs, and the decision to unveil the shortlisted finalists of The Brit List Awards 2020 at MEET UP London has come because we want to give the individuals a platform that lasts longer than one awards ceremony,” said editor Hamish Kilburn. “In line with our theme for MEET UP London, Inspiring Creativity, it makes sense to celebrate the individuals who are proving to lead the way.”

MEET UP London 2020 is just the latest event that has been forced to postponed in response the spread of COVID-19. Yesterday, Clerkenwell Design Week announced it has postponed this year’s event until July 14 – 16. Salone Del Mobile, which is arguably the most popular trade fair in the design calendar, was the first to announce a postponement, which was followed by the Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam last week.

Tens of thousands of people in the UK have been tested for Covid-19, with currently 1,950 cases. Meanwhile, the government has now put in place strict social distancing rules in an attempt to deal with the pandemic.

How to attend MEET UP London

EARLY BIRD SUPPLIER TICKETS*: £99 + VAT (expires on March 31)  | CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.***
EARLY BIRD BUYER  TICKETS*£10 + VAT (expires on March 31) | CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.***

If you would like to discuss various sponsorship packages available, or if you have any enquires regarding tickets, please contact Katy Phillips via email, or call 01992 374050.

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Event partner: Crosswater 

* Those eligible to purchase Supplier Tickets must be industry suppliers.
** Those eligible to purchase buyer tickets must prove that they are an interior designer, architect, hotelier or developer.
***Hotel Designs’ Early Bird promotion ends on March 31. After this time, tickets for designers, architects, hoteliers and developers will inflate to £20 + VAT and supplier tickets will inflate to £150 + VAT. 

Cole and Son unveils Seville wallpaper collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Cole and Son unveils Seville wallpaper collection

The wallpaper company Cole and Son’s latest collection was inspired by the plethora of cultural fusions of Seville, the Andalusian capital…

From the breath-taking blend of Mudéjar architecture and art, fragrant flora and diverse fauna, to the percussive strumming of guitarists accompanying passion-filled flamenco dancers resounding through the vibrant city, emerges Cole & Son’s latest collection Seville.

With graphic architectural prints in sun-drenched antique palettes to vibrant botanicals and primary-toned ceramic tile motifs, Seville captures all the ebullience of southern Spain.

From its Phoenician foundation to Roman rule, and centuries of Islamic dynasties and Christian Castilian conquerors, came waves of unique crafts and traditions leaving an indelible mark upon the Iberian city port.

A total of 15 new artworks have been born from the collection, which are as follows:

Orange Blossum

Colourways: Orange & Spring Green on Parchment; Lemon & Dark Olive Green on Duck Egg; Orange & Spring Green on Black; Burnt Orange & Mint on Seafoam.

Oranges are synonymous with Seville, with its city streets and courtyards teeming with fruit trees.This delicate, fabric-like representation of Seville’s iconic fruit pays homage to the regal tapestries found hanging in the Royal Alcazar’s Salón de los Tapices with a subtle textured feel to its foliage. Orange Blossom’s elegant repeat is presented in muted, vintage-inspired palettes of Orange & Spring Green on Parchment; Lemon & Dark Olive Green on Duck Egg; Burnt Orange & Mint on Seafoam; and the moody Orange & Spring Green on Black.

Angel’s Trumpet

Colourways: Cream & Olive Green on Charcoal; Chalk & Sage on Stone; Ballet Slipper & Sage on Cerulean Sky; Coral & Viridian on Ink.

Native to the tropics of South America, Angel’s Trumpet flourishes in the searing Sevillian heat of the Alcazar’s courtyards and city gardens. Its feminine shape is enhanced by delicate, painterly details in pretty palettes of Cream and Olive Green on Charcoal; Chalk & Sage on Stone; Ballet Slipper & Sage on Cerulean Sky; and Coral & Viridian on Ink. Entirely hand-painted in a traditional botanical illustration style, Angel’s Trumpet creates a beautifully bold, elegant floral stripe.

Hispalis

Colourways: Khaki Multi.

Hispalis takes its name from the Latinisation of Seville’s earliest known moniker, Spal, with Julius Caesar designating the city Colonia Iulia Romula Hispalis. This tapestry-like design depicts an antique land in the balmy late afternoon sun with its densely overgrown archway in sun-bleached shades of Khaki, Burnt Orange and Sand.

Alfaro

Colourways: Canary Yellow & Petrol on Parchment; Ochre & Racing Car Green on Terracotta; Dark Ochre & Forest Green on Duck Egg.

The Plaza Alfaro residence in Seville is said to have inspired the iconic balcony scene in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. With its wrought iron balustrades, sunshine yellow paintwork and blooming tropical flowers, Alfaro is a vibrant ode to Sevillian architecture in true-to-life tones of Canary Yellow & Petrol on Parchment; Ochre & Racing Car Green on Terracotta; and Dark Ochre & Forest Green on Duck Egg.

Light and bright coloured wallpaper in a suite

Image caption: The Alfaro range from Cole and Sons’ Seville Collection.

Triana

Colourways: Canary Yellow & China Blue on Teal; Teal & Dark Teal on Denim; Marigold & Hyacinth on Canary Yellow.

The Triana neighbourhood is home to Seville’s famous ceramic workshops and potteries, filled with artisans creating the traditional, vibrant tiles seen throughout the city. Triana’s design contains time-honoured elements of flowers, leaves, and geometric shapes, hand-painted to reflect each of the unique hand-crafted tiles to come out of this bustling quarter. Choose from classic, primary palettes of Canary Yellow & China Blue on Teal;Teal & Dark Teal on Denim; and Marigold & Hyacinth on Canary Yellow.

Alcazar Gardens

Colourways: Terracotta & Spring Green Multi.

An enduring architectural icon of the city, the Real Alcazar is a stunning testament to centuries’ old blend of Mudéjar architecture and ornamentation. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Alcazar left an indelible impression on the Cole and Son design studio, leading to this fantastical interpretation of the fortress palace’s gardens. Illustrative and pictorial in style, it is a unique artwork piece presented in a classic Terracotta & Spring Green Multi colour palette.

Bougainvillea

Colourways: Rouge, Olive Green & Emerald on Cream; Rouge, Leaf Green & Cerulean Sky on Charcoal; Marigold, Leaf Green & Emerald on Parchment; Ochre,Viridian & Petrol on Ink.

Covering palaces, chalky plaster walls and creating bright borders to parks and sun- soaked avenues, Bougainvillea is another of Seville’s vibrantly coloured flora. With its soft, water-coloured petals and leaves, Bougainvillea’s inflorescence has a delicate ombré creating movement and life. Choose from organic, sunshine palettes of Rouge, Olive Green & Emerald on Cream; and Marigold, Leaf Green & Emerald on Parchment; or the deeper evening tones of Rouge, Leaf Green & Cerulean Sky on Charcoal; and Ochre,Viridian & Petrol on Ink.

Piccadilly

Colourways: Petrol, Red & Metallic Gold on Ink; Grey & Metallic Gold on Black; Leaf Green & Mint on Forest; Denim & Rouge on Chalk

Composed of a host of beautiful curved, swirling lines, Piccadilly is a classic tile print found throughout Seville, from the Alcazar’s tiled bench nooks, to restaurant walls and elaborate ceramic floors. Piccadilly’s traditional print is made contemporary in striking shades of Petrol, Red & Metallic Gold on Ink; Grey & Metallic Gold on Black; Leaf Green & Mint on Forest; and Denim & Rouge on Chalk.

Talavera

Colourways: Rose & Spring Greens on Terracotta; Fuchsia & Forest Greens on Cerulean Sky; Magenta & Spring Greens on Stone.

Talavera’s plentiful pots abundant in flowers and trailing plants can be found throughout Spain, with the traditional ceramics each painted with their own unique decoration. The plaster-style grounds of Terracotta, Cerulean Sky, and Stone are reminiscent of Seville’s sun-soaked buildings with the pots presented in authentic tones of Rose & Spring Greens; Fuchsia & Forest Greens; and Magenta & Spring Greens.

Geranium

Colourways: Lemon & Forest Greens on Electric Blue; Rouge & Leaf Greens on Black; Rose & Forest Greens on Parchment;White & Sage on Seafoam.

Flourishing in Seville’s temperate climate, geraniums can be found adorning balconies as well as creating vibrant bursts of colour throughout parks and cultivated gardens. This archive design was completely redrawn and repainted by the Cole and Son design studio to enhance the lush, robust fanned leaves and blooming clusters of bright petals in vibrant Lemon & Forest Greens on Electric Blue; earthy White and Sage on Seafoam; and the day to night Rose & Forest Greens on Parchment; and Rouge & Leaf Greens on Black.

Jasmine & Serin Symphony

Colourways: Rose & Racing Car Green on Dark Viridian; Yellow & Leaf Green on Dark Forest Green; Coral & Petrol on Ink; Char treuse & Olive Green on White.

At once sprawling and serene, Jasmine & Serin Symphony is a contemporary update of a graceful Arts and Crafts-style print. Depicting ethereal birds perched among trailing jasmine vines, its flora and fauna create a subtle ombré as the design fans in gentle arcs across the wall. Presented in soft botanical shades of Rose & Racing Car Green on Dark Viridian;Yellow & Leaf Green on Dark Forest Green; Coral & Petrol on Ink; and Chartreuse & Olive Green on White.

Alicatado

Colourways: Soot on Snow; Hyacinth on Chalk; Leaf Greens on Chalk; Terracotta on Parchment

Alicatado, meaning a geometric mosaic of coloured glazed tiles, is the design studio’s interpretation of Seville’s famous azulejos. Its simple two-toned print creates a striking graphic backdrop and has been designed and coloured in order to complement other designs within the collection. Choose from fresh hues of Hyacinth or Leaf Greens on Chalk, as well as the monochromatic Soot on Snow, and the warm Terracotta on Parchment.

Lola

Colourways: Forest Greens on White; China Blues on Midnight; Petrol Blues on White.

Lola is a damask with a hidden secret; within the rolling scrolls and flowers of this archive print is one of Seville’s most iconic figures: the flamenco dancer.With its cultural origins firmly in Andalusia, Lola captures the dynamic, vivacious drama of a traditional flamenco performance. Verdant palettes of Forest Greens on White and Petrol Blues on White evoke a freshness, whilst China Blues on Midnight are reminiscent of a deep evening sky.

Image caption: Cole and Sons’ Lola range in the Seville Collection

Flamenco Fan

Colourways: Cerise, Dark Tangerine & Metallic Gold on Black; Magenta, Red & Metallic Gilver on Ink; Fuchsia, Rouge & Metallic Gold on Cream; Rose, Bright Rouge & Metallic Gold on Crimson

A cultural symbol of Spain and deeply entrenched within flamenco culture, the fan exudes romance and passion with its dramatic shape and versatile movement. The theatrical print of Flamenco Fan incorporates many of the dance’s notable symbols such as the carnation and rose, both representing love and admiration.The delicate metallic detailing of the fans elevates decadent tones of Rose, Bright Rouge & Metallic Gold on Crimson, and the sultry Cerise, Dark Tangerine & Metallic Gold on Black; and Magenta, Red & Metallic Gilver on Ink, as well as the soft, lace-like Fuchsia, Rouge & Metallic Gold on Cream.

Cole and Sons 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: Cole and Sons

SPECIAL FEATURE: Crisis mitigation – gaining back control of your hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SPECIAL FEATURE: Crisis mitigation – gaining back control of your hotel

COVID-19 has attacked, and crisis is looking through the door. What are the smart ways to manage your hotel during this crisis? How did we recover when something similar hit the industry in past? The experts at STAAH and the team at Guestjoy explore further… 

The occupancy rates in hotels have taken a hit, hotels are experiencing a dip, and major international events are being put on hold. Meanwhile, the travel industry has been grounded. The headlines surrounding COVID-19, and the daily updates from the Government, are worrying for the hospitality industry, which unsurprisingly sparked a petition doing the rounds.

However, we’ve been through things like this before, except the media coverage wasn’t so extensive and panic-inducing. Where is the swine flu, SARS or H1N1 now and how did hotelier deal during those outbreaks? Remember, websites often implement a pay-per-click rule, therefore spreading hysteria is beneficial for them.

Recessions naturally happen in economic cycles, however, and investing during a recession is an old ‘trick’ to make it through to the recovery period. If you want a quick course on that, check out Investopedia – investment during recession.

For our industry that we love serving, here are our tips to stay on top of your business

  • Stay flexible, give your guests what they ask for and provide an easy way for them to cancel their booking.
  • Don’t lower your rates too much, it will hurt your business. Focus on your extras and add-ons to make their stay better and exciting, and to encourage them not to cancel but reschedule where possible. (eg: Mother’s day is coming up!) As Sherri Kimes – Revenue Management Expert puts itWhile the pressure to reduce rates is understandable, hotels should exercise caution in manipulating rates because of the potential negative long-term effects on profitability and the hotel’s image.
  • Try new technologies. This is exactly the right time to invest and implement things that can potentially strengthen your presence on the market. You can still conduct business through the internet, e-mail, video conferencing, telephone and by other means.
  • Maintain high employee morale: Keep them enthusiastic and happy so your quality of service does not suffer. Keep all your employees informed about your decisions.
  • Invite your local community: Domestic travel could also provide you with revenue.
  • Create strategic partnerships – especially with your distribution channels (travel agents, OTAs, they might be willing to share a higher proportion of their business to you)
  • Focus on your loyalty program: Send out a newsletter to them, offer rewards or reduce the number of nights needed for a free stay. This will keep your loyal guests connected and encourage them to spend more in other outlets. Acquiring new customers can cost so much more, cut the coin on attracting new people and invest in your existing customers or domestic market.
  • Stop cutting costs! It will hurt customer satisfaction and the quality of the service. “Don’t reduce standards but add added value; guests are very sensitive to changes. Bad time is not forever and it could take a longer time to recover if you cut corners to save a buck!”
  • Keep your guests healthy. Take a look at how this Hong Kong-based hotel is informing guests.
  • If there is nothing else to do, and you have free time on your hands then train your staff, refurbish, or deal with those issues you have been putting on hold. Try to implement new technology and improve your hotel.

We hope these tips help you, let us know how you are coping and how is the current situation at your location! Tweet us @HotelDesigns

STAAH 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: Pixabay

PRODUCT WATCH: QUADRADO modular seating by Minotti Outdoor

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: QUADRADO modular seating by Minotti Outdoor

The Quadrado range sits in the Lifescape Collection by Minotti Outdoor, which reflects a new approach to outdoor living without compromising on comfort, quality and aesthetics…

Each piece of furniture in Minotti’s Lifescape Collection is characterful and elegant, and ties in with natural settings, with unexpected patterns and colours creating a landscape in dialogue with the architecture, in the name of pure relaxation.

Collection after collection, Minotti’s vast outdoor selection offers a range with an increasingly versatile international style, taking design motivation and inspiration from leading designers and architects, interpreters of diverse styles and features. As unique outdoor solutions of guaranteed quality in increasingly high-performing materials, they not only fit their natural residential context, including smaller urban outdoor spaces, but are also perfect for exclusive hotels, spas and yachts: spaces characterised by an approach to interior design that references the domestic one.

Living wall behind the outdoor furniture collection

Image caption: A range of the QUADRADO range of furniture pieces within the Minotti Outdoor collection

Designed to perfectly complement each other stylistically, in order to meet the needs of different spaces with originality and versatility, the various furnishings stand out for their formal details and refined aesthetic, as well as finish and texture.

Colelction of furniture above striking views of a lake

Image caption: The collection of generous sized furniture is stylish, original and versatile to many luxury interior schemes

In this regard, the design interpretation of Marcio Kogan / studio mk27 with the Quadrado modular seating system, launched in 2018, offers generously sized seating with modules of 102x102cm that can be assembled together, to furnish large open spaces. Floating bases in natural teak, backrests enveloped in a special woven fibre and soft cushions mark this out as an extremely appealing seat.

Inspired by the classic teak duckboard used in the yachting industry to facilitate the outflow of water, the Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan developed Quadrado, a modular system consisting of suspended square platforms that furnish outdoor spaces with exceptional lightness and flexibility.

Twi backs of armchairs

Image caption: The furniture pieces include floating bases in natural teak, backrests enveloped in a special woven fibre

A flexible and dynamic furnishing, of undisputed quality and comfort, which perfectly dialogues with the surrounding environment: a young and contemporary proposal that invites informal and original solutions.

The wooden bases welcome comfortable padded cushions with backrests in a special fibre woven with wicker-effect, available in Mud colour or plain Liquorice colour. The sitting elements are interspersed with wooden surfaces that feature trays or candle holders, that can be arranged as desired with a surprising interlocking effect. A circular armchair joins this outdoor landscape characterised by its broad compositional freedom.

For the concept, Kogan was inspired by the Japanese Metabolist architecture of the Fifties and Sixties, defined by modular volumes. Originally conceived for large living areas with 102×102 cm modules, Quadrado now integrates within its range a new, more compact version with 87×87 cm modules that can be combined together to adapt to more limited urban, residential and Hospitality contexts.

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

Edge Architects completes 3 design-led Mercure hotels

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Edge Architects completes 3 design-led Mercure hotels

The architecture and design firm has recently completed Mercure hotels in Cardiff, Birmingham and Bedford…

In the last few months, Edge Architects + interior designers has completed three Mercure-branded hotels in Cardiff, Birmingham and Bedford.

The lead designer on all three projects, Craig Parry, has an impressive portfolio including ibis Styles Southwark, Doubletree by Hilton Snowhill, a host of other Mercure hotels, Hampton by Hilton Manchester and Old Bishops Palace Chester.

Parry has sensitively designed the hotels, inside and out, with the aim to balance consumer demands for fresh interiors as well as the need for flexible public areas while also retaining character and style in the architecture and the motifs sheltered within each property.

For example, the 121-key Mercure Bedford Centre Hotel is located in a popular destination for canoeing and kayaking, with the property itself encompassing elements of the area’s cultural and historic past, including timber features from canoes, water graphics and rowing illustrations.

Meanwhile, the new Mercure Cardiff North Hotel draws inspiration from local landmarks such as the Millennium Centre façade in Cardiff Bay, with details such as copper aesthetic lining and curated display items that encompass elements of the area’s cultural and historic past.

The Mercure Birmingham West Hotel is an urban retreat that consists of 168 rooms, which feature locally inspired and sourced artwork and design elements.

White bed, with construction inspired wallcovering

Image credit: Mercure Cardiff North

“Each hotel has the Mercure service and features that guests expect but they offer local touches too.” – Michael Brag, Chairman of Proark

Having previously operated under the Park Inn brand, the hotel is one of six across the UK to have been signed by Danish based property group, Proark, and rebranded to Mercure.

We have worked closely with Accor since signing this portfolio of Mercure hotels and are extremely pleased with the result of the refurbishment. Each hotel has the Mercure service and features that guests expect but they offer local touches too, which we are confident will be well received by business and leisure travellers alike,” Michael Brag, Chairman of Proark told Hotel Designs. “For the design, we decided to work with Craig Parry, as he has vast practice experience in hospitality for Mercure, as well as independent boutiques, so we felt he was the right man for the job.”

Main image credit: Accor/Mercure/Proark

5 new elements to look out for at Clerkenwell Design Week 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
5 new elements to look out for at Clerkenwell Design Week 2020

At an exclusive press launch in London, editor Hamish Kilburn learns how the organisers of Clerkenwell Design Week 2020 are preparing to make this year’s festival of design bigger and better than ever before…

Members of the press gathered at The Charterhouse last week in the heart of London to understand how the 2020 edition of Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) will once again demonstrate the vibrant creativity and originality of this three day celebration of design.

In London’s key hub for design and architecture, visitors can participate in new dialogues between showrooms and designers, hear from influential voices in the world of design and experience upcoming talent and innovating brands who are taking part. 

Here are five take aways from the press launch.

1) CDW Presents will be themed around ‘CLOCKWORK’

Each year, CDW presents new design projects and street spectacles, commissioned specially for the festival and featured prominently around Clerkenwell. Inviting some of the leading pioneers in the creative industry, these projects aim to push the boundaries of design, in terms of concepts, process and material capabilities. Often a response to the local area, CDW Presents allows visitors the opportunity to discover Clerkenwell in a new and imaginative way, often referring to the area’s illustrious past.  At the beginning of the 18th Century, Clerkenwell was the home of clock-making and the area quickly became a hothouse for horologists; for 2020 in recognition of Clerkenwell’s historical importance in the clock-making industry, CDW Presents ‘CLOCKWORK’ – a series of five large-scale horology-themed installations, each interpreting the area’s significance to the craft and the artisans that once lined the cobbled streets.  From a contemporary take on the traditional sundial to an installation inspired by the hourglass, the selected designers who include Pilbrow and Partners and Shape London,  have created ideas that play with and explore the notion of measuring time.

Scale Rule, now in its 5th year at Clerkenwell Design Week, continues to engage students from across London in design as well as young architects and engineers to realise those emerging ambitions. This year’s design concept for the NextGen pavilion exemplifies human impact upon the earth and in turn mankind’s responsibility to protect and shape it for better.

The domed structure illustrates a deconstructed planet, which is formed, fractured and reconfigured from natural materials including timber geometric segments. The pavilion celebrates sustainability through its modular production methods, recycled materials and future re-use. The pavilion encourages people to rest and socialise within its bounds making use of and leaving their positive trace upon the structure.

2) ClerkenWELL playing its part to inspire designers to think about wellness and wellbeing

On trend, Clerkenwell Design Week will be focusing on wellness, tying in with Mental Health Awareness Week which coincides with the festival. With the rise of nomadic working and a society that has 24/7 access to email, the ability to disconnect from our work can become increasingly challenging and in turn employers are recognising the need to improve their wellbeing offering.

From ergonomic furniture that helps physical posture, to acoustic pods that block out exterior noise, to workplace yoga and discounted gym memberships, more and more employers are taking steps to help their employees achieve wellness in the workplace. 

Clerkenwell Design Week will be hosting free activities and events throughout the area demonstrating how we can relax and de-stress during the day, from outdoor yoga sessions to meditation workshops.  Holistic counsellor Julie Strandberg will explain how decluttering your workplace can lead to better mental health.  Having trained under Japanese tidying guru Marie Kondo, Julie innovatively blends the KonMari Method with her own innate Scandinavian aestheticism.

Texaa, the Bordeaux-based specialists in acoustic products for architecture, marks its debut at Clerkenwell Design Week with a colourful tepee installation in Design Fields. This will also be the first time new colours for Texaa’s Aeria fabric will be seen in the UK. 

3) Conversations at Clerkenwell to amplify vegan interiors, colour and the environment

Render of a bandstand pavilion

Image caption: CDW Presents The Bandstand Pavilion, where many of the talks will take place.

CDW 2020 has commissioned architectural practice Fieldwork to design the Talks space, sponsored by Equitone, within Spa Fields.  Their concept reimagines the traditional Victorian bandstand as a focal point within the Park, a place for gathering, discussion, entertainment and shelter.   

Rather than a traditional forward facing seating arrangement, the nature of the bandstand form allows the focus point to be partially in the round and engage the audience as a discussion, rather than a presentation. Equitone panels clad the internal dome and the external cube at high and low level. A bold use of colour and CNC pattern formed façade panels aim to draw attention from the surrounding park, as a modern interpretation of a Victorian architectural style. The bandstand becomes a place to stand, lean and sit in participation, focussing attention on the speaker and engaging the audience and the park in its entirety. 

Conversations at Clerkenwell, the programme of panel sessions and debates exploring show content, trends and issues, is again curated by Katie Richardson. Lead speakers include Morag Myerscough, known for her expansive use of colour across both art and design,  designer and craftsman Sebastien Cox and designer Ab Rogers.

Increasingly focused on design-led issues currently underpinning the changing world as we know it, the programme this year will look specifically at topics connected to the workplace including design responses to mental health issues and an increased need for overall wellness. Trends – led curators Franklin Till present recent work on the importance of Play. Dulux Creative Director Marianne Shillingford reveals what shifts in colour trends will take place over the next few years. Other topics for 2020 include vegan interiors, retail marketing and how contract showrooms need to keep reinventing to succeed, restoration with Roddy Clarke and New London Architecture host ‘don’t move, improve’ – a series of presentations from architects looking at how re-used materials and conscious environmental design, create the perfect home for a modern family.  Hosted on a purpose built space on London Spa Fields the programme runs across the three days and a separate series of talks focusing on lighting will be held at Fabric.

4) New showrooms open for business

Each year Clerkenwell welcomes a host of new showrooms to the district and these make up a key part of CDW with installations, launches and exhibitions. This year, the festival welcomes Ideal Standard, VitrA and Fritz Hansen.  Many other showrooms will be hosting a variety of events, with this year seeing a focus on wellness, recycling and sustainability.  Ultrafabrics,  the Japanese-American performance animal-free fabric brand will be collaborating with award winning design duo PATTERNITY who are creating a tactile and immersive installation within Ultrafabrics’  showroom entitled ‘Closed Loop: The Future of Design’.  Plastic waste has rightly become a major issue and Camira Fabrics will showcase its latest fabric innovation using plastic sea waste as a key component.   Oceanic is a fabric born of the SEAQUAL Initiative to achieve a waste free environment. 

Other participating showrooms include Actiu, Ceramiche Piemme, Davison Highly, Havwoods, Interface, KI House, Modus, Moroso, Catellani & Smith, Sky-Frame, Solus, Tarkett, and Orangebox.

Parkside, a leading specifier of architectural tiles, will focus on colour and how we can use it as a way of improving our wellbeing in our work and leisure spaces. The showroom’s series of events will include a panel discussion, ‘Curative colour: the power to heal’, exploring just how deep our emotional wellbeing is related to colour and whether a genuine link to health improvement can truly be found.

5) Fringe activities for all

As well as hosting an abundance of furniture and interiors showrooms, Clerkenwell is also home to a variety of other creative practices including architects, branding agencies and craft studios.  In celebration of Clerkenwell Design Week, a selection of these local practices open their doors to the festival’s visitors and host workshops, displays and installations. At the Zetter hotel, Sophie Thomas, Creative Director of Thomas Matthews, will be showing a collection of beautiful glass vases made using recycled plastic ocean waste.

If you are interested in attending CDW 2020, head over to the website to register.

Main image credit: CDW 2020

PRODUCT WATCH: Edgy ‘Seville’ floor lighting

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Edgy ‘Seville’ floor lighting

The Seville floor lamp by Christopher Hyde Lighting will add an edgy, contemporary look and feel to an interior design scheme…

Christopher Hyde Lighting is renowned for timeless design and quality, and has excelled at providing lighting for a wide range of interiors for more than 25 years.

Its handmade lights have been installed across the world, from luxury yachts, grand hotel, to Royal Palaces at home and abroad. The company’s range of products has recently been refreshed, bringing a new perspective to the proud heritage of the long-established brand.

“These edgy lights are part of a unique collection of floor lamps and table lamps which includes the popular spiral shaped ‘Granada’ lights.”

The company’s contemporary range of products brings a fresh outlook to the proud heritage of the long-established brand. The ‘Seville’ floor lamp with white exterior and its delicate warm copper leaf interior complete with a dimmer switch is shown here in a beautiful airy Los Angeles apartment. You can also purchase the ‘Seville’ table lamp can be also be supplied with a black exterior and silver leaf interior. These edgy lights are part of a unique collection of floor lamps and table lamps which includes the popular spiral shaped ‘Granada’ lights. Designers can pick and choose which exterior finish, black or white, that they would like to have with their chosen internal leaf gilt, copper, silver or gold and is now available with a short lead time.  These exciting pieces will compliment and be a talking point for all interior projects.

“They use 90 per cent less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs and can pay for themselves through energy savings in just a couple of months.”

The Seville and Granada lights have captured a different take on the Christopher Hyde Brand and come with LED lighting technology. LEDs are the most energy-efficient bulbs. They use 90 per cent less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs and can pay for themselves through energy savings in just a couple of months.  Whether a standard or bespoke light fitting we can produce LED designed candle with DALI or 1-10V and emergency light options are available also.

This range of floor and table lamps are featured in the new Collection 8 catalogue which has recently been launched. Collection 8 catalogue has a fresh take on the hugely popular traditional collections familiar to Christopher Hyde Lighting’s clients and shows how the brand has evolved with its distinctive contemporary collection.

Main image credit: Christopher Hyde Lighting        

Elevating the bathroom experience with decorative wiring accessories

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Elevating the bathroom experience with decorative wiring accessories

You’ve thought of every detail to ensure a guest’s stay is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible… almost! In the bathroom, decorative wiring accessories are often an after-thought. There are a vast range of options on the market that can add the finishing touch to a design scheme, while smart controls ensure your guests have the most luxurious and convenient stay. Hamilton Litestat’s Gavin Williams explains…

Guests expect a lavish, indulgent environment when staying in high-end hotels. One of the first experiences they have when entering a room is reaching for the light switch. Decorative wiring accessories can add to, or unfortunately detract from, a design scheme and the guest experience.

The bathroom is a key area where the right wiring accessories can help add a luxurious finishing touch. Today’s eye-catching trend for bold colours, patterns and a mixture of materials can be perfectly complemented by the huge variety of finishes available in wiring accessories. One particularly luxe trend is that of dark, traditional wall colours, such as Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2020, Classic Blue. These deep and moody shades are lifted by warm metallic finishes, such as bronzes and brasses. At Hamilton, we’ve seen an upturn in interest for our contemporary designs in elegant finishes, such as the Hartland CFX and Sheer CFX plates in Connaught, Copper, Etrium, Richmond Bronze or Antique Brass, which add the perfect finishing touch.

In order to get a coordinated look, switches and shaver sockets that come in high-shine metals to match taps and heating solutions are also popular and add a chic feel to the bathroom. Hamilton provides a vast array of contemporary and traditional plate designs in materials and finishes to complement the fittings, with Bright and Satin finishes in Stainless Steel, Chrome and Nickel favoured choices. This year, we’re also seeing a trend towards Matt White and Matt Black within monochrome design schemes.

“Hamilton’s Vogue range offers a contemporary slant on the traditional and minimalist white plastic plate, with rounded corners giving it an updated and stylised look.”

Guests delight at a quirky feature, so adding a ‘pop’ of contrasting colour with a wiring accessory can be very effective. Hartland CFX Colours comes in white, red and black gloss finish with both white or black inserts. Or, at the other end of the scale, you can make the switches and sockets almost disappear with Perception CFX, which is supplied in a transparent finish to allow a wall colour or paper design to show through.

If your guest bathrooms are of a clean and classic design, there are still options to avoid reverting to dated wiring accessories. Hamilton’s Vogue range offers a contemporary slant on the traditional and minimalist white plastic plate, with rounded corners giving it an updated and stylised look.

Getting the look and feel of the bathroom right is important, but adding more to the guest experience can really upgrade their stay. Smart lighting control helps create a better-than-home experience at the flick of a switch or swipe of a finger. A poll by interior design outfit Houzz indicated that a luxury bathroom experience is in high demand, with good lighting and a relaxing space top considerations.

Hamilton’s plug-and-play Smart Lighting Control solution can be programmed with different lighting scenes for varying tasks.Bright scenes make shaving or make-up application easier, while dimmed scenes help create are relaxing environment that’s perfect for a soak in the bath. Red, green or blue mood lighting can be added with DMX lighting control, or RGBWW delivers a ‘warm white’ light in a cost-effective way rather than the often stark white light typical of LEDs.

As people look to make their homes and bathrooms more luxurious, hotels can utilise designer wiring accessories along with smart lighting and audio control to provide an outstanding guest experience as only a hotel stay can.

Hamilton Litestat, which is headline partner at MEET UP London and MEET UP North, 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: Hamilton Litestat

Company debuts first hypoallergenic hotel rooms

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Company debuts first hypoallergenic hotel rooms

Months ahead of Hotel Designs putting accessibility under the spotlight in a panel discussion at Hotel Summit, Room To Breathe has given the industry a sigh of relief by unveiling a six-step hypoallergenic process of cleansing air in hotel rooms… 

Regardless of size and status, all hotels with any sense will be putting in place harder measures around cleaning protocols in both the guestrooms and public areas.

The coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak is putting a burden on hotel owners and exposing those who are falling below the increased standards that consumers expect. As the pressure grows, the industry is in demand for a reliable solutions to cleanse the air in hotel rooms.

Cue the arrival of Glasgow business Room To Breathe, which Hotel Designs welcomed a Recommended Supplier last week as the company is transforming the hotel industry by launching the first hypoallergenic room.

With more  than two in five British adults suffering from allergies – and children being at greatest risk  of developing them – Room to Breathe looks to combine new and innovative technologies to offer a cleaner, less toxic, safer alternative to regular hotel rooms.

Man steam cleaning a curtain in a hotel

Image credit: Room To Breathe

“Room To Breathe have worked to create a new specialised six-step process of cleaning hotel rooms, including air purification, antimicrobial protective coatings to all surfaces and hypoallergenic bedding.”

The idea was the brainchild of Gordon Bruce, director of Insite Specialist Services. “So many people think that just a microfiber mattress cover and a good old fashioned hoover make a room hypoallergenic,” he told Hotel Designs. “But that’s just not true. You can’t exactly take your hypoallergenic pillows and air purifiers with you whenever you travel, and it means allergy sufferers end up with a stuffy nose and red eyes on holiday or on a business trip – not ideal.

“Working at construction services company Insite Group, I thought there must be a better way: and that’s how Room To Breathe came to be.”

Room To Breathe have worked to create a new specialised six-step process of cleaning hotel rooms, including air purification, antimicrobial protective coatings to all surfaces and hypoallergenic bedding. Their allergy friendly solution uses only non-biological cleaning products and environmentally friendly processes, removing up to 99.99 per cent of allergens, mould, germs, influenza, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and odours.

Technology originally developed by NASA is used to remove bacteria, mould and compounds from the room, before an innovative UV technology is applied to rid surfaces and textiles of micro-organisms. An environmentally and allergy friendly antimicrobial surface coating is then applied to all hard and soft surfaces in the room, alongside a dust mite and bed bug treatment. A technologically advanced Air Purification system and hypoallergenic bed protectors are the final touches to create a fully hypoallergenic room.

Having perfected its innovative technique, the new company is now beginning the process of finding its first hotel partners, driving the next evolution in travel wellbeing.

Main image credit: Room To Breathe

Hotels that are self-isolating in style (Part 1)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotels that are self-isolating in style (Part 1)

While the entire world is feeling the effects of COVID-19 pandemic, Hotel Designs is here to start your week with some stunning hotels that are naturally self-isolating in style. Editor Hamish Kilburn emerges from his quarantined slumber to write part one… 

In uncertain times, it can become easy for designers and architects to lose focus on a creative vision.

The outbreak of the recent coronavirus COVID-19 is taking its toll on all creative industries, and has resulted in a number of major events, such as Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam, Hotel Summit and Salone Del Mobile Milan, to postpone all activity until later in the summer.

With the aim to simply lift spirits and steer those who are lacking Monday motivation back on course, here are a handful of remote hotels that will allow you to escape from the madness, even if it’s for just a minute.

Lepogo Lodges’ Noka Camp, Limpopo Province, South Africa

Large bedroom overlooking the African wilderness

Image credit: Lepogo Lodges’ Noka Camp

Lepogo Lodges, one of Africa’s few entirely not-for-profit high-end safari lodges, has opened its very first lodge in South Africa’s Limpopo Province, Noka Camp. Just a short air transfer or a three-hour drive from Johannesburg, Noka Camp enjoys a remote spot within the 50,000-hectare, malaria-free Lapalala Wilderness Reserve, home of the ‘big five’.

Lepogo Lodges is the very first luxury camp in Africa to offset the carbon footprint of every visiting guest, from the time they leave their home to the moment they return. Family-owned and operated, the project has been developed as part of a life-long dream to create a sustainable conservation legacy in Africa, with 100% of any financial gains made re-invested back into the reserve for the benefit of wildlife, conservation and the local community. 

Jade Mountain, St Lucia

walkway to suites

Image credit: Jade Mountain St Lucia

On the western stretch of Saint Lucia, an island that last year welcomed more than 1.2 million visitors, two incredible design gem stones can be found. While the two hotels are very different in style, the experience of Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain comes as one.

Not only are the hotels two of the region’s most sought-after places to check in to, but they also stand as a permanent reminder of an unforgettable journey, which is full of discovery, challenges and sustainable solutions that is still ongoing for husband-and-wife team Nick and Karolin Troubetzkoy. 

Zannier Hotels Sonop, Nambia

Image credit: Zannier Hotels/Tibod Hermy

Arnaud Zannier’s inspiration for Zannier Hotels Sonop’s design was conceived during his very first trip to the site and first view from the top of the boulders. Arnaud recognised that he had been fortunate enough to discover somewhere very special, likening the feeling to an old explorer discovering a destination for the first time – hence the property was designed to resemble a 20th Century tented camp for explorers.

The construction process was challenging due to the hotel’s remote location and protected surroundings. All building materials and interiors were manually transported up the huge boulders, by expert craftsmen from Namibia. Zannier Hotels only used a limited number of existing roads to the site, to ensure the human impact on the fragile flora was minimal. In addition, each piece of furniture, including twelve 30kg handcrafted four-poster beds, had to be carried by hand over the rocks and boulders thereby avoiding the use of disruptive machinery.

Hotel Chais Monet, France

Image of old and new architecture blending into one frme

Image credit: Hotel Chais Monet

The project was reported to have cost €60 million, and was the brainchild of chief architect Didier Poignant of Ertim Architects. But the result of the sensitive restoration to transform the traditional Cognac trading house site into a 15,000m2 luxury spa hotel, offering what it was described back then as a “modern take on traditional French luxe”, has given the buildings a new lease of life.

I would go one step further in saying that it has reopened up the destination’s history books, perhaps to a different chapter. In the process, it has added a new contemporary architectural jewel ­­– a rare find in and around the low-level city ­– one that is sensitive to its surroundings.

Four Seasons Nevis

Recently, the Four Seasons hotel underwent a complete renovation, which was led by TAL Studio. The hotel is situated on the pristine beaches of the remote Caribbean island where building regulations state that no building is allowed to be taller than a palm tree.

The hotel’s latest chapter of renovations includes the redesign of the resort’s main signature pool, construction of a new restaurant concept – On the Dune – that extends out on to the sand and the unveiling of additional improved spaces around the property for guests to enjoy a variety of new experiences and amenities.

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Image of restaurant overlooking green countryside

Image credit: Cape Kidnappers

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers is just that: a working farmstead of arable land and sheepherding, poised on the edge of a scenic bluff on North Island’s east coast so dramatic, idyllic and untouched that the views – and best enjoyed from the outdoor swimming pool or Jacuzzi. The hotel’s design is one that is considered to blend in harmony with the natural beauty of the area. 

Image credit: Zannier Hotels

Taste of the future: personalised water for all

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Taste of the future: personalised water for all

Yes, it’s a thing! Water Station from LUQEL offers a multi-stage filtration system, which allows every user to draw their favourite personalised quality water from more than 30 recipes with a simple press of a touchscreen. Editor Hamish Kilburn sat down with the company’s President to find out more… 

The benefits of keeping hydrated to drink the recommended two litres of water per day have been long-documented.

And while consumers are becoming more aware of the environmental implications from buying non-refillable bottles, with a recent study showing that 75 per cent of guests believe hotels should be doing more to be greener, the industry is, too, changing it’s stance on plastic and how it provides water.

For a luxury hotel brand, where operational measures to become more eco-conscious can to the naive eye look like budget-saving methods, ensuring service and design work in harmony is more important than ever before.

When it comes to offering a suitable water solution, there is one brand on our radar that is going above all others to meaningfully explore the qualities of clean water. LUQEL has created a concept, which will offer guests the ability to taste personalised recipes. To find out more about the benefits of personalised water–  as well as the journey to invent such technology – I spoke to the the company’s President, Josef Schucker.

“This allows every user to draw their favourite personalised water from more than 30 recipes, in pristine quality every time at the press of a touchscreen.” – Josef Schucker, President, LUQEL

Hamish Kilburn: How would you describe the LUQEL solution?
Josef Schucker: At its heart it is unique water beverage technology using mineral ions in combination with a multi-stage filtration system. This allows every user to draw their favourite personalised water from more than 30 recipes, in pristine quality every time at the press of a touchscreen. With no bacteria in the water or held in the machine, due to the unique way the water is processed.

HK: What is your favourite recipe from the Water Station?
JS:
I’ve recently switched to drinking our recipe “Smooth Times”. It is a fizzy water with a strong mineralise level, particularly sulphate which supports digestion and maintains cell function, it has been helpful since I started my detox at the start of the year. That doesn’t mean I still don’t use “Green Power” for my green tea first thing in the morning.

Image credit: LUQEL

HK: What inspired you to start the company?
JS: I saw so many washed-up plastic bottles whilst I was living out my childhood dream to sail and explore the most remote of places on earth. It made me see how careless humanity is with its plastic waste and with nature, and how senseless it is to drink bottles of water that are transported thousands of miles. “It’s so simple,” I thought. “Just turn on the tap and enjoy a glass of water.” I grew up in Germany where the quality of the tap water is safe to drink but it doesn’t always taste great. This isn’t the same for all countries and the idea to provide everyone with great tasting water started the development and the idea for LUQEL and the water station.

“Dr. Monique Bissen has built a team around her of water engineers, creative designers, chemist and engineers to bring to life the ideas and concepts.” – Josef Schucker, President, LUQEL.

HK: How did you go about developing/nurturing engineering talents for this new revolutionary concept?|
JS: During the search of a water station solution, I encountered the expert in this field: Dr. Monique Bissen, who is a qualified engineer working in the field of water chemistry and has more than 20 years’ experience in the treatment of water. She has built a team around her of water engineers, creative designers, chemist and engineers to bring to life the ideas and concepts. The product, technology and engineering has never been done before, it has brought together the best minds to achieve the solution we have, and to create a leading edge solution.

LUQel water system on table

Image credit: LUQEL

HK: Does Dr. Bissen share the same view on water and plastic waste as you?
JS:
She does, she believes the combination of water and plastic to be unhealthy. She is annoyed that many water-treatment devices used by people at home or at work to avoid plastic bottles still contain too much plastic that the water stored is constantly contaminated by the material. She envisages a pure, completely individually personalised water. This new water not only needs to be packaged differently, it has to be better and requires a completely new, plastic-free method of water treatment. We are certain that this can be achieved.

HK: What has surprised you during the development and launch of LUQEL?
JS:
The biggest surprise has been people’s reaction to tasting the water from the LUQEL Water Station. You wouldn’t believe that the recipes can taste so different until you try them. As the water can be hot to compliment teas and coffees, cold with a choice of still or sparkling that will balance with food and drink, all without adjusting any of the settings. It really has that wow factor and makes it exciting to drink water.

Josef pouring water from the station

Image caption: Josef Schucker, President of LUQEL

I started out to develop a machine based on those plastic bottles and to filter the water to provide quality drinking water. We’ve developed not only a proficient water filtering product, but it also enables the user to customise their drink to their personal taste.

HK: Just how safe is drinking water in the UK?
JS:
As water is a clear liquid it is often assumed to be clean and safe. Tap water in the UK is processed to a high standard by the water companies, but new elements are now entering the water table and are different to the bacteria that had historically been removed. One of those that will deteriorate the quality of the water are microplastics and that are increasingly enter our drinking water. Invisible to the naked eye, these tiny particles, whose effects we are only now beginning to discern, are causing irreparable damage to the environment and to fish and sea birds. The aim would be to separate drinking water and plastic, turn our back on standard water and embrace our individual requirements.

HK: Is the solution then to just remove the reliance on plastic water bottles and containers?
JS: The sustainability element is just part of the LUQEL solution, providing great tasting water to your individual taste will encourage you to drink more water. People choose to drink water only if they have exhausted all other options, carbonated soft drinks, coffee, tea. Sugar consumption has increased and even with the UK sugar tax or Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) introduced in 2018 this hasn’t deterred consumers from their favourite drink. LUQEL’s system guides you on the amount you should be drinking, tracks your consumption and welcomes you when you approach the water station with your LUQEL water bottle or NFC tag.

HK: Has this changed how you now drink water?
JS: I’m drinking more water than I used to and enjoy the variety of the selection of waters that I can try. I’d previously look for something refreshing or different as I didn’t want just “boring” water, that would result, most of the time, in a soda of some kind so this has been great for my hydration levels but also for my sugar intake.

HK: Who are LUQEL’s competitors?
JS:
There isn’t a product on the market that does all that the LUQEL Water Station does in one machine. There are plenty of companies that offer different levels of water filtration for the business or home, whether cold or hot at a set temperature, but not to the range or variations we have developed. We seriously believe this product will revolutionise the water market.

HK: What is the future roadmap/developments for the business?
JS: The Water Station we have developed is the first of a family of solutions to meet different capacity needs in the home, a business or whilst you are out and about. We are continuing to invest in technology to make the most efficient technological product we can and provide an enjoyable and exciting experience to our customers wherever and whenever they choose to do so.

HK:  What is your vision for the company?
JS: To ultimately see LUQEL water stations providing consumers with great tasting mineralised water and that they are drinking more water as their regular choice of beverage. From a sustainability aspect, it has to be that as a planet we have to reduce our reliance on plastic, ultimately helping the environment and for it to continue to be a great place for the next generations to enjoy.

Main image credit: Pixabay

Red headboard, colourful art work and a white bed

Hard Rock Hotels makes its long-awaited debut in Ireland

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hard Rock Hotels makes its long-awaited debut in Ireland

Hard Rock International debuts in Ireland with Hard Rock Hotel Dublin, which aims to brings the brand’s musical energy to the famed Temple Bar district…

With a presence spanning more than 76 countries, Hard Rock International continues its expansion into Europe with the opening of Hard Rock Hotel Dublin.

 

Red headboard, colourful art work and a white bed

The iconic red-brick property is located on Exchange Street Upper near the Temple Bar district, and shelters a theme that is a celebration of the rich cultural and musical history of Dublin, bringing Hard Rock’s signature music-infused vibes to the heart of the city.

The 120-key hotel is a contemporary reimagining of two historic buildings, combining the Exchange Building, a listed property built at the turn of the 20th century, and the adjacent Fashion House building, linked together by a newly built glass bridge.

“Dublin connects to our deep musical roots, we are honoured to bring the Hard Rock Hotel experience to the city, its residents and visitors alike.” – Dale Hipsh, Senior Vice President – Hotels for Hard Rock International

Reflecting Dublin’s vibrant atmosphere, the rooms are furnished with electrifying colour schemes, paired with warm woods and bright stone. The fresh interiors are adorned with priceless Hard Rock memorabilia, expertly curated to include treasured possessions and instruments from some of Ireland’s most loved musicians. Irish favourites such as Phil Lynott, Van Morrison, Hozier and U2 feature, as well as pieces from artists that have played truly memorable gigs in Ireland.

Image credit: Hard Rock International

“As Hard Rock furthers its expansion into Europe, we continue to target destinations that are culturally influential and perfectly aligned with our musical soul,” commented Dale Hipsh, Senior Vice President – Hotels for Hard Rock International. “Dublin connects to our deep musical roots, we are honoured to bring the Hard Rock Hotel experience to the city, its residents and visitors alike.”

Enda O’Meara, CEO of the Tifco Hotel Group, added: “We are greatly looking forward to the opening of Hard Rock Hotel Dublin. Our aim is to match the energy of this vibrant city through our world-class service offered by the people who truly make up the fabric of the hotel, and who will work passionately to deliver the best guest experience.”

Surrounding the hotel is an abundance of local attractions, heritage sites, eateries and bars. Within walking distance are the world-famous Guinness Storehouse, the Jameson Distillery, Dublin Castle and the renowned Temple Bar district. Also easily accessible from the hotel are several of Dublin’s cultural institutions, including the Olympia Theatre, the Gallery of Photography and the Irish Film Institute.

Following the opening of the hotel in Dublin, Hard Rock International portfolio plan to open Hard Rock Hotel Amsterdam American will break into the entertainment capital of Europe in April 2020, located in a famous Art Nouveau building on the lively Leidseplein Square. Opening in May, Hard Rock Hotel Budapest will be situated in the heart of “Budapest’s Broadway” surrounded by the city’s famed cultural attractions. Hard Rock Hotel Madrid will follow, opening in a prime location opposite the historic Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in the Atocha district.

Main image credit: Hard Rock International

Bathroom brand AQATA launches debut ‘Look Book’

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Bathroom brand AQATA launches debut ‘Look Book’

When looking for bathroom inspiration, AQATA believes that its very first Look Book is the ideal solution…

AQATA’s first ever Look Book highlights all its latest, most-popular bathroom products; including a fabulously curvaceous collection of shower screens, walk in shower enclosures, shower panels, sliding doors and coloured finishes.

The Look Book acts as a miniature version of the AQATA brochure, it has been broken down and split into sections, cleverly designed to show every style they offer. Full of fabulous and luxurious products, all initiatively designed and manufactured at AQATA’s factory in the UK, there really is something for everyone.

Image credit: AQATA

For those who are unsure about what they want and need inspiration. Then AQATA’s new Look Book is full of imagery and ideas that will point them in the right direction, enabling them to create their dream bathroom.

AQATA understands a bathroom isn’t just a functional space; it has to be aesthetically pleasing, stylish and also a sanctuary. The AQATA Design Solutions Range allows customers to personalise their showering area with a variety of options including a choice of coloured glass in Clear, Clear Plus, Grey Tint and Bronze Tint, combined with one of the coloured finish options from Chrome, Matte Black, Polished or Brushed Nickel it allows customers to truly make the enclosure their own.

The look book is the first of as series, a new edition will be released every season ensuring customers are kept up to date with all AQATA’s new and exciting product launches and features.

AQATA 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.

BREAKING: Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam 2020 postponed

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
BREAKING: Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam 2020 postponed

BREAKING NEWS: Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam 2020, which Hotel Designs is a proud media parter of, has postponed this year’s event in response to the latest developments in the coronavirus spread…

Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam was due to take place between March 17 – 18, but in response to the coronavirus outbreak and the World Health Organisation labelling it as a pandemic, the exhibition has been forced to postpone.

The event organisers have confirmed that the event is now due to take place on June 24 – 25, 2020 at RAI Amsterdam.

One week after the success of Hotel Restaurant and Catering Show, the organisers of the show have confirmed the postponement in a statement. “It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we have to inform you that Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam will no longer place between 17-18 March as planned and has instead been postponed to 24 – 25 June 2020 at RAI Amsterdam,” the statement read. “This is due to the significant escalation of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) cases across the Netherlands as well as yesterday’s announcement by the World Health Organisation that COVID-19 is now labelled a pandemic.

“The event is now due to take place on June 24 – 25, 2020 at RAI Amsterdam.”

“Whilst we have been paying close attention to the World Health Organisation and have been following the advice from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment leaves us with little option but to make the decision to postpone the event to later in the year when we hope the effects have subsided.”

The update comes after the total number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases reported by the Dutch authorities (as of March 11, 2020) amounted to 503. In just a week, multiple cases have been reported all over the country. Officially, the coronavirus entered the Netherlands on February 27, 2020 after a Dutch resident returned from the Italian region of Lombardy.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom is expected to move to the ‘delay’ phase after the BBC reported that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country has reached 460, after the biggest rise in a single day.

Main image credit: Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam

SNEAK PEEK: Inside Mama Shelter’s soon-to-open Luxembourg hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SNEAK PEEK: Inside Mama Shelter’s soon-to-open Luxembourg hotel

Mama Shelter is expected to bringing its playful hotel brand to Luxembourg in May of this year. Before the wild opening, Hotel Designs got a sneak peek inside… 

Hot off the heels of opening another hotel in Paris, Mama Shelter is expected to touchdown in Luxembourg this May, opening the brand’s 13th hotel since coming to the market in 2008.

Sheltering 145 design-led rooms, Mama Luxembourg will continue its commitment to providing its affordable boutique hotel offering to the Grand Duchy. In keeping with the brand’s playful philosophy, Mama Luxembourg interprets the spirit of its location through its bespoke design, while also offering guests a well-priced option from which to explore the city.

An important financial hub, with links to neighbouring France, Germany and Belgium, Luxembourg is also home to several European Union institutions. Mama Works will offer local professionals and business travellers the flexibility to work from its new co-working space, offering individual working spaces and shared desks. There is also a ‘CineMama’, an intimate space with seating for up to 31 people which can also be used for presentations and screenings.

Wild and funky public areas, full of character and colour

Image credit: Mama Shelter

Mama Shelter’s instantly recognisable style continues throughout its new property. Taking inspiration from the region’s rich history, the ceilings are adorned with one-of-a-kind graffiti by renowned French artist – Beniloys – and each room has been individually designed by its dedicated in-house design team.

“Luxembourg is as beautiful as it is cosmopolitan,” said Jérémie Trigano, CEO of Mama Shelter. “We knew that combining these features with MAMA’s fun personality meant we would get a truly explosive result.”

Mama Luxembourg bridges the gap between the chic style of boutique hotels and openness of Mama’s playful philosophy. This unique DNA creates the perfect home-away-from-home for travellers and local professionals.

Playful public areas with wooden furniture and colourful design scheme

Image credit: Mama Shelter

“Luxembourg is largely known as a financial hub,” added Serge Trigano, president of Mama Shelter. “The Mama group wants to contribute actively to the discovery of the country’s culture, its landscapes and its castles. Bankers or teams from great financial institutions as well as Luxembourgers will always be most welcome and free to visit the Mama whenever they wish, to shed their suits and enjoy a meal or a cocktail in our restaurant or on our rooftop.”

The Mama Shelter journey started in 2008 with the launch of Mama Paris East. Founded by the Trigano family – co-Founder of Club Med – and world-renowned designer Philippe Starck, Mama Shelter believed in launching in lesser-known, ‘out of the way’ neighbourhoods in iconic cities, allowing guests to uncover new and exciting cities. The founding Paris property was followed by Marseille to Lyon, Bordeaux, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Prague, Belgrade, Toulouse, London, Paris West and Luxembourg. Upcoming openings include Bucharest, Bahrain, Dubai, Santiago de Chile, Rome, Lisbon and many more. In 2014, the international hotel chain, Accor, partnered with Mama Shelter to develop the concept and welcome travellers and locals throughout the world.

As with all of Mama Shelter properties, Mama Luxembourg aims to be a confluence for visitors and locals alike, providing a witty and welcoming ‘home’ in the city.

Main image credit: Mama Shelter

Bathroom planning made easy with Kaldewei

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Bathroom planning made easy with Kaldewei

Planning a bathroom shouldn’t be hard work, believe it or not – it can be fun, explains the bathroom experts at Kaldewei

Some of the challenges when planning bathrooms is limited space, awkward angles and alcoves as well as layouts. However, with Kaldewei’s enamelled bathroom solutions, designers can create a dream bathroom – no matter how many odd angles.

Kaldewei, the manufacturer of steel enamel showers, baths and washbasins, has a very positive solution, which comes in four simple steps.

1) Alcove bathroom: floor-level showers – miraculous space-savers

Lateral thinking helps when fitting out an alcove bathroom because it often produces surprising new approaches that can greatly improve the feel of the room. For example, alcoves offer a great opportunity to create more shelf space in the bathroom or add some special design features to a particular area of the room. In bathrooms like this, floor-level showers are truly miraculous space-savers. Tucked into an alcove, they cleverly separate the wet area from the rest of the bathroom. In small bathrooms, this works particularly well on two levels, it highlights the beauty of the architecture as well as saving the home owners valuable space. Floor-level showers are available in many different sizes and designs – Kaldewei offers over 100,000 choices for designing a floor-level shower area alone.

2) Bathrooms with odd angles: find the perfect-fit solution

Home owners dislike lots of angles in the bathroom – but, there’s no reason to give up. With a little creativity, rooms like these can be given a playful look. Use bright, cheerful colours – they lighten the mood and make the room look bigger. A floor- level shower like the Kaldewei Conoflat will further boost this effect. It can also be fitted with a movable splashback that can be folded away to one side. Those who don’t want to get rid of their bath can choose a compact size that doesn’t take up more space. Kaldewei offers its showers, baths and washbasins in a standard design which brings harmony to the bathroom and upgrades it. If there are too many angles, they can also be concealed by a false wall. The toilet or a washing machine can be cleverly hidden away behind it, while the wall itself will provide space for a washbasin such as the Cono model made of long-lasting Kaldewei steel enamel.

Dark tiles in white bathroom with pops of blue colour

Image credit: Kaldewei

3) Galley bathrooms: open up the space with colour

Limited space doesn’t have to be a problem – it’s possible to design a dream bathroom even with a very long, narrow floor plan. A bath beneath the window, for example, will look great against the front wall. LED strips at the base of the bath will make it a really striking feature in a cramped bathroom. Those who like colour will benefit from a cheerful room that also has a positive effect on the bathroom’s ambience. Light colours work particularly well in small bathrooms; another tip is to match the colour of the shower with the floor tiles. This way, the floor and shower will seem to merge together. This makes the room seem more open, bigger and lighter. To go with the coloured shower, Kaldewei also offers many beautiful washbasins such as the delicate Miena washbasin bowl. The bathroom expert has more than 850 alternatives to the white washbasin in its portfolio – offering maximum flexibility when fitting out galley bathrooms.

4) Bathroom under the eaves: make clever use of slopes

Imagine lounging in the bath while gazing at the clouds: an attic bathroom can be fantastic. Bathroom expert Kaldewei recommends the use of an enamelled bath situated under the eaves – where there is no room for cupboards and washbasins. This allows for comfortable relaxation without losing valuable space in the bathroom. A false wall can be used to divide the attic bathroom into distinctly separate zones, creating calm and order and offering additional scope for the washing area. As an alternative to wall-hung washbasins, a countertop washbasin such as the Kaldewei Centro model can also work well in combination with a bath. This perfect combination, not only looks great but is also practical – thanks to the generous surround.

7 interior trends to emerge from London Design Week 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
7 interior trends to emerge from London Design Week 2020

During London Design Week 2020, Design Centre Chelsea Harbour is sheltering many of the product launches, teasers and conversations that are expected to make a noise on the design scene this season. Editor Hamish Kilburn identifies some of the prominent styles, colours and trends to look out for… 

“We champion creative excellence,” said Becky Metcalfe, Head of Content at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour (DCCH). “And we have certainly seen a move towards inform choices.”

Now that there is more demand among consumers for conscious and meaningful designs to compliment seamless service, hotel designers are widening their lenses to understand the narrative, craft and creative vision of new collections launched.

It is this change in behaviour that is enforcing most, if not all, of the strong styles that I discovered during my time at London Design Week 2020.

1) Botanical paradise on earth

With biophilic design being put front and centre at the moment around the world, conversations and the products that are launching are finding the balance between indoor space and the great outdoors – think exotic gardens where fragrance and sound are depicted in patterns and colours. Sanderson’s floral showroom, which houses hundreds of new designs this week, highlighted the creative possibilities that can emerge when designers open the door to outdoor influence with purpose. Other brands to leverage nature in design include Pierre Frey’s enriched wallcoverings, Abbott & Boyd’s capture of birds and Bec Brittain’s Taxonomy collection seen in the Tai Ping showroom that explores unexpected paradoxes inspired by the minutiae of insect anatomy and pleating techniques.

Offer with pink and black textured rug

Image credit: Taxonomy collection by Bec Brittain/Edward Fields Carpet Makers/Tai Ping

2) Land of the rising sun – everyone is talking about Japan

Considering the incredible oriental principles – not to mention the in-depth culture, heritage and authentic craftsmanship – it’s hardly surprising that many designers and brands are finding inspiration in Japan. There are parallels between the demand for simple, elegant luxury and the minimalist aesthetics of design in Japan (take a look at Muji to see this in action). Wallcovering brands such as Arte are exploring Japanese techniques and diverse styles, such as the Kimono pattern motif, to create new textured layers to their collections.

Intricate Kimono pattern detail in wallcovering

Image credit: Arte Wallcovering

Taking the theme in a different direction, Arteriors’ Trapeze Sconce is an effortless example of how Japanese influence can be balanced delicately in elegant lighting. With so much yet to explore, we expect more designers and brands to delve into the archive of Japan’s design heritage to invest in timeless practice and precious pieces.

3) Embracing imperfections

Admittedly, this isn’t anything new. In fact, designers, consumers and brands alike have been championing and demanding one-off products that can’t be replicated for as long as time. But recently, with timelessness and narrative playing so much importance in any design scheme – and while designers become more adventurous with materials – this look is everywhere. Lighting brand Vaughan is celebrating a proud authentic look and feel with its Chalk White collection, while wallcoverings brand Harlequin is keeping in touch with nature by using natural materials and creating an interesting weave structure.

Chalk-like chandelier

Image credit: Vaughan’s Chalk White collection is a curation of six products

Meanwhile, Parkside Architectural Tiles are showcasing their fantastical imperfect Spectre collection of tiles, which have proved a hit with designers and architects looking to add personality onto the walls of new and existing spaces.

Spectre collection by Parkside Architectural Tiles

Image caption: Spectre collection by Parkside Architectural Tiles

A relatively new brand thats DNA is very much focused on creating this look is Ilala, curated by Miranda Vedral, which proudly presented its idiosyncratic handwoven  furniture and lighting during the event.

4) Amplifying craftsmanship in all areas

There are more and more brands out there that are willing to collaborate with experts to produce the highest quality and the most interesting designs. With a digital overload from social media and a move to challenge the disposable mindset, brands such as Porta Romana have enhanced tactility in products and styles, which is putting momentum behind the sustainable movement.

Image credit: Porta Romana

5) Take a walk on the wild side

As we have identified before, the eco-conscious world is allowing for more adventurous influences to emerge to the surface. During the showrooms in Chelsea, there was a clear and defined theme of endangered species being used in wallcoverings, fabrics and soft furnishings. Some of the brands that are mastering this with style include Altfield, Anthology, Harlequin and Andrew Martin.

Image credit: Harlequin’s Mirador Collection

6) Warm colours are in!

Finally, in the doom and gloom of the current economic climate, designers and brands are discovering the warmer end of the colour spectrum. Designs from Edelman Leather, Vaughan and Zoffany are all setting their style compass to rosy red, which suggests there is a new confidence in the air. Grasping the statement-like benefits of using primary colours, British brand David Hunt Lighting has recently opened up its archives to find unique techniques and craft that has inspired their latest collections of pendants and chandeliers. In the Design Avenue – a hotspot for talent and unmatched styles – there was arguably no brand more colourful and bold than Timorous Beasties, but with their intricate signature of styles, would you really expect anything less?

Red, yellow and blue pendents

Image credit: David Hunt Lighting/Instagram

7) Home Heritage

An interesting theme to explore on the international hotel design scene – and one that no doubts divides the industry – there seems to be a move towards home-from-home comforts, but not perhaps as you would expect. We know that lobbies are becoming more lounge-like, but in addition there is an interest to explore storied providence. Brands such as Zimmer + Rhode, Samuel & Sons and Holland & Sherry are all using this to drive their latest designs, and I suspect more brands will keep this in mind when innovating new products in the future to add further meaning in design.

If you identified anything at the show that you believe we should be sharing our readers, please tweet us @HotelDesigns.

Main image credit: Design Centre Chelsea Harbour

industrial looking suite

SNEAK PEEK: Inside the ‘first true design hotel’ in Warsaw

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SNEAK PEEK: Inside the ‘first true design hotel’ in Warsaw

The 117-key Nobu Hotel Warsaw is located in lively, culinary neighbourhood of central Warsaw and is slated to open this June…

Nobu Hospitality, the lifestyle brand founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, has announced that its first hotel in Poland will open in June of this year. 

industrial looking suite

Nobu Hotel Warsaw will have 117 sleek and spacious rooms, thoughtfully tailored meeting and event spaces, an expansive fitness centre and signature Nobu Restaurant and café.

Exterior of the hotel

Image credit: Nobu Hotels

Situated on Wilcza Street, the creative hub of the modern-day city, Nobu Hotel Warsaw is an integrated mix of luxurious hotel and energised living spaces. The hotel’s neighbourhood is a walk away from the Old Town, originally built in the 13th century, which has been meticulously reconstructed since the Second World War, welcoming the intellectual traveller to rediscover its charm as an increasingly popular leisure destination. Etched into the city’s skyline, Nobu Hotel Warsaw is surrounded by a vibrant urban scene full of trendy wine bars that spill out onto the pavements in the summer months, as well as independent shops, art galleries, cafes and restaurants, enriching the community with a sense of locality and present-day style.

“Nobu Hotel Warsaw is a really exciting project for us,” said Trevor Horwell, Chief Executive Officer of Nobu Hotels. “The luxury hospitality market has been gaining momentum in Warsaw for a while. There’s a certain type of energy that extends far beyond the bricks and mortar – we’re very excited to be at the forefront of this new wave of lifestyle and hospitality development – and being from Poland originally, this opening is particularly exciting for our co-founder Meir Teper.”

The city’s first true design hotel, Nobu Hotel Warsaw is a combination of two wings: the ‘classic’ is housed in an Art Deco building, the former Hotel Rialto, which dates back to 1920s inter-war Poland and the ‘modern’ is an ultracontemporary, new build – designed through a transformational, cross-continental collaboration: a concerted effort between Polish architectural firm, Medusa Group, and California-based Studio PCH. Respecting the city’s history and resilience, the result tells the story of present-day Warsaw: open, modern and diverse.

Nobu Hotel Warsaw juxtaposes contemporary style with the adjoined classic Art Deco building’s character and distinct aesthetic, an important symbol of the city’s historical tissue. In the hotel lobby, crossing between the old and new wings feels like crossing two streets, with a sculptural spiral wooden staircase leading to the first floor. The new wing features sleek, meticulous Polish wood detailing in the lobby with a minimalist, charcoal grey marble reception desk; teak-timbers and polished-concrete adorn the walls, complemented by palette-rich terrazzo floors that together create a harmonious blend of natural materials and Japanese-inspired design. Outside, the strikingly designed window-box glass façade sits neatly beside the Art Deco wing, which draws on traditional Polish architecture. All public spaces throughout the hotel will house modern Polish art masterpieces from the Jankilevitsch Collection.

“The result is an interesting architectural form from the outside, and a variety of room sizes, on the inside.” – Lukasz Zagala, co-founder of Medusa Group

“The core of the hotel has been created by shifting seven floors aside to form a “V” shape”, said Lukasz Zagala, co-founder of Medusa Group. “The result is an interesting architectural form from the outside, and a variety of room sizes, on the inside. The movement of floors also allowed for spacious balconies with planted greenery, creating a vertical garden, as well as added privacy for the rooms. The deconstructed rounded corner block is a nod to the characteristic corner buildings which dotted Warsaw’s 19th century streets.”

“In keeping with its theme, the new wing’s suites are contemporary in design, using simple materials: raw concrete, wood, stone and glass, taking inspiration from Japanese design philosophy.”

The rooms span classic to ultramodern, representative of Poland’s rampant revival, allowing guests to choose the style to suit their taste. All room categories exude a sense of calm with Japanese design, and floor-to-ceiling windows with either city or skyline views. In keeping with its theme, the new wing’s suites are contemporary in design, using simple materials: raw concrete, wood, stone and glass, taking inspiration from Japanese design philosophy. Whilst those classic in style are located in a renovated tenement house, dating back to the 20th century and Art Deco in style: drawing on the traditions of old Warsaw architecture, interior design and art.

The Nobu Suite features separate living and dining room areas and a Japanese soaking tub, that looks out onto the city. A spacious 109 m², the room has a 98- inch home cinema and surround sound system that guests can stream to from smart devices, and like all of the other 116 rooms, comes with in-room amenities by Natura Blissé, a luxurious Yukata robe and a minibar stocked with classic Japanese favourites such as Matcha Kit Kats.

The property plays host to the Nobu restaurant and cafe, as with all the hotels worldwide, and is rooted in creating memorable experiences around exceptional food and locality. A stone’s throw from the bustling Hala Koszyki food hall, the area is fast becoming Warsaw’s foodie hub. The Nobu restaurant concept is based on Chef Nobu’s inventive, non-traditional cuisine which showcases high quality produce, colour and texture, cooking classic Japanese dishes created with South American ingredients. Executive Chef Yannick Lohou arrives fresh from Nobu Hotel Barcelona, with previous experience at Nobu Dubai where he began his brand journey. 

Dark restaurant, minimalist design

Image credit: Nobu Hotels

The hotel’s flexible 438 m2 first floor events space provides a stylish setting for large conferences and meetings and can be divided by a mobile wall with acoustic separation, to offer two independent spaces – the Sakura room at 266 m2 and Hikari room at 171 m2. Crushed glass walls allow plenty of natural light and an independent lobby complete with terrace, allows for total privacy. Further meeting rooms with state-of-the-art facilities exist on the same floor. These can be combined with a variety of bespoke services including planning, catering, business services and technology, including Wi-Fi and audio-visual equipment.

Main image credit: Nobu Hotel Warsaw

New ibis Styles hotel offers striking Art Deco interiors

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New ibis Styles hotel offers striking Art Deco interiors

Having recently opened in the heart of Hounslow, ibis Styles London Heathrow Airport East offers stylish and affordable accommodation, inspired by the architecture of Hounslow’s Golden Mile…

The Art Deco-styled ibis Styles London Heathrow Airport East hotel celebrates the modern world with an eclectic blend of 1920s glamour.

The 125-room ibis Styles hotel has been developed in partnership with Splendid Hospitality Group, and designed by specialist Hotel & Leisure interior design company, Matthews Mee, whose previous clients have included Mercure, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Hilton’s DoubleTree.

“The inspiration was the Great West Road into central London and the Art Deco mid 20th century style of architecture,” said Design Director of Matthews Mee, Robert Matthews. “This includes the Hoover building, Firestone headquarters, Gillette factory and tube stations that line this main arterial route to London, celebrating the modern mechanical world with an eclectic blend of progress and handcrafted tradition.

The hotel is the whole package, the roaring 1920s narrative runs through everything from door handles to furniture, some details are obvious whilst others need more work such as bespoke woven carpets and wallpapers.

“Although the hotel’s story is based around the 1920s, the idea behind the interiors was that the hotel should not recreate the exact style of the Art Deco era but instead, use the upscale simplicity of form to create a contemporary interpretation of the style reminiscent of the age.”

Quirky Art Deco carpets, mirrors and furniture in lobby

Image credit: ibis Hotels

The lobby is bright, fresh and comfortably elegant with a touch of Romanticism. Remaining faithful to the hotel’s glamorous theme, the restaurant and bar blends classical features with modern touches, such as brass accessories and vibrant art with hard materials such as walnut and marble. The polished flooring and statement rugs also add to the multi-functional space and encourages leisure and corporate guests to relax and unwind in the decadent bar and lounge areas.

The practicalities of the hotel match the high standards of the design, with each of the spacious bedrooms fitted with triple glazed windows to ensure a completely sound-proof environment. A stand-out feature of the hotel is the availability of four accessible family rooms on each of the three floors, with two each at opposite ends of the corridor and the option to book them together to have interconnecting rooms. Bespoke ‘roaring 20s’ music and dance style bedhead murals are featured in each bedroom, along with Art Deco inspired dress mirrors to complete the sophisticated look.

Main image credit: ibis Hotels

5 Minutes With: Emma Masters, associate at Richmond International

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
5 Minutes With: Emma Masters, associate at Richmond International

Taking five minutes out of planning and designing luxury hospitality scenes of the future, Emma Masters, Associate at Richmond International, speaks to editor Hamish Kilburn about landscape changes, client demands and over-used words in the industry…

Hamish Kilburn: How long have you been involved in interior design, and how has the landscape changed from when you started to now?
Emma Masters: I’ve been working in the industry for around 16 years, 15 of those have been with Richmond International. In this time the industry has steadily changed, largely due to technological development, i.e. the changes in the ways we research subjects and destinations, to retrieve design references and influences. The proliferation of imagery shared internationally makes the world feel smaller and more accessible.

CGI and VR experiences are becoming a minimum expectation, having replaced hand drawn and coloured renderings. Whilst computer generated images provide almost an exact representation of the design proposal, hand drawings were very evocative and left some element of wonder to what would finally be revealed in reality.

We’ve also seen massive advances in manufacturing techniques, the materials used, and specialist finishes to the extent that we can add unique signatures to interiors.

There’s also certainly a greater awareness of our environment and the need to be mindful of our design impact, ensuring our designs have longevity, rather than being based on trends that will date and need replacing frequently.

Large, luxurious and grand penthouse

Image credit: London West Hollywood penthouse, designed by Richmond International

HK: What are your clients currently looking for in hotel design?
EM: We’re seeing a demand for public spaces that are transitional, for environments that work for social dining, meetings, shared workplaces and seamlessly blend together to create one holistic space.

Additionally, we’re regularly creating designs that are authentic to the location and with strong narratives – this helps us bring the interiors alive for their guests.

“We as a company have regular team meetings where everyone from junior designers to associates can contribute their ideas and participate in the building of the narrative of a project.” – Emma Masters, Director, Richmond International

Bath in modern marble bathroom, with skyline of Chicago in the background

Image caption: Bathroom in Langham Chicago suite, designed by Richmond International

HK: Where do you find inspiration to keep your designs fresh and meaningful?
EM: Trade shows like Salone de Mobile and Maison et Objet are a great source of new products and styles. I also get a lot of inspiration from travelling, working with artisanal manufacturer and, in general, a lot of research.

HK: How important is nurturing young talent for Richmond International?
EM: It’s a very important part of our company and something I experienced first-hand having started at Richmond as a junior designer. It was a hugely nurturing experience and I was able to work with talented designers who allowed me to explore my capabilities and mentor me in my development. We as a company have regular team meetings where everyone from junior designers to associates can contribute their ideas and participate in the building of the narrative of a project.

“F&B areas have also evolved to become destinations in their own right aside from the hotel and are a draw not just to hotel guests but the general public that wish to dine.” – Emma Masters, Director at Richmond International

HK: We had Terry McGillicuddy join us on the Vision Stage at the Hospitality Restaurant and Catering show. How are F&B areas in hotels evolving?
F&B areas now blur the boundaries between lobby lounge, restaurant, bar and meeting spaces. The public spaces are the heart of a hotel and the is a desire for them to be vibrant has activated a move away from the traditional lobby lounge space. F&B areas have also evolved to become destinations in their own right aside from the hotel and are a draw not just to hotel guests but the general public that wish to dine. They now have a different identity to the rest of the hotel, where it previously was designed to work with the overall feel of the rest of the hotel. F&B is now more independent and can have a completely different narrative that may relate to the food served, for example rather than being simply a functional part of the hotel.

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

HK: What trend do you hope will never return?
EM: String curtain dividers, they were everywhere and not surprisingly disappeared as quickly as they arrived after the realisation that they were really impractical for public spaces and looked neat for all of five minutes before tangling an unwilling hotel guest who had stumbled into one.

HK: What is one word that is overused in our industry?
EM: Two words admittedly and the phrase we all dread – Value Engineering.

HK: What would you say is the biggest catalyst driving change in the hotel design area recently?
EM: Sustainability and authentic experiences across the board.

HK: What would you be if you were not a designer?
EM: I had always wanted to be an art teacher until I went to St Martins for my foundation year. My tutor was very inspiring and introduced me to the idea of interior design as a career instead of teaching.

HK: What’s one lesson about the industry that studying didn’t teach you?
EM: My role at Richmond has been predominantly FF&E focused and I feel it can really complete and enhance a design. As an Interior Architecture student, spatial design was key, and furnishings were more secondary, but I feel one cannot work as a cohesive design without the other.

HK: What’s your biggest bugbear in interior design?
EM: Designing to a trend and not for longevity.

Luxurious longe area in suite

Image caption: Metro Suite inside London West Hollywood, designed by Richmond International

HK: What has been your favourite project to date?
EM: My favourite project would have to be working on The London, West Hollywood Penthouse with Vivienne Westwood. Alongside the interior design we also worked closely with her team to develop custom fabrics, rugs and wallcoverings, as well as bespoke bath robes and towels. We worked with an archive of scarves that were then mounted and framed to use for the penthouse artwork.

Main image credit: Richmond International

Boutique aparthotel, The Gate, debuts in East London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Boutique aparthotel, The Gate, debuts in East London

With a Banksy in the lobby, Maple & Co café, 360-degree views of the city and quality suppliers specified throughout, aparthotel The Gate shelters the best of a hotel with a home-from-from look and feel throughout…

The Gate is a boutique aparthotel opening in Aldgate East, which offers the service and style of a hotel with the privacy of a self-service apartment.

Modern travellers’ needs and taste in accommodation are changing – people desire more choice than a traditional hotel versus self-catering apartments, and The Gate aims to bridge the gap between the two. The new aparthotel feels like an elevated version of your own home, with full-service amenities and flexible stay periods where guests can stay for one night or up to three months.

Situated in Whitechapel, just a one-minute walk from Aldgate East tube station, The Gate is directly influenced by the style and culture of the vibrant London streets it overlooks, connecting guests with its surroundings and the local East London community.

With 20 floors and 189 rooms, The Gate offers unparalleled 360° views of The Gherkin, The Shard and Brick Lane appealing to guests no matter the length of their stay. Partners include Maddox Gallery, who have curated the artwork around the hotel including a Banksy in the lobby and Retna, Bradley Theodore and The Connor Brothers pieces displayed in the private members lounge, making the property their new East London Gallery.

Apartments feature include cooking facilities, quality and comfortable Hypnos beds, Soundbars with Bluetooth connectivity, Nespresso machines, walk-in showers and rainfall shower heads, washing machines and dishwashers.

Yellow headboard, with luxe bed

Image credit: David Cleveland | Caption: Each of the 189 rooms feature Hypnos Beds.

Guests checking in for days or weeks can enjoy rooms designed to be modern and functional, but with artistic flourishes to create a distinctly homely feel. There are nine room categories each with a bedroom, fitted kitchen and living area, and some featuring a separate living space with a sofa bed. Room types include one and two bed apartments, accessible rooms, interconnecting family rooms and rooms with skyline views. No two rooms are the same with unique art and bespoke upholstery and new mid-century furniture designed in Europe.

The healthy-eating trailblazer Maple & Co will be opening its eighth location here, Maple & The Gate café, opening to the public on the ground floor including outdoor seating. The renowned New York fragrance brand, Le Labo, supplying in-room bathroom amenities and a boutique gym with Technogym equipment including Peloton bikes, which are also available in apartments by prior arrangement.

The Gate promises to combine a lifestyle hotel with apartment amenities to cater for a modern generation of long and short-term guests providing a Gateway to the capital.

Main image credit: David Cleveland

MEET UP London announces headline speakers

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MEET UP London announces headline speakers

MEET UP London, under the theme ‘Inspiring Creativity’, will welcome two award-winning visionaries to explore the concept of using sensory experiences in international hotel design… 

Hotel Designs has invited an award-winning sound designer and functional music innovation expert Tom Middleton and award-winning research entrepreneur Ari Peralta to become headline speakers at MEET UP London.

“The visionaries will respond to MEET UP London’s theme by immersing our audience into a sensory experience like no other before.”

The event, which takes place on May 13 at Minotti London, will be carry the theme of ‘Inspiring Creativity’, and will further bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers.

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, entitled: “Amplifying Wellness: Using Sensory Experiences To Innovate International Hotel Design”. The talk will discuss 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.

“As the boundaries of our industry widen, designers, architects, developers and suppliers are willing to reach new depths to find innovative and meaningful ways to evolve the hotel experience,” said editor Hamish Kilburn who will host the evening’s event. “I believe it is, therefore, perfect timing to invite both Tom and Ari to share their wealth of knowledge and experience in this subject with the aim to inspire the leaders of our industry to think beyond conventional architecture and interior design.”

The pair, who in 2019 gave a powerful keynote on the ‘future of wellness’ for Innovation Day’s (ID19) at Marriott International HQ, are on a mission to engage with the hoteliers, designers and architects to highlight how the sensory experience could enhance the overall guest journey. 

About the speakers

Tom Middleton headshot

Image caption: Tom Middleton in the studio

Tom Middleton is a true polymath who literally wears many hats, including a pioneering electronic musician, award-winning sound designer, DJ and producer, a certified Sleep Science Coach, trained in Mental Health First Aid, and Co-Chair on the AFEM Health Group. He has toured the world and performed to millions observing the positive affects of sound, and has shared the stage with Mark Ronson, Lady Gaga and Kanye West.

Middleton regularly speaks on panels covering sensory customer and guest experience, immersive wellness, sound architecture, how to sleep better, workplace wellbeing and mental health.

Creator and innovator of empathic science-backed functional music and soundscapes for mental, physical and emotional health and wellbeing, relaxation, mindfulness, focus and productivity. 

His mission is to rescore the soundtrack to life with functional, transformational soundscapes, music and immersive experiences to help tackle stress, anxiety, burnout and sleep deprivation. Middleton aims to do this by applying principles of the neuroscience and psychology of sound, listening, breathing and human behaviour. 

As YOTEL’s chief Sound Architect for eight years, he developed smart and cohesive soundtracks to optimise guest experience.

His most recent work includes content for meditation and sleep app Calm, a collaboration with Nissan to create a zero-emission lullaby and Breathonics for Silentmode –  the first passive fitness platform for guided breathwork and music on the Appstore.

Middleton believes the science of sound, combined with mindful listening and conscious breathing within holistic multisensory environments can help us relax and reduce stress, be more happy, healthy and productive.

Headshot of Ari

Image caption: Ari Peralta

Ari Peralta is an international award-winning research entrepreneur working alongside a global network of scientists, immersive technologists and artists, developing wellness-led sensory initiatives across a wide range of industries.

By 2019, after two decades working in media research (Nielsen), medical marketing (ALO), immersive and strategic development (ProFix), he co-launched Arigami, an independent innovation consultancy dedicated to helping organisations design healthier and happier environments. 

Today, Peralta is a Forbes recognised provider for wellness and sensory-based strategies within hospitality, mobility, retail and healthcare. Arigami powers holistic innovation programs for startups, corporates and academic labs seeking to mitigate anxiety by developing transformative immersive and service design solutions for complex human problems within wellness, sleep and human performance. Besides leading his firm, Peralta dedicates much of his time guest lecturing at universities, speaking at international conferences and volunteering for organisations that promote STEM education for children.  

How to attend

EARLY BIRD SUPPLIER TICKETS*: £99 + VAT (expires on March 31)  | CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.***
EARLY BIRD BUYER  TICKETS*£10 + VAT (expires on March 31) | CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.***

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Event partner: Crosswater 

* Those eligible to purchase Supplier Tickets must be industry suppliers.
** Those eligible to purchase buyer tickets must prove that they are an interior designer, architect, hotelier or developer.
***Hotel Designs’ Early Bird promotion ends on March 31. After this time, tickets for designers, architects, hoteliers and developers will inflate to £20 + VAT and supplier tickets will inflate to £150 + VAT. 

EARLY BIRD tickets to MEET UP events now open

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
EARLY BIRD tickets to MEET UP events now open

Early bird catches the worm, as discounted tickets to attend Hotel Designs’ MEET UP London (May 13) and MEET UP North (July 6) are now available to purchase…

During March, Hotel Designs is offering designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers to purchase discounted EARLY BIRD tickets to Meet Up London and Meet Up North.

The regional events, which last year bridged the gap between more than 400 design and hospitality professionals, are regarded as two of the industry’s most established networking events. “We are fully committed to host our networking events in locations and venues that are at the heart of the hotel design community,” said editor Hamish Kilburn. “We hope that Meet Up London and Meet Up North, which include relevant themes and talks at both, help to build seamless relationships as well as inspire the industry to further push boundaries in design and hospitality.”

About Meet Up London 
Date: May 13, 2020 | 6pm – 10pm
Venue: Minotti London | Theme: Inspiring Creativity
Headline Partner: Hamilton Litestat | Partner: Crosswater | Style Partner: Minotti London

Following the success of last year’s spring networking eventHotel Designs is delighted to return to Minotti London for Meet Up London 2020, the publication’s first networking event of the year. The London Fitzrovia showroom, which recently played host to an exclusive roundtable, will shelter an evening like no other around the theme of Inspiring Creativity, with the concrete aim to further bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and key-industry suppliers.

EARLY BIRD SUPPLIER TICKETS*: £99 + VAT (expires on March 31)  | CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.
EARLY BIRD BUYER TICKETS**£10 + VAT (expires on March 31) | CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.

About Meet Up North 
Date: July 6, 2020 | 6pm – 10pm
Venue: Central Manchester (venue to be announced shortly)| Theme: Manchester On The Boards
Headline Partner: Hamilton Litestat | Partner: Crosswater | Style Partner: Minotti London

Considering the vast amount of hotel projects currently on the boards in the north – many of which are slated to complete in Manchester and open this year – Hotel Designs will be returning to the city of Manchester for Meet Up North 2020. The city, which has hosted the concept since its launch in 2018, will once again welcome leading designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and key-industry suppliers for the market’s leading networking event in the north of England.

EARLY BIRD SUPPLIER TICKETS*: £99 + VAT (expires on March 31) | CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.
EARLY BIRD BUYER TICKETS**£10 + VAT (expires on March 31) | CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.

If you would like to discuss various sponsorship packages available, or if you have any enquires regarding tickets, please contact Katy Phillips via email, or call 01992 374050.

Early Bird offer strictly ends March 31, 2020.

* Those eligible to purchase Supplier Tickets must be industry suppliers.
** Those eligible to purchase buyer tickets must prove that they are an interior designer, architect, hotelier or developer.

CASE STUDY: Furnishing Amba Hotel Grosvenor

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Furnishing Amba Hotel Grosvenor

The designers of Amba Hotel Grosvenor specified Curtis’ furniture pieces to create a timeless and luxurious interior feel…

Both quality of furniture and flexibility of service were crucial for the 344 bedroom refurbishment in the prestigious London hotel.

Having worked with the company for 20 years, Amba Hotel Grosvenor knew Curtis furniture was uniquely positioned to deliver on both counts.

With a dedicated Project Manager as a sole point of contact taking responsibility for the success of the project, and an Installation Manager based nearby, Curtis were always on hand to respond to changing timescales.  As is typical on a project of this scale, delivery dates shifted on a number of occasions, across all nine phases of the refurbishment.  The success story here was our ability to react to these changes to complement the good progress made on site by other contractors.

Large wide shot of the guestroom inside the hotel

Image credit: The Grosvenor Hotel

“Dealing directly with the manufacturer was the only way this project could have been so successful – we needed a partnership approach right from the start,” said Sheila Murphy from glh Hotels. “Curtis was responsive and positive, accommodating our requests and enabling timely completion of the project.”

With high quality furniture augmenting this beautiful refurbishment, room rates at the hotel have now risen, which will help secure a speedy return on investment.

Main image credit: Amba Hotel Grosvenor/Curtis

VIP ARRIVALS: hotels opening in March 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
VIP ARRIVALS: hotels opening in March 2020

With the aim to cut through the noise in a contemporary tone, Hotel Designs has the scoop on which statement and game-changing hotels are opening in March, 2020…

So far, 2020 is shaping up to be a year of expansion for many hotel brands, such as Hotel Indigo, Le Meridian, Radisson Hotels, Hoxton and ME.

And there’s more to come from both large brands and independents as Hotel Designs identifies some of the most iconic and statement-like hotels poised and ready, waiting in the wings, to open in March 2020.

Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa

Image credit: Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa

The elegantly restored red palace in the heart of Puglia’s White City, Ostuni, set to open on March 4 2020. This quintessentially Puglian property is being meticulously restored to boast 11 individually curated rooms and suites with a cosmopolitan soul. 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, that will offer guests a tranquil and exclusive oasis, just a five-minute walk from Ostuni’s main square.

Canopy by Hilton Hotel – West Palm Beach

Exterior of the modern structure around other buildings

Image credit: RP Architects

Designed by RSP Architects, The Canopy West Palm Beach Downtown is architecturally artistic with a soaring glass atrium that is home to a 60-foot fibre optic art installation resembling the long roots of a banyan tree. Locals and visitors alike will relish the hotel’s prominent location, within minutes of three world-class cultural venues, waterfront recreation along the Intracoastal Waterway, all the attractions of Palm Beach and Clematis Street’s famous nightlife. Travellers in town for business are only a short walk away from the Palm Beach County Convention Centre. Among the 150-room hotel’s standout features will be two restaurants (including one on the 13th floor rooftop) plus complimentary evening tastings each night of local specialities. Handcrafted cocktails and stunning city and ocean views are on the menu on the roof at Treehouse, which will offer the most photo-worthy dining experience in West Palm Beach. The Canopy’s ultra-flexible, 3,060-square-foot ballroom will combine convenience and wow factor for meetings, weddings and other special events.  

Generator Washington D.C. 

bunk beds overlooking Washington D.C.

Image credit: Generator Hotels

Generator, the award-winning, design led, culturally affluent and socially-driven provider of accommodation, is set to open a new property in  Washington, D.C. in March. After successfully breaking into the American market with their inaugural U.S. property in Miami Beach in 2018,acclaimed hospitality group Generator recently announced plans for their second stateside venture in Washington, D.CSituated in the heart of the city between Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle, the property will boast the brand’s signature elements: ultra-comfortable private rooms and luxury suites, brilliantly designed shared accommodations, trendy F&B outlets and interactive programming, all at affordable price points in one of the hippest neighborhoods in the nation’s capital.  Generator is the perfect option for those who want to be in the heart of the city and its social scene, but don’t want to pay a fortune, with a unique mix of hip designed, super-friendly and centrally located spaces that ensure all types of travellers feel welcome.   

Maafushivaru, Maldives

Image of pontoon with restaurant and bar

Image credit: Maafushivaru, Maldives

Maafushivaru will be opening from March 1 after a total refurbishment of the island that includes five all-new villa categories (overwater and beach) as well as six new restaurants. 

The highlight of this stunning resort, is without a doubt, it’s castaway sister island, Lonubo, which is exclusively available for resort guests. Found just 500 metres from the shores of the hotel, Lonubo encourages guests to escape reality in an authentic Maldivian island experience. This miniature white sand isle is ringed by a vibrant coral reef with towering palm trees concealing a private beach villa for two.

The Hotel Seiryu Kyoto Kiyomizu

Rener of exterior of Japanese property

Image credit: Prince Hotels

The Hotel Seiryu Kyoto Kiyomizu will open in Kyoto, Japan’s former capital city. It is a conversion of the once Kyoto Kiyomizu Elementary School, which opened in 1869 and played a huge role in Kyoto’s history and traditions. The school will be reborn as a luxury hotel comprising of 48 guestrooms, restaurants, private baths and a gym. Guests of the hotel can explore the culture of Kyoto with shrines, temples and historic landmarks close by. The hotel will be a 10-minute walk from the Kiyomizu-dera Temple, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site ‘Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto’.

Eclipse at Half Moon, Jamaica

Exterior wide shot of the shore

Image credit: Half Moon

Half Moon will open the highly anticipated Eclipse at Half Moon, which is being described as a ‘new luxury resort experience’ on March 1. Framed by the glistening Caribbean Sea to the north and the lush hillsides to the south, Eclipse at Half Moon is one of the most luxurious additions to the Caribbean in a generation. The new property features 57 luxurious and spacious accommodations, two restaurants, three bars, a market café, Fern Tree ­a Salamander Spa, a sweeping infinity-edge swimming pool, and private beachfront with a natural swimming cove. 

Hotel Designs is currently researching and writing the next article in this series, which will identify the top hotels that are opening in April, 2020. If you are working on a hotel project, or know of a hotel that would be suitable for the feature, please email the editorial team

Main image credit: Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa

CASE STUDY: Designing minimalist bathrooms for Nobis Hotel Copenhagen

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Designing minimalist bathrooms for Nobis Hotel Copenhagen

The recently refurbished Nobis Hotel in central Copenhagen specified Unidrain in the luxurious bathrooms of its 100 hotel guestrooms…

When renovating Nobus Hotel in central Copenhagen, attention to the detail was imperative. Each of the bathrooms within the hotel have been created with Scandinavian elegance; as this chic minimalist design ethic helps to create an environment where there is a space to pamper oneself and relax whilst exuding a sense of wellbeing.

One of the main characteristics of each of the 100 bathrooms is a large bathtub surrounded by marble tiles. A large single mirror is positioned above the dark framed washing area and wash basin reflecting light back into the room. The shower cubicle maintains the minimalist feeling, as it is enclosed by a sleek sheet of glass. The water falls from the oversized shower head bouncing on the tiles beneath, before disappearing into the bespoke single drain.

At the architect’s request Unidrain created and supplied designer drains for the shower cubicles in the entire hotel. The drains for 80 bathrooms were fitted with Unidrain’s linear drains each with the customised solution option.

Here the classic steel Unidrain grating has been replaced with exactly the same marble as the rest of the bathroom, making the drain almost invisible to the eye. It is elements such as these Unidrain custom-designed solutions that make these stylish bathrooms completely unique.

At the Nobis Hotel, Unidrain worked in conjunction with its architectural advisor Dennis Bagge, to ensure that the clients every detail was met. For example twenty of the bathrooms in the hotel are particularly large and needed extra-long drains. This required a single drain to cover an expanse of more than two metres. Unidrain were able to create bespoke extra-long drains made to the client’s specific dimensions.

“When liaising with the architect on this project the bathroom solutions were easier to create. This was due to Unidrain’s reputation and ability to craft and install a single drain which would run from wall to wall covering a length of over two metres ” Unidrain Architectural Adviser Dennis Bagge.

These tailor-made solutions add the finishing touch and help to create the coveted wellness experience wanted in a bathroom today. This room has evolved more than any other in the home, from an outdoor WC, it transferred inside, initially as an enlarged broom cupboard, now it is no longer a room we have for practical reasons, but a space we want to spend time in to pamper and relax; be it in a home or a hotel.

Unidrain is a Hotel Designs’ Recommended Supplier. 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/Nobis Hotel Copenhagen

Inside the world’s first ‘super boutique’ hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside the world’s first ‘super boutique’ hotel

The world-class design team of The Londoner ‘super boutique hotel’ consists of interior designers at Yabu Pushelberg, engineer experts at Arup Associates and artist Ian Monroe

After seven years and a £300 million investment, The Londoner, the world’s first super boutique hotel, will open its doors in June 2020.

The property will take centre stage on London’s Leicester Square and is the latest project by Edwardian Hotels London.

 The project is a feat of design, architecture and engineering that aligns with the vision of Edwardian Hotels London’s Founder and Chairman, Mr Jasminder Singh to create “a celebration of London; its history, aesthetic and people.”

Its 16 storeys will incorporate 350 guestrooms, suites and a tower penthouse with panoramic views, two private screening rooms, a mix of six concept eateries – including bars and a tavern, alfresco dining on the ground floor and a contemporary Japanese lounge bar with a rooftop terrace and fire pit – plus an expansive ballroom suited for any occasion, a variety of meeting spaces and a results-driven gym and spa.

Edwardian Hotels London’s Design Architect, Rob Steul and architectural firm Woods Bagot CEO, Nik Karalis collaborated to develop the architectural design concept fitting of its cornerstone position on Leicester Square, and a guest experience with a ‘West End Story’ narrative at its core. Interior designers Yabu Pushelberg, engineers Arup Associates and artist Ian Monroe round out the world-class design team.

“From inception, Edwardian Hotels London saw the building as more than a hotel and sought to create an ‘urban resort’ destination of the highest architectural quality,” said Steul. From the wellness space below, to an extraordinary rooftop terrace overlooking Trafalgar Square, we developed a central core of meeting, eating, lounging and event spaces running vertically through the building around which wrap the guestrooms.”

“It is essentially two buildings intertwined – with the interplay between them creating a dynamic guest experience. Working closely with City of Westminster planners, we carefully considered the urban context of the site and responded with a building which fits its context in both massing and materiality.”

Engineers Arup Associates provided expertise across 16 different disciplines, from mechanical, electrical and public health to fire, acoustics, vertical transportation, accessibility and façade engineering.

Image credit: Edwardian Hotels London

Due to urban planning height restrictions, the architects proposed a 30-metre subterranean series of spaces on six levels, creating the deepest habitable basement in London and among the deepest in the world – a factor that presented a number of architectural, structural and engineering challenges for the teams involved.

In order to reach down to the depths required, an excavator had to be specially designed and made by construction company McGee Group, who built the basement and building superstructure.

Portland stone predominates on the façade with a vertical pattern of punched bronze-framed windows trimmed in rich blue architectural faience tiles numbering over 15,000, which were both conceived and designed by artist Ian Monroe and individually hand-made by British company Darwen Terracotta. 

Each tile took traditional artisans up to six weeks to create, from the initial pour through to the final firing – and when in place, set at a specific angle, will reflect the natural light of the sky during the day and the dynamism of the area’s myriad of lights following nightfall.

A truly public work of art (a condition of the hotel’s planning approval) and Monroe’s first hotel project, the faience extends from the ground floor of The Londoner up and through to its roof.

Inside, a luxurious and contemporary experience crafted by world-renowned designers Yabu Pushelberg speaks to the backdrop and approximation of the city’s cinema district. Marrying charming wit with British sentiment, thoughtfully designed common areas, dining spaces and guest rooms enhance the motions of everyday life.

When talking about The Londoner’s guestrooms, George Yabu of Yabu Pushelberg said: “The Londoner was designed to play into the roots of Leicester Square as London’s historic theatre district. We created layers of programming up into the sky and deep into the earth that emphasise this extraverted, alluring, playful voice.

“Through subtle nuances, we gently infused this energy into the guestrooms because we wanted them to remain evident spaces for comfort and relaxation. Stylistically, we tapped into traditional British sensibility and a minimal, cohesive neutral palette.”

Ensuring sustainable luxury for future generations, The Londoner secured a £175 million Green Loan from HSBC UK, which will ensure it exceeds the BREEAM Excellent category in building environmental and sustainable performance.

The Londoner, a member of the prestigious Preferred Hotels & Resorts Legend Collection, is the latest project by Edwardian Hotels London, the privately-owned hotel group behind the development of The May Fair Hotel, the newly opened The Edwardian Manchester and a collection of restaurant and bar brands, including May Fair Kitchen, May Fair Bar, Bloomsbury Street Kitchen and award-winning Peter Street Kitchen.

Main image credit: Edwardian Hotels London

Editor Checks In: Colouring outside the lines, searching for creativity

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor Checks In: Colouring outside the lines, searching for creativity

Casting back to a two-dimensional art classroom, editor Hamish Kilburn has a few confessions to make regarding the creativity of his sketch book before rekindling his relationship with art in design…

As someone who regularly rushed his art homework in blue biro ink at the back of the school bus, reserving a seat in detention in the process, I am a disgrace to art enthusiasts everywhere. I had no time for the subject, or its storied history. Patience didn’t come naturally to me or my teachers. As far as they were concerned, there were two types of people in the world: people who could draw life-like hands to not look like Monster Munch on a portrait and people who couldn’t. In hindsight, though, I am regretful for not digging beneath the surface of the subject and for not paying more attention. I realise now that I would have loved learning about the likes of Van Gogh, Andy Warhol, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Edvard Minch and other hall-of-famers.

12 years later, I am writing about the very topic that made my eyes enthusiastically roll with disinterest when presented with the next homework assignment. Still unable to draw or paint anything to resemble anything or anyone, the ink from my biro-infected Year-9 art book has run into my career; its stain is in every hotel I review, every feature I commission, every conversation I have, and now even in one of my editor’s letters. The fact is, art is unavoidably everywhere. It is adding texture and meaning to the beautifully painted picture of an industry that refuses to colour within the lines and that is not afraid to veer off into new lanes in search for creativity.

This month, I attended my first ever fashion show, which is shocking considering creativity in interior design and architecture very often derives from unconventional threads in fashion. But the reality of manning the editorial desk, scrutinising which envelopes are necessary to open and which should remain sealed, quite often results in me avoiding the noise amplified through London’s landmark during London Fashion Week. That is until now.

“It was a fantastical depiction of a partnership between two worlds that often meet, art and fashion, but rarely hold hands in public.”

Having finally joined the stampede of fashion week, the first theory of the fashion world I crushed into a myth was being ‘fashionably late’. Unapologetic to the stragglers, the lights went down at 6.30pm on the dot to signifying the show starting, as we were pre-warned on the e-invitation. The perfectly timed, choreographed performance of artistic frocks commenced – and a late arrival would have almost certainly ruined the atmospheric mise én scene, as well as ones captured point of view.

Everyone’s eyes in the high-ceilinged lobby inside Sofitel St James London were fixed to the centre of the room. Detaching the audience from their day-to-day deadlines, the models marched forward, one by one, to showcase a moment. It was a fantastical depiction of a partnership between two worlds that often meet, art and fashion, but rarely hold hands in public.

It was the work of French artist Stephane Koerwyn who put these colourful pieces together, delicately connecting the stylish similarities between the two industries and creating a new layer of design in the process. Bright, colourful and bold dresses made from Aluminium illuminated the catwalk to celebrate the sustainability movements in both territories. We were able to appreciate the pieces in motion before they were displayed as statues throughout hotel in an exhibition of the artist’s work, which is now on display until June 2020.

Koerwyn is not the only creative who isn’t afraid to cross boarders into other industries. In all corners of our endless industry, designers and artists are raising the ceiling and filling the space with more iconic, standalone statements. Hotel Le Coucou, which I recently reviewed in the French Alps, is the brainchild of Pierre Yovanovitch – a former fashion designer – whose injection of houte couture interiors, has taken this slope-side 56-key luxury boutique to new heights of creativity where bear chairs, emoji-themed plates and ice-cube lighting become genius layers in luxury design.

Meanwhile, meaningful collaborations between suppliers and designers continue to catapult innovation in material, style and wider in design. A few years ago, a collaboration between sportswear brand Odlo and Zaha Hadid Design (ZHD) went under the radar of most designers. But in reality, it was a remarkable ‘two heads are better than one’ approach that led ZHD to vastly improve the form of a conventional sports ‘baselayer’, with new technology allowing the companies to create a seamless garment that adapted with the body.

Only last year, at Sleep & Eat 2019, Laufen’s A New Classic was launched. The collection of bathroom products and furniture was the unrivalled result of a partnership with Marcel Wanders, who further pushed the boundaries in bathroom design and aesthetics to create a collection that confronted gender. At the same time, Roca unveiled its next collection of timeless bathroom gems with fashion brand Armani and furniture brand Benchmark worked with architecture legend David Rockwell to transform the workplace with a new, ergonomic table.

Even as we speak, commercial furniture brand Morgan, known and respected for its carefully aligned collaborations, is (I am told) working on its next partnership that will be unveiled at Clerkenwell Design Week 2020 in May.

Before that, lighting brand Chelsom, which was recently specified in Riggs Washington D.C. and Great Scotland Yard Hotel, is preparing to light up a new collection of lamps, pendants and chandeliers that has been inspired by two years of thorough research. Meanwhile, luxury Italian furniture brand Minotti is weeks away from raising the curtain on the 2020 – 2021 collection of luxury indoor and outdoor furniture, inspired, no doubt, by the family’s travels and evolution of public spaces in hospitality.

As the list of conscious collaborations continues to grow, Hotel Designs is inviting the industry to celebrate creativity in all its colours at Meet Up London. Taking place on May 13, at the Minotti London showroom, our spring networking event will further bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers with conversations like no other. Above all, though, we promise to inspire all avenues of creativity, even if that means colouring outside the lines from time to time.

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

Editor, Hotel Designs

BREAKING: Salone del Mobile postpones exhibition due to coronavirus outbreak

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
BREAKING: Salone del Mobile postpones exhibition due to coronavirus outbreak

BREAKING NEWS: Salone del Mobile in Milan, which is largely considered as the leading furniture fair globally, has postponed this year’s event until June 16 – 21 in response to Italy’s coronavirus outbreak…

Salone del Mobile, which is the world’s largest and arguably most visible furniture fair in the international design calendar, was due to take place from April 21 – 26, but in response to the coronavirus outbreak, the fair this year has been forced to postpone its plans.

Days after the 2020 global press conference to give the rundown of the up-coming show, the organisers of the show released a statement. “Following an extraordinary meeting today of the Board of Federlegno Arredo Eventi, and in view of the ongoing public health emergency, the decision has been taken to postpone the upcoming edition of the Salone del Mobile,” the statement said. “Confirmation of the change of date for the trade fair – strongly supported by the Mayor of Milan Giuseppe Sala – means that the manufacturers, in a major show of responsibility, will be able to present their finalised work to an international public that sees the annual appointment with the Salone del Mobile as a benchmark for creativity and design.”

“Italy now has the highest number of coronavirus cases in Europe, with more than 280 cases that have been reported.”

The update comes after The Foreign Office in Britain updated its travel advice, warning against all but essential travel to 11 quarantined towns in Italy. The country now has the highest number of coronavirus cases in Europe, with more than 280 cases that have been reported.

A Foreign Office spokesperson told the BBC: “We advise against all but essential travel to the 10 small towns in Lombardy and one in Veneto, which are currently in isolation due to an ongoing outbreak of coronavirus.

“Any British nationals already in these towns should follow the advice of the local authorities.”

Main image credit: Salone del Mobile/Andrea Mariani | Image caption: Salone Del Mobile press conference on February 12, 2020

5 minutes with: Radisson’s Hotel Group’s new Area SVP (UK, Ireland & Western Europe)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
5 minutes with: Radisson’s Hotel Group’s new Area SVP (UK, Ireland & Western Europe)

Radisson Hotel Group’s new Area Senior Vice President for UK, Ireland & Western Europe (UKIWE), Tom Flanagan Karttunen, speaks to Hotel Designs about project pipelines and where, geographically, is the next hotel hotspot…

Tom Flanagan Karttunen joined Radisson Hotel Group more than 20 years ago and has grown within the company, holding different leadership positions in numerous business areas at Radisson Blu Hotels in Copenhagen, Beijing, Manama, Hamburg and Galway. He has served as District Director Turkey, Azerbaijan & China, based in Istanbul, before being appointed as Area Vice President Eastern Europe & Russia, based in Moscow in 2009, and then Area Senior Vice President, Northern Europe. Most recently, though, he has become the group’s new Area Senior Vice President for UK, Ireland & Western Europe. 

Hamish Kilburn: What have you identified as being the main areas of change in your 20 years at Radisson?
Tom Flanagan Karttunen:
Radisson Hotel Group has made huge progress during my time with the company and is a leader in the hospitality industry, with properties situated in the heart of key global destinations. In 2019, Jin Jiang International acquired Radisson Hotel Group, becoming the second largest hotel chain in the world by number of rooms. Despite rapid growth, we have retained a customer centric approach, delivering best-in-class service to our guests. This is helped by our teams providing outstanding, personalised experiences and our hotels showcasing iconic, sophisticated and stylish design. My team and I have worked extremely hard to reposition our Northern Europe offering through an extensive renovation programme over the last few years, all with the aim of improving guest experience. With my expanded role, I now look forward to the opportunities to develop the UK, Ireland & Western Europe portfolio.

HK: Can you tell us a bit more about where, geographically, the brand is developing its portfolio within UK, Ireland and Western Europe?
TFK: There are exciting openings in the pipeline and large-scale renovations underway across the region in global hubs such as London, Madrid, Paris and Brussels. These projects include introducing the Radisson Collection and Radisson RED brands to countries and major cities where they don’t yet have a presence. For example, later this year we will open a Radisson RED in Greenwich, London, close to The O2, the world’s busiest concert and events venue.

“Beyond 2020, we already have more than 60 hotels in the pipeline for the region and no doubt more exciting developments to come.” – Tom Flanagan Karttunen, Area Senior Vice President for UK, Ireland & Western Europe

HK: Your new role requires you to grow talent, what do you look for in your employees?
TFK:
At Radisson Hotel Group, we are lucky to have the best talent in the industry. We value employees that embody our values and are willing to go the extra mile to give our guests exceptional service. Also, we are proud to have an international employee base that can understand how guest expectations differ between countries and regions, and therefore deliver the best possible service and experience.

HK: How many hotels is the group planning on opening this year? Can you divide into brands?
TFK: Across EMEA, we are on track to introduce 30 new offerings to the market within 2020, which are either new properties or significant renovations. Beyond 2020, we already have more than 60 hotels in the pipeline for the region and no doubt more exciting developments to come. In the UK, Ireland & Western Europe, our brands of focus for openings are Radisson Collection, Radisson RED and Radisson, our Scandinavian-inspired upscale brand, which is yet to arrive in the region.

Main image credit: Radisson Hotel Group

Nobu Hotels announces 8 new properties in the pipeline

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Nobu Hotels announces 8 new properties in the pipeline

2020 is an exciting year for Nobu Hotels, with 10 hotels currently open and eight more in the pipeline across the US, Europe and Middle East, including regions such as London, Chicago, Warsaw and Riyadh…

Founded by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, Nobu Hotels continues to solidify its reputation as a global hospitality brand with instinctive design, discreet service and fine ingredients at its core.

With eight properties in the pipeline, here are what are expected to be the most significant openings in the near future…

Nobu Hotel Warsaw

Image credit: Nobu Hotels

Nobu Hotel Warsaw 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, making this year the ideal time to explore modern Poland. The capital is evolving as a vibrant travel destination, and with nearly a dozen hotels set to open in Warsaw in 2020, none are as highly anticipated as Nobu Hotel Warsaw. Dynamic and distinctive, the new Nobu Hotel Warsaw is set in the heart of this historic city and will occupy a new building located at Wilcza Street.

Designed by the Polish architectural firm, Medusa Group, the property will also encompass the existing Hotel Rialto. The design will be a collaborative effort between Medusa Group and Californian-based Studio PCH, and will see a transformative architectural design for Warsaw, blending with the original Rialto building.

Nobu Hotel Palo Alto

Slated to be Silicon Valley’s most anticipated hotel renewal in some time, Nobu Hotel Palo Alto will unveil a completely brand-new hotel following its multi-million-dollar transformation.

The 73-room boutique property is elevating its façade, reception and arrival experience, wellness offerings, meeting venues and amenities, guest rooms and a signature Nobu restaurant to reflect the world-renowned standards of Nobu Hospitality. Standout highlights include high-tech guest rooms with Alexa and Toto Neorest washlet toilets, with 90-inch televisions in the eighth floor Ryokan guestrooms, and an elevated fitness studio.

Nobu Hotel London Portman Square

Image credit: Nobu Hotels

Expected to open in summer 2020, the hotel is set in the heart of the city’s West End, in Portman Square W1. Steps from Mayfair’s vibrant restaurants and independent boutiques and on the edge of Soho’s world-famous theatres, Nobu Hotel London Portman Square will shelter 259 guestrooms and suites, a Nobu Restaurant, ballroom and meeting spaces.

Conceptualised by London-based architecture and design firm, David Collins Studio, in conjunction with Make Architects, the property will embody Nobu’s signature Japanese minimalism, drawing upon traditional weaving techniques, patterns and artworks.  

Nobu Hotel Chicago

Image credit: Nobu Hotels

Ideally situated in the vibrant area of Chicago’s west loop, Nobu Hotel Chicago will harness the essence of the energetic and iconic Midwestern town.

Offering 119 guestrooms and suites, Nobu Hotel Chicago will play host to a 10,000-square foot Nobu restaurant, opening out on to Randolph’s famed Restaurant Row. An exquisite 3,000 square foot, multi-use suite will be available for private social functions and meeting space, alongside an indoor pool, state-of-the-art fitness centre, spa treatment rooms and a stylish rooftop indoor and outdoor bar and lounge.

Nobu Hotel Riyadh

Set in the heart of downtown Riyadh, Nobu Hotel Riyadh sports clean lines and a casual elegance, an urban oasis that is the very first five-star luxury boutique hotel in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

A 23-story glass panelled skyscraper, the property rises proudly above the storied skyline and is styled to reflect Nobu’s Japanese heritage, with a nod to arabesque architecture. Innovative printed, layered glass allows light to flood through the façade, complimenting the airy interiors and addressing its striking surroundings. 119 guestrooms and suites sit alongside a spa, fitness facility, executive club lounge, meeting spaces, ballrooms and the Kingdom’s first Nobu Restaurant.

Nobu Hotels are distinctive destinations, each offering a sense of place and a celebration of their own locality.  What they have in common, is that each is designed as a space in which to relax and savour an experience, in an atmosphere charged with a sense of being a part of something rather extraordinary.

Main image credit: Nobu Hotels/Make Architects

In Conversation With: Hamish Brown, Partner at 1508 London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Hamish Brown, Partner at 1508 London

Following some major global project wins, 1508 London’s entrance into hospitality was one that was led by a burning desire to reference local culture, unique design and organic materials in a new generation of luxury hotels. Editor Hamish Kilburn joins one of the firm’s Partner, Hamish Brown, in the London-based studio to learn more…

“There’s a real desire at the moment for brands not to be completely dictatorial about what their hotel should look like,” comments Hamish Brown, Partner at 1508 London, who warmly welcomes me into the studio moments before arriving himself having just walked off the red-eye flight from New York to London. “There are operational and functional standards, for sure, but in terms of design and aesthetics, there is so much more freedom now than there ever has been in hotel design.”

Could it be this movement that opened the door from residential into hospitality for the design studio? Or maybe it’s Brown’s ability to sharply define where the industry is at in this moment even while enduring transatlantic jetlag. Before then, the team at 1508 London were residential pioneers who had created a unique thread of new design standards on the high-end market around the globe; an appealing DNA for developers and operators in the hospitality arena.

It’s a refreshing experience, visiting a working studio that is – despite having already completed The Spa at The Lanesborough, awarded Best Hotel Spa 2019, and is currently working on new spaces for brands such as Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Park Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels and Jumeirah – still relevantly new on the international hospitality scene. It is perchance the gems that are on the boards, as well as the major project wins that the studio has achieved recently, therefore, that is causing the heads in the industry to turn towards the direction of 1508 London.

“I have always really hated the ‘one size fits all’ approach in design.” – Hamish Brown, 1508 London

Most recently, the studio’s pipeline of statement projects includes Rosewood Doha, which is said to become “Qatar’s latest landmark five-star hotel”, the first branded residences in Beverly Hills’ golden triangle and the redesign of Jumeirah Carlton Tower in London, which will infuse a new, lighter sense of grandeur to elevate the guests’ arrival experience.

Render of two towers in doha

Image caption: Render of the majestic towers that will shelter Rosewood Doha, slated to open in 2020 | Image credit: 1508 London/Rosewood Hotels

The structure of the 70-strong designers at 1508 London is supported by four design directors, one of which, Akram Fahmi, was published in The Brit List 2019 following his recent move from his success at another studio. “We try as much as possible here to throw things up in the air, because I have always really hated the ‘one size fits all’ approach in design,” Brown tells me. “We start by first understanding the building’s context – the architecture and the local vernacular – and, as designers, it is our job to be able to draw inspiration from that.”

Brown, who The Times named as a ‘tastemaker’ in 2018, joined the firm in its infancy in 2010. Before that, he worked for a property development firm, swerving anything design-related succeeding a full-on interior architecture degree at the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design. “To be honest, I was a bit overwhelmed after my studies,” he admits. “The modules were attempting to be sensible, but, in reality, they did not prepare me for what life is really like as a designer. It felt a bit like passing my driving test and then merging onto the motorway for the first time.”

Render of the outside of the building

Image caption: Render teasing what the front of Jumeriah Carlton Tower will look like when it majestically remerges back onto the London scene later this year. | Image credit: 1508 London/Jumeriah Hotels

After flirting with the idea of working in high-end residential and retail development, giving student life some time to deliquesce in the memory, Brown initially joined 1508 London as a Business Development Manager. Climbing the ladder rapidly, in 2011 he became Head of Projects, was promoted one year later to become Studio Director and in 2013, he joined CEO and Partner Stuart Horwood as a Partner. “Originally, we were just four people with one vision, and we deliberately didn’t have a house style.” Walking around the studio, I am presented to the brand’s perhaps most impressive creation: the carefully curated cluster of characters – AKA, the designers – who are all driven, I’m told, by the idea of producing better spaces. “We take pride in being very client-centric, and that’s not to put anyone else or any other studio in the industry down – we really do try to respond to briefs with creativity,” Brown adds.

In a recent exclusive roundtable discussion on the topic of meaningfully differentiating luxury in hotel design, Brown mentioned that the studio tries to always capture and create sense-of-place with every project it works on. “Intrinsically, we believe that the exterior and interior of a building should have a strong relationship,” explains Brown. “And that’s often the starting point on most projects. We ask about the location, the architecture and the materials. Quite often, our inquisitive nature then takes over and we will investigate more about things like the culture, the art and the food.”

Luxury pool area inside The Lanesborough

Image caption: Thoughtfully designed, The Spa at The Lanesborough shelters a luxurious hydro pool area. | Image credit: 1508 London/The Lanesborough

In regards to the company’s own sense-of-place, the studio is situated in the heart of the capital and has famous neighbours, sharing the same roof as fashion house Tom Ford’s studio and showroom. With 27 different nationalities under one roof, 1508 London is an outwardly thinking practice that is inspired by different cultures. “Britain is a design hub because of its education,” Brown says. “Our studio is a perfect example. There is a natural flow of talent in London, and that is because individuals from all over the world choose to operate here.”

“Although the first impression in a hotel usually comes from the look and feel, the last impression is of equal importance.” – Hamish Brown, 1508 London.

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

Hamish Kilburn: Where do you feel most at home in London?
Hamish Brown: In South London, with my wife and two children

HK: Where’s next on your travel bucket list?
HB: Sri-Lanka

HK: Was there a designer/or designers who inspired you when you were studying?
HB: Zaha Hadid and Antoni Gaudi, I’ve always fascinated by their uses of materials.

HK: What is the most rewarding part of your role?
HB: Working with people, and learning about cultures. I have learned more about geography as a designer than I ever did at school.

HK: If you were not a designer, what would you do?
HB: I would restore furniture, which is what I want to do when I retire.

HK: How would you describe your four design directors?
HB: They are completely open-minded and expansive beyond belief. You give them a challenge and they will each respond in the most wonderfully exciting ways.

HK: What’s the last item that shows up on your bank statement?
HB: A tactical coffee a Gatwick airport.

One of Brown’s most valuable lessons that he has learned is the balance between design and function. “Although the first impression in a hotel usually comes from the look and feel, the last impression is of equal importance,” he says. “The lasting memory comes from the service and function. To make someone fall in love with their stay, to attract them in the way it looks, you have to be able to deliver on that promise – and that is where the symbiosis happens between design and function.”

For most designers, one project will stand out in the portfolio. For Brown, that project sits majestically on Hyde Park Corner, just a few miles from the studio, and was also one of the first luxury hotels I checked in to as a journalist. “Working with the hotel’s Managing Director at the time, Geoffrey Gelardi, on the design of The Spa at The Lanesborough was incredible,” he says. “He had unbelievable knowledge on how the back-of-house operated, which allowed us to design spaces with complete precision, and enabled us to learn exactly how each area should be utilised. Without a doubt, those lessons have been the major transition between residential and hospitality.”

striking bar with marble surfaces featuring distressed mirrors

Image caption: Worlds away from the hustle and bustle of London life above, The Spa at The Lanesborough is an urban sanctuary unlike any other. | Image credit: 1508 London/The Lanesborough

The fact that we are sat around a beautiful oak table that I find out was rescued by the 1508 London team from an antique shop in Chelsea, exemplifies the studio’s respect for objects and restoration. “In many ways, you are only as good as your materials,” explains Brown. “This rug, even, came from a woman I met in the Middle East. She devoted her life to travelling to tribal areas, bringing groups of people together in the process to make these detailed rugs.”

“I remember using a recycled car windscreen in a bar, which a supplier fused together in order to create a striking bubble-like surface.” – Hamish Brown, 1508 London

The studio is so passionate to learn about new materials and products that it even dedicates time, one day a week, to invite select suppliers into the studio. “This time is an opportunity for us to learn, which is fascinating,” he says. “I remember using a recycled car windscreen in a bar, which a supplier fused together in order to create a striking bubble-like surface. When you backlit it, the result was incredible. The point is, I would never have thought about doing that on my own, and it added a new layer to the high-end project.”

Inspired by the studio’s infectious ethos – as well as its ability to sensitively lead the industry’s evolution ­– I leave Brown and his team in peace to continue reshaping the international landscape of luxury hotels. My evaluation of Hamish Brown? He is a polite and modest man who you can effortlessly spark up a conversation with. Listening intently to hear his passion for design, architecture and the carving out of a new era of hospitality, I can conclude that we do, after all, have more in common than simply a memorable name.

Main image credit: 1508 London

Image of faucet

Study reveals 1 in 6 of Brits use feet to flush the toilet in public

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Study reveals 1 in 6 of Brits use feet to flush the toilet in public

The study, conducted by QS Supplies revealed that four in 10 Brits frequently use their phone on the toilet, but 39.6 per cent never clean their phone…

It’s a fact of life: germs are everywhere, and there’s no escaping them. But does that mean we should surrender and accept contact with a never-ending germ army?

Image of faucet

Or do we fight the good fight and engage in as many germ-dodging tactics as we can? Some people fall firmly into one of these camps but most are somewhere in the middle – picking their battles based on what disgusts them the most.

QS Supplies spoke to 1,008 Brits to find out who are the germaphobes among us, what tactics we use to avoid germs, who lies about hygiene behaviours, and the ways we expose ourselves to more germs than we realise.

The study concluded that one in 10 of us take our own bedding to hotels in order to avoid germs, while 53.7 per cent admitted to pushing buttons with knuckles.

Unsurprisingly, the hotel bathroom was where the germ-phobic folks in the study feared the most, with a staggering 68.5 per cent admitting to hovering above public toilet seats over sitting and 26.3 per cent skipping flushing to avoid touching a public toilet.

Paper towels also come in handy for almost four in 10 Brits who use them to turn off taps and for over half of people who use them (or their clothing) to open the bathroom door.

“Overall, 37.2 per cent of people ‘often’ or ‘always’ take their mobile phone with them to the toilet.”

The majority of Brits have a device that they can take with them anywhere and often do: their mobile phones. Only one in five people said that they never take their mobile phone to the bathroom. Overall, 37.2 per cent of people ‘often’ or ‘always’ take their mobile phone with them to the toilet. What’s more concerning, though, is that only four in 10 of people have never cleaned their mobile phone.

The fight continues outside the bathroom. More than three-quarters of us wash food despite it being labelled ‘pre-washed’, while 27.7 per cent wash our hands after putting on shoes.

For those truly committed to the germ-dodging lifestyle more extreme measures can be taken, like taking your own bedding to a hotel (12.3 per cent) and taking personal cutlery to a restaurant (5.9 per cent).

Exactly one in 10 people classified themselves as a germaphobe. The bathroom supplies company took the germ-dodging activities and ranked them based on how much more likely self-confessed germaphobes were to do them compared to non-germaphobes. They found that taking your own bedding to a hotel is the biggest hint that a person may be a germaphobe, as almost 27 per cent of germaphobes have done this compared to 10.5 per cent of non-germaphobes.

Self-identified germaphobes were also 2.5 times more likely to have taken their own cutlery to a restaurant, 2.4 times more likely to wash their hands after putting on shoes, and 2.4 times more likely to flush the toilet using their feet. If you do all these things then you might just be a germaphobe.

Whether germaphobe or not, most of us have a germ-dodging quirk or two. Nine out of 10 people claimed not to be a germaphobe but still sometimes flush the toilet with their feet or pack their own bed sheets when staying in a hotel.

The bathroom produces many germ-dodging tactics but perhaps our guile is misplaced and we should focus on specific items in the home, like our kitchen sponges and mobile phones. Our phones may provide welcome relief from boredom, but they’re also a germ storage device with the capacity to undo diligent hand-washing hygiene.

While the results of the study shows that many Brits engage in crazy tactics to dodge germs, it’s worth noting that the very best defence against germs is simple: wash your hands regularly and properly. Also, maybe give your phone a clean once in a while.

QS Supplies 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: Pixabay

F&B Special: Restaurants raising the bar in architecture & design

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F&B Special: Restaurants raising the bar in architecture & design

Say farewell to conventional restaurants, and say hello to a delicious and enticing world of pure imagination to the latest design-led restaurants to open. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes… 

Ahead of next month, when Hotel Designs will take centre stage at Hospitality Restaurant Catering show, I have good reason to believe that some of the latest restaurants that have opened recently (in and out of the hotel industry) have changed the landscape of hospitality.

And while, some may argue that we should be cautious to focus the lens on purely the F&B scene in fear of losing purpose on other areas within the hotel, it is also an undeniable truth that the new era of international hotels are using their restaurants and bars to drive in a local crowd in order to make the public areas a vibrant hub of activity.

Therefore, here are just some of the latest restaurants and bars to open, which have been designed holistically to improve the overall guest experience.

Under, Europe’s first underwater restaurant

Located at the southernmost point of the Norwegian coastline, where the sea storms from the north and south meet, Europe’s first underwater restaurant is situated at a unique confluence. Marine species flourish here in the both briny and brackish waters to produce a natural abundance in biodiversity at the site. The Snøhetta-designed restaurant, which has just received a Michelin-star status, also functions as a research centre for marine life, providing a tribute to the wild fauna of the sea and to the rocky coastline of Norway’s southern tip.

The structure is designed to fully integrate into its marine environment over time, as the roughness of the concrete shell will function as an artificial reef, welcoming limpets and kelp to inhabit it. With the thick concrete walls lying against the craggy shoreline, the structure is built to withstand pressure and shock from the rugged sea conditions. Like a sunken periscope, the restaurant’s massive window offers a view of the seabed as it changes throughout the seasons and varying weather conditions.

“Under is a natural progression of our experimentation with boundaries, says Snøhetta Founder and Architect, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen. “As a new landmark for Southern Norway, Under proposes unexpected combinations of pronouns and prepositions, and challenges what determines a person’s physical placement in their environment. In this building, you may find yourself under water, over the seabed, between land and sea. This will offer you new perspectives and ways of seeing the world, both beyond and beneath the waterline”.

 Burbank Restaurant at Roomers Frankfurt

Burbank is a new design-led, Asian-fusion restaurant by leading chef, The Duc Ngo. It is situated within Frankfurt’s chic Design Hotels member, Roomers Frankfurt by the Gekko Group. The restaurant is the third partnership between Berlin culinary innovator, The Duc Ngo, and Gekko Group’s founders, Micky Rosen and Alex Urseanu. Burbank joins the group’s portfolio of leading destination restaurants including moriki Frankfurt, moriki Roomers Baden-Baden, and the Golden Phoenix at Provocateur Berlin Hotel. The Duc Ngo creates an inventive and unconventional menu at Burbank, fusing pan-Asian flavours with relaxed Californian and Latin American cooking. 

Beefbar restaurant, Le Coucou Hotel

Reviewed recently in Hotel Designs’ wider feature of Le Coucou Hotel, Beefbar restaurant is, like the rest of the property, sheltered within a unique design scheme. Pierre Yovanovitch, Wallpaper*’s Designer of the Year 2019, pulled out all the stops for this area, using it’s naturally striking vista as strong inspiration. The area is full of thoughtful nods to the hotel’s name, location and character of its owners. A wall of cuckoo clocks above the tables, for example, reflects the traditional decor of the region, and emoji-themed plates create humour in all the right places.

Hey Yo – Hong Kong

Think fresh, vibrant (and wear sunglasses) when stepping inside Hey Yo, which was a winner at the Bar and Restaurant Awards 2019. Inspired by the all the pastel colours of macaroons, the design team at Design Action & Associates took and adopted these colours in different areas of the shop, just like a pastry chef forming different shapes with flour and dough. The designer formed different shapes of design and furniture. Each arch window is painted with grey texture paint. The arch window on the front of the door, includes a bright neon sign which permeates the atmosphere. Beside the continuous arch windows, different colours of display shelves and display items are composed like a dream-like oil painting. Round countertops resemble Macaroons is in their unique hues, and chairs resemble coloured dough in contrast to shaped countertops.’

Wild Honey St James

black and white floors above striking chandeliers

Image credit: Sofitel London St James

Situated metres from The Mall in London, Sofitel London St James’ Wild Honey is a collaboration with renowned chef Anthony Demetre and a reimagination of his iconic restaurant concept. Located on the former site of the beloved bistro The Balcon, the dining room decor has been redesigned and refurbished by Jim Hamilton Design to echo its new direction.

Harlan & Holden Glasshouse Café

With biophilic design wrapping its branches around almost every sector, is it any wonder why design firm GamFratesi used nature as its primary inspiration in the creation of Harlan & Holden Glasshouse? We think not. The rehabilitative restaurant is inspired by a greenhouse. Breaking boundaries between interiors and exterior, the studio swapped windows for walls and used the surrounding landscape to create the space.

Main image credit: Under/Ivar Kvaal

CASE STUDY: Designing meaningful carpets for The Lowry Hotel, Manchester

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Designing meaningful carpets for The Lowry Hotel, Manchester

Hotel Designs’ Recommended Supplier Brintons was called upon to produce timeless carpets for the F&B areas and the junior suites inside The Lowry Manchester…

Dominating the skyline of Salford Queys, The Lowry completed an ambitious seven-figure refurbishment recently, which was led by The Brit List award-winning design firm Goddard Littlefair.

Supplying the carpets for the new Lounge Bar and Junior Suites within the five-star hotel. “Taking inspiration from the dappled reflections in the waters on the Irwell, the textured carpet design is reminiscent of the movement of water and creates an aqueous look and feel,” explained Jane Bradley-Bain, senior creative designer at Brintons. “The colours we selected creates a visual link with the outdoors, the muted contemporary palette that echoes the subtle hues of the rich teal and greys of the river feel very refreshing, clean and light.”

Brown sofa on light blue rug

Image credit: Brintons/The Lowry Hotel Manchester

The design firm’s creative vision for the interiors was inspired by Manchester’s industrial forms, geometry and heritage, including the shape of Trinity Bridge, located directly outside the hotel. Accompanied by Lowry’s own colour palette, as the artist famously kept to a base palette of only five colours, mixing them to achieve tonal shades that nonetheless stayed within a distinctive overall range.

The five-star renovation included an entire redesign of the hotel’s bar and restaurant. Retaining the incredible, unique riverside views and terrace, the new River Lounge Bar features soft hues, a new layout, bespoke furnishings and axminster carpets by Brintons. Long known as a luxurious hide-a-way for Mancunians in the know and home to impromptu performances from some of the hotel’s high-profile guests including Lady Gaga and Take That, the new venue encapsulates The Lowry Hotel’s fun-loving spirit at the confluence of city life.

As with the majority of hospitality refurbishment projects, the project team was required to work to tight deadlines, with no option of over-run, to deliver a complete high quality refurbishment on time with minimal disruption to the hotel’s business. For this reason, Goddard Littlefair chose to collaborate with leading carpet supplier Brintons whose QuickWeave collection of high quality Axminster woven carpets can be delivered in only six weeks.. Designs were recoloured using the newest colour pallet in the QuickWeave series – Oydessey, combining subtle ambient tones of graphite and gold with a touch of decadent luxe colours jade, amethyst and slate.

A contemporary design was selected for the River Lounge. The pattern features a textured design, which creates a sense of movement and fluidity, bringing a modern element that harmonises with the tranquil surroundings of the building.

Image credit: Brintons/The Lowry Hotel

As well as the new-look bar and restaurant, other developments include the refurbishment of the hotel’s luxury Junior Suites, which features Brintons QuickWeave axminster rugs. Taking inspiration from the strong lines of the Santiago Calatrava’s Trinity Bridge the geometric design features a steel grey and neutral colour palette, which complements the sophisticated interiors.

Named after on of the city’s more famous artists L. S. Lowry, the iconic property has 165 bedrooms and six suites, as well as a spa, restaurant and bar, and a variety of meeting and event spaces.

Main image credit: Brintons/The Lowry Hotel

Still to come at the Surface Design Show 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Still to come at the Surface Design Show 2020

As the final day of Surface Design Show approaches in London, there is so much still to look forward to, including an engaging panel discussion hosted by editor Hamish Kilburn

Celebrating 15 years, Surface Design Show (#SDS20) has once again stolen the limelight early in the season, with an impressive 170 exhibitors showcasing their latest products as well as a packed programme of 30 presentations from 50 expert speakers.

Among them is editor Hamish Kilburn who is preparing to take the main stage with Jeremy Grove (head of design and director, Sibley Grove), Richard Holland (director, Holland Harvey Architects) and Fraser Lockley (architectural consultancy manager, Parkside Architectural Tiles) to deliver the panel discussion entitled: Biophilic Materials in Surface Design at 12.30pm.

The show is a must-visit for architects, designers and specifiers looking for material inspiration from the UK and around the world. The 2019 show hosted 5,071 unique visitors, 80 per cent of whom were from the A&D sector, who came to explore the inspiring array of surfaces on display, be entertained and learn from the presentations on offer and network with like-minded industry professionals.

With sustainability at the top of the architecture and design agenda, the chosen theme for this year’s show is ‘Close to Home’. The theme has allowed the industry to look beyond aesthetics and into manufacturers’ impact on the environment, from the processes used in mining or manufacture, through to the carbon footprint sustained during sales and distribution. Designing with a conscience will also be examined, from reusing waste materials to looking at what happens at the end of a product’s life cycle. This topic is not only highlighted throughout the extensive talks programme but is also a focus within Surface Spotlight Live.

Hotel Designs’ ‘editor’s round-up’ of the Surface Design Show 2020 will be published shortly.

Main image credit: Surface Design Show

In conversation with: Pierre Yovanovitch, interior design’s answer to haute couture

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In conversation with: Pierre Yovanovitch, interior design’s answer to haute couture

With his latest project Hotel Le Coucou in the French Alps as an apt backdrop, Wallpaper*’s Designer of the Year Pierre Yovanovitch joins editor Hamish Kilburn to discuss milestones, new directions and his signature couture approach to interior design…

In my official review of Hotel Le Coucou, I mention that it is the hotel’s idiosyncratic take on slope-side luxury that has made it onto the radar of winter luxury travellers. Far removed from the conventional ski-in/ski-out luxury hotel, Hotel Le Coucou, more than 1,400 metres above sea level, takes unapologetic risks in its design to boldly shelter contrasting tones, bespoke lighting and animal-shaped furniture.

“They told me about the project, and mentioned that I was the only designer they were interested in working with for it.” – Pierre Yovanovitch.

The creative genius behind the project who in just three years sensitively created the 55-key new-build hotel, from a piste ski route into the jewel it stands as today, is Pierre Yovanovitch. The fashion designer who turned architect/designer was recently crowned Wallpaper*’s Designer of the Year 2019. He joins me for breakfast during my review of the hotel in the property’s Bianca Neve restaurant. Together, we discuss overcoming project obstacles, working to tight deadlines as well as the key moments that have shaped his abstract career.

Making the headlines recently for becoming Wallpaper*’s Designer of the Year 2019, Yovanovitch’s unique style is in hot demand. “For me, being celebrated in that way was completely unexpected,” he tells me. “For the business, though, it has been a real turning point. We have just opened an office in New York, which was completely necessary because of the increase in projects we are working on in North America. However, regardless of where we open offices, we will always be proud to be a French design studio in our approach to all projects.”

Room with interesting pieces of shaped furniture and art with man lying dead on beach

Image caption/credit: Chateau de Fabrègues, Provence/Jérome Galland

Hamish Kilburn: Let’s talk about Hotel Le Coucou. Why was was it your most challenging hotel project to date?

Pierre Yovanovitch: First of all, where we are sat right now was a piste slope before. Meribel has many constraints when it comes to architecture. Some ski resorts in France made a lot of mistakes in the ‘70s and ’80s when they built new properties without respecting the mountain-chalet style.

“Hotel Le Coucou is a complex design; its structure cascades down more than 10 levels and has very narrow areas.” – Pierre Yovanovitch.

Here, buildings have to be made from local materials, they have to match the colour of other buildings in the area and even have a specific shape. While in some ski resorts, designers and architects are able to create architectural masterpieces, in Meribel that simply is not possible. Hotel Le Coucou is a complex design; its structure cascades down more than 10 levels and has very narrow areas. Therefore, it was not an easy project to work on.

White fluffy chair and bold blue sofa

Image credit: Hotel Le Coucou

HK: Can you explain how Maisons Pariente reached out to you with this project?

The Pariente family approached me three years ago, which only feels like yesterday to be honest. They told me about the project, and mentioned that I was the only designer they were interested in working with for it. Yes, there was a burden, but I was also very honoured, and the pressure was good. 

HK: What inspired you when you first started drawing the design for Hotel Le Coucou?

PY: The views! In most hotels, you have rooms with good views and bad views. Here, though, every room opens up to capture an amazing panoramic vista of the area. It was important to me that each room utilized this fabulous site. Sometimes, the view even becomes more important than the décor.

HK: How did the hotel’s concept come to life?

PY: There were so many local constraints, so I worked with a very local architect on the building’s construction. Once we had the shell of the building, I started to draw everything inside, and some changes were made in order to open up the space. The ceiling in the lobby, for example, was too low and we had to lose a bedroom in order to create that dome-like structure you see when you arrive.

We designed everything and we had to work as quickly as possible. We drew and designed more than 140 pieces of furniture and lighting for this project. I wanted to create something special, and when we decided to purchase something over making it, it was usually because it was vintage. Creating so many pieces was a good exercise for me, because I want some of my items of furniture and lighting to become more accessible.

HK: What is it about the Scandi/American style of furniture that you love?

PY: Scandinavian furniture is instantly recognisable, but it is also timeless and I like the fact that you cannot link it to a period in time or a trend. It becomes more chic. It is also simple, made from nice wood and has a good shape. My experiment was to blend this with a Californian style, which was something new to me and other French designers.

Bear chair next to lamp and on snow-inspired carpet

Image credit: Hotel Le Cou cou/Jérôme Galland

HK: What was it like to work with Christian Louboutin in 2015, and how did that change your career?  

PY: Chistian Louboutin called me one day, out of the blue, and asked me to design the global concept of his first boutique dedicated to beauty. It was a lot of fun, and I love working on projects that are very different because they challenge me in the best way.

Image of Christain Louboutin and Pierre Yovanovitch in white space

Image credit: Louboutin Beauty Boutique Paris, 2015

HK: What other highlights in your career can you now identify as milestones?

PY: As you can see, I have a very strong interest in furniture, and I have always taken a lot of inspiration from the short yet impactful ‘Swedish Grace’ movement from the early 20th century. In 2005, my profile as a designer grew quickly after I decided to create an exhibition that was inspired by this movement.

Another moment happened two years ago when I was asked to put on an exhibition at Villa Noailles Hyères. I invented a narrative about a woman. In each room, different pieces of art and furniture as well as text told the story of this character. The area sparked a lot of interest from press and the design community. People understood my love and passion for art, theatre and literature. You see, design is larger than interiors. It sits somewhere between art and craftsmanship. I don’t like to be enclosed and I work better when I have freedom on where I source my inspiration from.

HK: Who inspired you to take risks in design?

PY: I worked with fashion designer Pierre Cardin. He warned me that if I didn’t take risks then I would stay small. He has a very strong style and, in a way, he is an architect. Working with Cardin was a very good experience for me, and his words still inspire me today.

QUICK-FIRE ROUND:

HK: What trend do you hope never returns?
PY: Trends are not interesting. I hate the idea of following trends.

 HK: Where is next on your travel bucket list?
PY: Glasgow. I am taking my whole team there next week to learn the work of architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. I really need to learn new things when I travel.

HK: Describe your team in three words?
PY: Family, friends and positivity

HK: If you could start from scratch with Hotel Le Coucou, would you change anything?
PY: I would change everything! I have new ideas all the time, but this project is a moment in time that I am proud of.

HK: What have your learned from this project?
PY: That constraints are fantastic because budget and time limits allow you to be more creative.

While working on the final stages to complete Hotel Le Coucou, Yovanovitch’s time was split among other projects. In London, he was given just two months to design new interiors for high-end restaurant Hélène Darroze at The Connaught. With the history and heritage of the building on his shoulders, the designer injected style into the space with a sensitively blend of salmon-toned surfaces, bespoke curved furniture and a distinct refined yet comfortable style.

“For me, there are two reasons why I liked that project, Yovanovitch explains. “The first is the chef, Hélène Darroze, who is such a lovely lady. And second was the building itself. Darroze asked me to design something feminine and she ended up loving my idea to narrate through design the tension between masculine and feminine. This project was another example of me drawing everything from scratch – from the lighting to the furniture and even the ceiling. It became a haute Couture project unique for her.”

As our breakfast comes to an end, I am left with little more than a teaser that unveils the designer/architects next movements will be as bold as his latest project. “I am currently working on a few projects, which means that I am travelling a lot” he concludes. “Expect something loud and over the top.”

It’s difficult not to be touched by Yovanovitch’s approach to new challenges. His confident approach to say yes to projects that will stretch his limits as a designer has allowed his to take the industry to a new level – one that is playful, couture-driven and always meaningful.

It’s clear that overhauling iconic spaces into something more is, each time, a personal journey itself that allows Yovanovitch to grow as a creative and artist. Although the challenges that Yovanovitch faces often come with insomnia and the inability to simply switch off, it is his passion and devotion to innovation in the industry that has made him one of the greatest designer/architects of our time.

Main image credit: Pierre Yovanovitch Studio/Vincent Desailly

Render of luxurious public area

Hilton’s ‘Collection’ brands add more than 100 hotels to global pipeline

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hilton’s ‘Collection’ brands add more than 100 hotels to global pipeline

Curio Collection and Tapestry Collection by Hilton unveil to increase global pipeline by 120 hotels…

From picturesque island getaways to charming small towns, Hilton’s full service Collection brands – Curio Collection by Hilton and Tapestry Collection by Hilton – opened 40 unique hotels last year in sought-after destinations.

Render of luxurious public area

In 2020, the brands’ development goals feature notable milestones, including Curio Collection’s 100th hotel opening and Tapestry Collection’s debut in Europe.

“Today, Curio Collection and Tapestry Collection offer travellers distinctive experiences at more than 100 hotels worldwide – from enjoying locally sourced seafood from the surrounding ocean waters as part of the Dock to Dish program at Baker’s Cay Resort Key Largo, to admiring the original chocolate factory design at The Wilbur Lititz near historic Hershey, Pennsylvania,” said Jenna Hackett, global head, Hilton’s Collection brands. “Hilton’s Collection brands promise our guests an enriching travel experience. Through the introduction of unique hotels to our growing global portfolio, we can maintain that promise on an even greater scale with anticipated openings in destinations like Lisbon, Paris and Madrid.”

In the year ahead, Curio Collection and Tapestry Collection are expected to welcome the following hotels:

Curio Collection openings

  • The Emerald House Lisbon, Curio Collection by Hilton (Q3 2020): The Emerald House Lisbon is undergoing a multi-million-dollar renovation and will be situated in the heart of Lisbon, steps away from many of Lisbon’s top attractions and the historical districts of Chiado and Baixa, known for its vibrant restaurant scene, boutique shops and local culture. The hotel will boast 67 guest rooms, a fitness center, restaurant and bar for guests and local residents to enjoy.
  • Navy Pier Chicago, Curio Collection by Hilton (Q3 2020): As Curio Collection’s second property in Chicago and the first hotel on Navy Pier, Navy Pier Chicago’s 222 guest rooms will feature floor to ceiling windows that showcase breathtaking views of the city’s famed skyline, Lake Michigan and the Pier. Guests will also enjoy a high-energy first floor restaurant, a state-of-the-art fitness center and an unparalleled 30,000-square-foot rooftop restaurant, bar and event space.
  • The Fellows House Cambridge, Curio Collection by Hilton (Q3 2020): The Fellows House Cambridge embraces Cambridge’s heritage as home to one of the U.K.’s most prestigious universities. Everything from the hotel’s interiors to its name pays tasteful tribute to the great minds who have graced the city through the centuries. Filled with poetry, scientific drawings and famous quotations, the hotel will offer guests a place to truly stay, eat and drink in the style and culture of the city.

Tapestry Collection openings

  • Atocha Hotel Madrid, Tapestry Collection by Hilton (Q1 2020): The first Tapestry Collection hotel to open in Spain, Atocha Hotel Madrid will introduce the Tapestry Collection experience to Madrid locals and visitors alike. The 46-room hotel on Calle Atocha is just metres from Madrid Atocha railway station, the busiest in Spain, and is within walking distance of popular tourist attractions, including the Golden Triangle of Art museums, Puerto del Sol which contains the famous city square clock and Plaza Mayor, boasting grand Spanish architecture.
  • Le Belgrand Hotel Paris Champs Elysees, Tapestry Collection by Hilton (Q1 2020): As the first Tapestry Collection hotel in France, Le Belgrand Hotel Paris Champs Elysees is undergoing a significant renovation designed to create a unique ambience and reflect the building’s heritage. Guests will enjoy a lobby/bar area and thoughtful touches throughout the property, including original artwork exclusively curated for the hotel and placed in all rooms and public areas showcasing well-known French artists.
  • Bermudiana Beach Resort, Tapestry Collection by Hilton (Q4 2020): Situated on a cliff overlooking the pristine pink-sand beach and turquoise waters, Bermudiana Beach Resort will welcome guests to 90 fully furnished hotel residences. As the first Hilton property in Bermuda, the resort will offer an array of vibrant amenities including a family-friendly swimming pool and infinity pool, an indulging spa, an immaculate and secluded beach in addition to a terrace with its signature restaurant, bar and ocean views.

Together, Curio Collection and Tapestry Collection have more than 120 properties in their pipelines. From urban destinations like Washington, D.C. to cultural hot spots like Taipei, both brands will continue to evolve their offerings to feature each hotel’s unique identity and story, weaving in local culture and providing each guest a rich experience that is authentic to its destination.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

Yello and blue contemporary arm chairs in light chalet-style room

Checking in to review Hotel Le Coucou, Meribel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Checking in to review Hotel Le Coucou, Meribel

15 years after first discovering the magic of Meribel in the French Alps, editor Hamish Kilburn is back – this time to review the destination’s latest ski-in/ski-out luxury hotel

In-between snow-blanketed fir trees, more than 1,400 metres above sea level in the French Alps, Hotel Le Coucou is Meribel’s latest luxury ski-in/ski-out hotel.

Yello and blue contemporary arm chairs in light chalet-style room

Award-winning French designer/architect Pierre Yovanovitch, who was last year crowned Wallpaper*’s Designer of the Year, was presented with a blank-canvas brief with his latest hotel project. Within just three years, he managed to create a sensitive architectural shell and fill it with his signature couture approach to interior design, including more than 140 bespoke furniture and lighting pieces – think abstract, animal-like armchairs and ice-inspired chandeliers. “There was so much pressure, because three years is not long for a project on this scale,” says Yovanovitch, “but it was a good challenge and the time restraint spurred me on to create something unique for the area.”

“We were familiar of Pierre’s work and knew instantly that he was perfect for what we had in mind for this hotel.”  – Kimberley Cohen, Artistic Director of Maisons Pariente.

Image from balcony looking out onto the mountains

Image credit: Hotel Le Coucou

With a list of strict local architectural planning constraints to abide by, in regards to using only local materials and regionally-integrated styles, the 55-key boutique hotel quickly became one the of designer’s most ambitious projects to date. “Previously, hotels that opened in ski resorts made a lot of mistakes, especially new-build properties that opened in the ‘70s,” Yovanovitch adds. “It was impossible to create a striking architectural structure because of the town’s uncompromising architecture regulations.”

“We had to lose a bedroom in the design stages in order to open up space for the oval-shaped lobby.” – Pierre Yovanovitch.

Despite the hotel seamlessly blending in to the natural winter wonderland location from the exterior (literally positioned on what was previously a piste ski route), inside, Yovanovitch paints a contrasting picture. Through the blonde, wooden-framed automatic doors, an understated check-in desk sits under a large painted oval ceiling. “Originally, the ceiling in the lobby was too low,” the designer explains. “As a result, we had to lose a bedroom in the design stages in order to open up space for the oval-shaped lobby.” The now intricately painted ceiling that forms a backdrop for a chandelier that looks like a melting ice cube is also guests’ first introduction to a loose motif, which continues throughout the hotel: the theme of owls – think of it as the designer’s contemporary flair, or a well-placed obsession.

intricate dome in the ceiling shelters seating underneith

Image caption/credit: The quirky, understated hotel lobby/Hotel Le Coucou

For the owners of the hotel, Maisons Pariente, there was only ever one designer for the job. “We were familiar of Pierre’s work and knew instantly that he was perfect for what we had in mind for this hotel,” said Kimberley Cohen, Artistic Director of Maisons Pariente. Thanks to the designer’s idiosyncratic take on slope-side luxury, Hotel Le Coucou has made it onto the radar of winter luxury travellers.

As well as the property remaining sensitive to its location in order to not lose the charm and personality of the local architecture, the public areas are also a nod to Yovanovitch’s stamp in the world of interior design. Several iconic Bear Chairs from his recent collaboration with R&Company, for example, are meaningfully scattered around the public areas, which adds the designer’s signature playful and contemporary style inside the shell of what on the outside looks to be a traditional alpine hotel.

“I was inspired to ensure that every room had an amazing view.” – Pierre Yovanovitch.

Capturing what you could strongly argue, from a hotels perspective at least, to be the most striking panoramic vistas in all of the French Alps, each of the boutique jewel’s guestrooms and suites have been designed to frame postcard-perfect views of undulating mountains. “I was inspired to ensure that every room had an amazing view, that was the most important thing when I came to design these areas,” explains Yovanovitch. “Sometimes, the view itself is more important than the décor.”

The 39 suites and 16 rooms are adorned with rich, warm colours and more than 160 contemporary art pieces as well as modern technology. The snow-inspired carpets inject sense-of-place and add a new layer of character into the lodge-like spaces. Although each guestroom and suite share the same motif, each shelter individual elements and somehow still maintain a traditional alpine style.

Bear chair next to lamp and on snow-inspired carpet

Image credit: Hotel Le Coucou/Jérôme Galland

The plush en-suite bathrooms, which are layered in marble, feature quality supplier labels and are complete with Italian faucets from Stella, Duravit W/Cs with Geberit operation panels and Beurer vanity mirrors as well as discreet wash-room style shower that is simple to operate. Character is injected into these spaces with imperfect oval-shaped mirrors and Yovanovitch’s bulb lighting.

Hidden downstairs, away from the public eye, are the hotel’s two four-bedroom chalets; worlds of their own. Both expansive two-floor chalets showcase Yovanovitch’s mastery of volume and architectural angles and continue to combine five-star luxury amenities with the detailed craftsmanship found in a traditional alpine home. Each are fully equipped with en-suite bedrooms, spacious living area and a games area as well as a private ski room, pool and spa.

For the main hotel guests, the hotel’s indoor and outdoor pool also feature private moments, such as relaxation areas that are nestled poolside underneath sculpted arches. The pool areas, divided by a bay window, create a stunning, trompe-l’oeil effect with views of the postcard-perfect vista outdoors. Down the corridor, six massage treatment rooms with specialist treatments from Tata Harper and a sauna area offer a deeply relaxing experience, and above this area is a state-of-the-art fitness studio and gym.

While there are three F&B areas in the hotel, the Beefbar restaurant and the adjacent bar create equal statement, as they frame the most spectacular views through unobtrusive floor-to-ceiling windows and are deliberately placed on the ground floor to create a dramatic first impression.

The Beefbar restaurant is full of thoughtful nods to the hotel’s name, location and character of its owners. A wall of cuckoo clocks above the tables, for example, reflects the traditional decor of the region, and emoji-themed plates create humour in all the right places. In the bar, low-level furniture that, when not sat on, abstrusely depicts an owl sitting on a textured geometric carpet. Together with a pastel pink, blue and mustard palate in the walls and furniture makes this area an exciting instagrammable space that feels warm, inviting and far from stuffy. Meanwhile, the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant, Bianca Neve, is located on a lower floor and is ideal for an evening meal, once the sun has disappeared over the horizon and guests’ attention can focus inwards. Yovanovitch’s artistic mark continues with a strong choice of bold colors, rich materials and an intricate ceiling fresco for good measure.

Light and bright restaurant

Image caption/credit: Bianca Neve restaurant/Hotel Le Coucou

Hotel Le Coucou is the third opening for Maisons Pariente in 2019, following closely behind the opening of Hotel Lou Pinet, Saint Tropez in June 2019 and the reopening of the refurbished Hotel Crillon le Brave in Provence on May 1, 2019. The Pariente family have their sights set on Paris, in le Marais, for a fourth addition to the collection in 2021.

Exterior shot of the hotel

Image credit: Hotel Le Coucou

A destination as precious as Meribel, in my humble opinion, requires a meaningful design eye when it comes to redevelopment. Yovanovitch has proven that rigid architectural boundaries do not automatically limit the level of creativity. Instead, it is clear that his studio’s eccentric style was everything and more the destination was crying out for.

Image of man standing with back to camera overlooking snow-capped mountains

Image caption/Credit: Editor Hamish Kilburn saying goodbye to Meribel once more from his slope-side luxury suite at Hotel Le Coucou/hotel_design_editor

If anyone was in doubt of Yovanovitch’s credentials of being one of the great modern designers of our era, then they have only to check in to a place truly like no other, Hotel Le Coucou is open for business.

Suppliers
Bathroom: Duravit, Geberit, Stella | Furniture: Pierre Yovanovitch Studio, R&Company, Ethimo| Lighting: Pierre Yovanovitch| In-room technology: Samsung

Main image credit: Hotel Le Coucou

Dorchester Collection unveils first foray into branded residences

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Dorchester Collection unveils first foray into branded residences

Mayfair-based developer Clivedale London has unveiled Dorchester Collection’s first branded residences in London…

With interiors by acclaimed Parisian design duo Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku from Jouin Manku and fully serviced by neighbouring hotel, 45 Park Lane, Mayfair Park Residences are Dorchester Collection’s first foray into branded residences and set a new benchmark for the London super-prime market.

Located in south-west Mayfair, adjacent to Hyde Park and opposite the world-famous hotel, The Dorchester, ‘Townhouse One’ – a 3,334 sq. ft, three-bedroom duplex townhouse – offers the first glimpse inside this collection of 24 residences in the form of apartments, townhouses and a penthouse all fully serviced by Dorchester Collection. The eight-storey residential development seamlessly integrates the building’s Grade II listed façades on two traditional Mayfair Streets. Lee Polisano of PLP Architecture designed the residences, taking a scholarly approach to the refurbishment of historic Georgian façades whilst creating a contemporary counterpart, blending effortlessly into Mayfair’s eclectic patchwork of architectural styles.

Clean and spacious bedroom

Image credit: Clivedale London/Dorchester Collection

Accessed through its own private Georgian portico on Stanhope Gate, ‘Townhouse One’ features capacious Georgian proportions that exude a refined luxury. Marking the first time the innovative Parisian designers Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku have created interiors for a residential development project, the practice has created a luxurious, yet liveable space inspired by the fusion of classic and contemporary elements. The resulting design is one that exudes a strong sense of place – where historical references of English heritage and the period grandeur of the building’s Georgian origins are blended with exquisitely considered, custom interior architecture to create sumptuous interior spaces that are organic, elegant and evocative.

“We are thrilled to be part of the creation of Mayfair Park Residences and to work with Dorchester Collection again,” said Sanjit Manku, Founding Partner at Jouin Manku. “We’ve endeavoured to create a high-end interior with a sense of ease, relaxation, warmth and comfort with a little bit of sizzle and dazzle; a little bit of sparkle. A focal point of the new home is the blending of both natural and warm light throughout with coffered backlit ceilings illuminating the space and a six-metre-high bespoke light installation which extends down to the lower ground floor, melding the two levels together.”

Beyond the ornate décor of ‘Townhouse One’ lies a hidden gem; a 1,280 sq. ft vaulted garden filled with decadent alcoves, that span the length of the residence and is accessible from the kitchen and the bedrooms.

Tarun Tyagi, CEO at Clivedale London, commented: “Mayfair Park Residences marks a significant moment for Clivedale, and we are thrilled to be the first residential developer globally to partner with Dorchester Collection to create one of London’s most sought-after addresses. Our residents will become the first people in the world to enjoy the renowned services of a Dorchester Collection hotel in the comfort of their own home and we are excited to set a new benchmark for private residential developments. We are overjoyed how ‘Townhouse One’ reflects the unprecedented standard that will be seen throughout the wider scheme and hallmark quality that is synonymous with both Clivedale London and Dorchester Collection.”

Dorchester Collection’s 45 Park Lane will provide exclusive access to a tailor-made array of services including housekeeping service, 24/7 concierge services, 24-hour in-residence dining, a Rolls-Royce town car and chauffeur service, sommelier expertise as well as secure valet underground car parking, all helping to facilitate every and any aspiration of a resident. Indulgent in both service and amenities, Mayfair Park Residences 10,000 sq. ft Health Club will comprise a state-of-the-art gym, 20m pool, sauna and steam rooms, hydrotherapy pool, two private treatment rooms and residents lounge, all fully managed by the team at Dorchester Collection.

“Our first venture into private residences is a pivotal moment in the history of our company,” added Christopher Cowdray, Chief Executive Officer of Dorchester Collection.” We have partnered with Clivedale as they are known for their pursuit of outstanding design excellence in prime locations. Mayfair Park Residences will offer its residents the best combination of a spectacular home close to Hyde Park with the highly personalised services offered by 45 Park Lane.”

Main image credit: Clivedale London/Dorchester Collection

Sensitively renovating a luxury jewel in Malta

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sensitively renovating a luxury jewel in Malta

Design firm RPW Design has completed the extensive renovation inside Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa, inspired by Maltese craft and culture…

Opening its doors this month after an extensive renovation led by RPW Design is Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa.

The refreshed interiors of the hotel’s public spaces, restaurants, bars and 301 guestrooms blend modernised elements of traditional Maltese craft with the heritage of the hotel’s local area of Balluta Bay. 

In order to create a local, authentic and sophisticated aesthetic, the design firm carefully studied the culture and architecture of Malta and the history of Balluta Bay to take inspiration from natural materials and shapes.

“The hotel is situated in amazing location which has inspired our design throughout.” – Alessandro Tessari, Interior Architect at RPW Design.

The design highlights elements of traditional Maltese craft in a modern way. Within the curtains and carpets throughout the corridors and bedrooms, there are subtle references to lace; artworks created from locally made cement tiles decorate the interiors and hand-blown glass is incorporated into the light fittings.

With five diverse restaurants and three bars, functionality was at the forefront of the design process. The designers carefully considered the different spaces and how these will be used to create spaces that are adaptable to the modern traveller who may have a business meeting in the morning, but wants to enjoy a relaxed drink in the evening. The result is an elegant aesthetic that is both intuitive for guests and functional for operations, underpinning the exceptional service that the Malta Marriott team deliver. 

“We have been delighted to work on this exciting design project,” said Alessandro Tessari, Interior Architect at RPW Design. “The hotel is situated in amazing location which has inspired our design throughout. It has been a pleasure to showcase the history and heritage of Malta through our eyes for all the guests to enjoy. We are excited to see how the hotel develops as it embarks in a new era as a Marriott hotel.”

Guests enter the hotel and step inside The Great Room and the original Villa Garden, where the hotel is now situated, was the main source of inspiration for this space. Organic features and natural elements are used throughout the property. Furnishings with elegant textures mixed with traditional materials such as cane, wood and raffia are featured. Traditional Maltese with decorative glasswork including a large-scale lighting feature in the reception adds colour and vibrancy to the space. The use of soft curves subtly encourages guests to move through the expansive space. 

“Inspired by the heritage of Balluta Bay, we have woven the traditional crafts of Malta throughout the design.” – RPW Design partner, Elizabeth Lane.

The Atrio features luscious wooden elements, warm tones and rich textures throughout, creating calm and casual environment by day, and a relaxed, intimate setting in the evening. The space showcases expert joinery through the stunning bespoke wine display and crafted wooden bar. The use of varied furniture again allows guests to clearly distinguish between the spaces. 

“It has been a privilege and really exciting working with the team on the renovation and rebranding of the hotel,” added RPW Design partner, Elizabeth Lane. “Inspired by the heritage of Balluta Bay, we have woven the traditional crafts of Malta throughout the design in a contemporary way thereby giving the hotel a real sense of place while looking to the future. It will be an ideal destination for business or leisure or a combination of both.”

As for the guestrooms, the design team exchanged the bright yellow walls and terracotta furnishings for a palette of soft greys and browns that reflect the local architecture. The studio also introduced accents of vibrant colours inspired by the colourful balconies and doors found on traditional Maltese buildings and soft blues that reflect the shades of the sea. 

Light and bright image of room with wooden floor and white bed.

Image credit: Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa

Within the new executive suites, a timber slatted wall partition adds a new layer that is inspired by traditional balcony shutters. The partition creates an interesting effect which ensures natural light and air can travel across the lounge and bedroom areas whilst maintaining privacy for the guests. 

Located on the seafront, separate from the main hotel, The Villa has been designed in continuity with the hotel but the overall design is more traditional, as this is one of the few villas left in Balluta Bay.  Since the hotel was built in the original villa gardens, RPW decided to incorporate flora as the main feature to showcase the outlet’s fine dining experience.

The Marketplace, situated on the second floor, is Malta Marriott’s main restaurant. The designers have created a large open space that is flooded with light. The studio has continued to use slatted timber detailing that can be seen throughout the hotel, as well as soft upholstery, decorative tiles, marble detailing and colourful accessories to create a harmonious atmosphere. The design allows the space to be seamlessly adapted from a daily breakfast venue into a lavish evening restaurant, perfect for special occasions throughout the year.

The M Club Lounge offers spectacular views and the ideal space to work or relax. A versatile range of furniture meets the ever-changing needs of travellers. Soft lounge chairs and sofas create an intimate setting for leisure guests, whilst a large communal table with integrated work space is the perfect spot for business travellers to work. 

Image of rooftop overlooking Malta

Image credit: Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa

Overall, the hotel’s latest renovation has not only given life into the hotel, but has also enriched the surrounding area with RPW Design’s sensitively accurate approach. The design firm, which first showcased its ability to transform the Marriott brand back in 2016 with the completion of London Marriott Hotel County Hall’s complete renovation, has done it again with the completion of Malta’s Marriott to prove that this hotel brand is not reserved to the colour scheme of maroon reds and dark greens.

Main image credit: Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa

Versa’s new Invinci surface collection harnesses art and tech

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Versa’s new Invinci surface collection harnesses art and tech

Versa’s new surface collection, Invinci, harnesses art and technology to create one-of-a-kind textures, intriguing embossings and multi-faceted prints…

From subtle textile effects to dramatic iridescent mylars, the expansive Invinci collection from Versa Designed Surfaces delivers the right aesthetics to achieve your design vision.

Choose from a range of textile designs that project the luxury of silk, the warmth of cotton and the refinement of linen. Peruse reflective embossings that change appearance in different light and when viewed from different perspectives. Browse inspired, multi-colored patterns that intermingle flat and metallic inks to produce three-dimensional looks. Invinci blends fresh, sometimes unexpected, design elements with classic motifs to fashion wallcoverings that will stand the test of time.

image of marble-like textured wallcovering behind sofa

Image credit: Versa Designed Surfaces

Invinci wallcoverings meet or exceed stringent U.S. and international standards for quality, performance and sustainability. Versa Designed Surfaces, one of the largest commercial wallcovering manufacturers in the world, designs and produces the collection in state-of-the-art U.S. facilities. The company follows an aggressive sustainability plan that includes sourcing high quality and recycled raw materials, recycling inks and materials, and reducing usage of water and energy that was outlined in a recent interview with Paul Gibson, the Business Development Manager EMEA at Versa.

Invinci wallcoverings carry Environmental Product Declarations that provide a comprehensive picture of the product’s environmental impacts. This tool offers complete transparency into the wallcovering’s sustainability profile, detailing impacts from cradle to grave. The EPDs are accepted internationally and may contribute points to environmental rating systems such as LEED and Green Globe.

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

Main image credit: Versa Designed Surfaces

Crosswater becomes Partner for Hotel Designs’ MEET UP networking events

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Crosswater becomes Partner for Hotel Designs’ MEET UP networking events

Crosswater will attend both MEET UP London and MEET UP North as a partner…

Following the company being the headline partner of The Brit List Awards 2019, British bathroom manufacturer Crosswater has been announced as a partner for Hotel Designs’ premium networking events in 2020.

MEET UP London takes place on May 13 at Minotti London, and MEET UP North that takes place in Manchester on July 6.

“To this end, we are very excited to be involved in the first MEET UP London and MEET UP North in Manchester.” – Richard Ticehurst, head of trade marketing and training at Crosswater.

Richard Ticehurst, head of trade marketing and training at Crosswater said of the announcement: “At Crosswater, we are committed to making decisions on design, manufacture, marketing and our supply chain based on strong market insights from across the industry. One of our guiding values is to ‘focus on the user, and all else will follow’. This doesn’t just mean the end-user, it means we want to understand all the critical perspectives in a project from designer, hotelier and developer and integrate them into our offer. To this end, we are very excited to be involved in the first MEET UP London and MEET UP North in Manchester and look forward to some great interactions.”

Having previously supported Hotel Designs by being the headline partner of The Brit List Awards, Crosswater will attend the regional networking events which last year bridged the gap between more than 400 design and hospitality professionals. “We are fully committed to host our networking events in locations and venues that are at the heart of the hotel design community,” said editor Hamish Kilburn. “We hope that Meet Up London and Meet Up North, which include relevant themes and talks at both, help to build seamless relationships as well as inspire the industry to further push boundaries in design and hospitality.”

EARLY RELEASE tickets to the events have expired. Look out for announcements to launch our EARLY BIRD tickets at the end of the month…

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss various sponsorship packages available, or if you have any enquires regarding tickets, please contact Katy Phillips via email, or call 01992 374050.

7 savage hotel construction projects on the boards

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
7 savage hotel construction projects on the boards

To celebrate ‘Architecture & Construction’ firmly being in the spotlight this month, the editorial team at Hotel Designs have identified some of the industry’s most ambitious hotel projects that are expected to open in the next few years… 

The hotel industry is booming, is the verdict from the data analysts at STR as they reveal to Hotel Designs that there are currently 74,417 hotels on the boards in Europe alone.

In the next few years, millions of rooms will open in major cities, towns and far-flung travel hotspots around the world. In order to shelter these rooms and suites, architects are using new rendering software to challenge conventions like never before to conceive new exciting buildings that will have the power to transform skylines on an epic scale.

Ahead of Forum Events’ up-and-coming inaugural Building and Construction Summit next month, here are just a few hotel construction plans that we expect will disrupt the international hospitality industry as we know it when they complete with innovation, style and substance.

Mandarin Oriental Melbourne

render of the Mandarin Oriental Melbourne

Image credit: VA

Mandarin Oriental’s first hotel in Melbourne is taking shape. First realised in 2016, Zaha Hadid Architects were asked to design the mixed-used 185-metre tower located in the heart of the city’s financial district. When completed, it will feature an all-day dining restaurant and a bar with a landscaped roof terrace. There will also be a variety of meeting spaces and an executive club lounge. A Spa at Mandarin Oriental will offer the Group’s renowned wellness,relaxation and beauty facilities, while further leisure options include a comprehensive fitness centre and an indoor swimming pool.

Rosewood São Paulo 

image of building camouflaged in trees

Image credit: Jean Nouvel

Opening later this year, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts will launch its first South American property situated in the centre of São Paulo. The hotel, which is being designed in collaborations with design and architecture legend such as Philippe Starck and Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, will feature 151 guestrooms. The striking biophilically designed building will include two swimming pools with one rooftop pool and the other set amongst the landscaped grounds and a large spa and a fitness area.

Shishi-lwa House

From one Pritzker Prize winner to another, architect Ryue Nishizawa has designed the concept of Shishi-lwa House in Japanese city of Nagano. Expected to open next year, the eight-key hotel’s aim will be to provide a sanctuary in a cluster of 10 interconnected pavilions made out of locally sourced jinoki cypress wood.

Downtown LA Jenga-like skyscraper

Render of the top of a building that has been made to look likke a jenga set

Image credit: Arquitectonica | JMF Developments & Co.

Architecture firm Arquitectonica‘s dream to evolve the city of Angels’ iconic landscape is becoming a reality after the company has recently got approval for the 53-storey building by the city’s planning commission. The condo tower with its cantilevering glass-bottom swimming pools. JMF Development Co. aims to have the building completed by as early as 2023.

25hours Hotel Paper Island

Slated to open in 2024, 25hours Hotel Paper Island will mark the brand’s arrival into the Copenhagen property market. Pulling out all the stops, the hotel company has enlisted the help of interior design guru Erik Nissen Johansen from Stylt Trampoli and architecture firm Cobe to imagine the concept of the hotel developed by Nordkranen and Union Kul.

Kisawa Sanctuary 

render of beach-front bungalows

Image credit: Kisawa Sanctuary

Taking the hotel scene in Mozambique back to basics, Kisawa’s founder Nina Flohr’s latest hotel is stripped-back luxury escape in the pipeline. Comprising of 12 luxury bungalows – each one furnished to echo cultural references of the island – the hotel is expected to open this Summer. “My mission for Kisawa is to create a level of hospitality and design that to my knowledge, does not exist today, a place that inspires feelings of freedom and luxury born from nature, space and true privacy,” Flohr. “We have used design as a tool, not as a style, to ensure Kisawa is integrated, both culturally and environmentally into Mozambique.”

Infinity London

Once you have worked out how to get in and out of what was surely the talked-about infinity pool concept of last year (via a spiral staircase “based on the door of a submarine” that rises from the pool’s floor), the next question is: who would be brave enough to peer over the edge? Infinity London is the brainchild of Alex Kemsley, a pool designer and technical director for Compass Pools. The 55-story high-rise in London, will provide 360-degree views of the city below and takes wellness to new death-defying heights.

If you are a contractor, developer or surveyor and are interested in attending the Building and Construction Summit, which takes place on March 16 – 17 at Radisson Blu Hotel, please email Daniella Batchelor or Josh Oxberry. Alternatively, you can call 01992 374048/04.

Main image credit: Arquitectonica/Kisawa Sanctuary/Rosewood Hotels/Compass Pools 

MINIVIEW: Inside London’s hotel designed by kids

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MINIVIEW: Inside London’s hotel designed by kids

Supervised by a qualified bunch of adult designers, kids were part of the design team and inspiration behind Park Plaza London Riverbank’s latest renovation… 

After reading a survey by Room To Grow showing that a staggering 40 per cent of children are ‘bored’ on holiday, Park Plaza decided to create a design team that involved children when renovating Park Plaza London Riverbank

Complete with suites that include chalk-board walls, neon lights and personalised experiences, the hotel has opened in response to 71 per cent of adults believing that hotel rooms are designed with grown-ups in mind, rather than children. 

With research revealing families’ main concerns are ensuring their children are entertained, as well as the entire family feeling relaxed, the suite has been designed so that everyone is catered for. The suite pairs ‘child-approved’ design elements with a modern and relaxed lifestyle vibe that will make adults feel equally at home, alongside services such as a family concierge to create the ultimate experience for guests.

Guests enter the two-bedroom suite to the warm, neutral tones of the master bedroom, which features sophisticated splashes of yellow and gold, mixed with earthy tones and textures that breathe life into the space. Soft and stylish cushions and throws make the room feel just like home, as striking art and books to inspire guests’ stay in London providing the finishing touches that will make it easy to relax from the moment they arrive.

Image credit: Park Plaza London Riverbank

Full to the brim with bright and bold colours and adorned with design elements that will stimulate both their senses and creativity, it’s the perfect place for them to call home during their break to London. After deciding who’s sleeping on the bunk or single bed provided, they will be instantly excited as they discover trunks full of treasures that include interactive games, and a projector that will illuminate the room come bedtime. 

Following the design consultations, Park Plaza London Riverbank has also launched a new concierge service, exclusive for guests of the Ultimate Family Suite, who will help plan their trip from the moment they make their reservation. By sharing their family’s interests, the hotel will carefully tailor a personalised itinerary for their trip, pairing their interests with places to see and things to do within the capital. 

The younger guests will also be able to personalise their stay, by choosing one of four themes for their soft furnishings: superhero, princess, sport and enchanted forest, as selected by the youngest members of the design team. Welcome treats and a ‘night cap’ for the adults can also be ordered in advance, so that every guest can arrive in the knowledge that everything is catered for.

Main image credit: Park Plaza London Riverbank

Concept to Completion: Designing Hotel Indigo Clerkenwell (Part 1)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Concept to Completion: Designing Hotel Indigo Clerkenwell (Part 1)

In the first article of a new series, editor Hamish Kilburn exclusively speaks to the designers at 3Stories to understand how the studio will sensitively convert an iconic neighbourhood pub into Hotel Indigo Clerkenwell… 

It’s been almost a year since IHG announced plans to open a 151-key Hotel Indigo in the heart of London’s design district.

Responsible for the interior design of the 151-key boutique hotel is Ben Webb and Jordan Littler who are the co-founders of 3Stories. The entire project, meanwhile, is being overseen by IHG’s Director of Interior Design, Henry Reeve, who was highly commended in the Interior Designer of the Year category at The Brit List Awards 2019. Reeve, who recently led the completion of Kimpton Fitzroy and Hotel Indigo properties in Stratford-Upon-Thames and Barcelona among other projects, is a sharp, dynamic designer who awarded 3Stories with one of the firm’s first hotel projects, Hotel Indigo Antwerp that opened in 2017.

Almost three years later, while the studio is working on on-going projects such as a Jo&Joe hotel in Liverpool, a Bistro in Brixton and a new music venue down the road in Kings Cross, Webb and Littler are putting their hearts and souls into sensitively restoring Clerkenwell’s much-loved pub, the Hat & Feathers, into a thriving hotel hub. 

I travelled to the duo’s Clerkenwell studio to exclusively speak to Webb about the plans of converting what is currently a building site into a statement hotel in the city’s design hub.

 

Hamish Kilburn: When did you win the project?
Ben Webb: August 2019

HK: How much time went into the pitch?
BW: We utilised the studios entire time, as we only had two weeks to come up with our concept.

HK: Can you explain for us how 3Stories developed?
Jordan Littler and I started our careers together 15 years ago and subsequently over that time worked for a number of different design agencies. In 2017 we both decided to join forces and essentially set up a company that specialises in hospitality design. 

HK: How did your pitch allow you to keep an ‘open window’ of ideas throughout the project?

BW: We kept the presentation quite broad, looking at all of the different areas in the hotel, meaning we didn’t present a finished design. This left more room for the client to use their own imagination and fill in the gaps. From a render perspective, we kept the visuals in a hand-sketch format as we felt a stunning photorealistic 3D was not required and the pitch was more about the ideas we could bring to the table. 

“Our first design job was located opposite the hotel and we would use the Hat and Feathers pub as our local.” – Ben Webb, Co-founder, 3 Stories

HK: What is the significance of this project, the site and why do you believe you are the best designers for the job?
BW: My business partner and I have worked in Clerkenwell for the past 14 years and are therefore very familiar with the area. Our first design job was located opposite the hotel and we would use the Hat and Feathers pub as our local. We specialise in F&B which is a huge part of the project and therefore our knowledge in the market helped us sell the concept to the client. 

HK: What are the biggest challenges you expect to run in to during the project?
BW: An obvious answer, but I have to say budget. There are a lot of elements to this project especially surrounding the listed nature of the pub and therefore the budget maybe squeezed in certain places. 

HK: Can you set the scene for our readers on what the hotel’s interiors will look like?
BW: If you are not familiar with the Hotel Indigo brand it is all about creating the neighbourhood story. With that in mind the hotel’s interior takes lead from the areas architectural and design heritage. The bedrooms themselves (three types) are designed in relationship to Clerkenwell, giving the guest a choice when booking to stay at the hotel. We have also defined four restaurant concepts within the hotel that we are currently developing with the F&B consultants, all of which take on a different feel based on the level cuisine being served.

HK: Do you plan on using suppliers that are local to the area?
BW: 100 per cent yes. This project more than any, due to its location in Clerkenwell and being surrounded by so many suppliers. One of the bedroom designs is purely dedicated to the ‘supplier showcase.’

HK: What are you most excited about with this project?
BW: The fact that we can bring a lot of local knowledge to the design from the relationships with current suppliers down to our understanding of the F&B market in Clerkenwell. 

The project continues…

This is part one of Hotel Designs’ Concept to Completion series, following design firm 3 Stories and IHG throughout their journey to create Hotel Indigo Clerkenwell. If you have a question regarding the design of the project that you would like to put forward, please email our editor.

Main image credit: 3 Stories

Ruby Hotels arrives in London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Ruby Hotels arrives in London

The 75-Room, carnival-themed ‘Ruby Lucy’ brings the disruptor brand’s ‘Lean Luxury’ philosophy to the Southbank in London…

Following the opening of Ruby Leni, and Hotel Designs’ exclusive interview with the brand’s Head of Design Matthew Balon, Ruby Hotels has arrived to London, opening its debut hotel on the Southbank.

The new 75-room hotel, Ruby Lucy, forms part of an ambitious expansion plan for Ruby Hotels to unveil a total of eleven new hotels – including a second London property – by 2022.

Enjoying a prime position on the Southbank’s Lower Marsh, Ruby Lucy’s interior design is inspired by the area’s bustling fairs and markets, entertainment and theatre scene, with a carnival theme running throughout the hotel. Rich, dark tones meet bright brass accents and subtle stripes are accented with playful props including circus drums and juggling pins.

Booth to look like a circus tent

Image credit: Ruby Hotels

Just like the group’s other houses, Ruby Lucy follows Ruby Hotels’ ‘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. 

For example, a hip communal space serves a healthy, locally-produced breakfast without the need for a kitchen or chef, and instead of overpriced minibars and room service, galley kitchens, vending machines and ironing stations supply guests with all of their needs. Likewise, a modular design sees Ruby hotels occupying mixed-use and former office buildings in the heart of the city, rather than the traditional, prestigious addresses with sky high rents typically favoured by hoteliers. 

“This works because we accommodate luxury in a relatively condensed space, similar to luxury yachts, and we forego unnecessary services,” explains Michael Struck, Ruby Founder and CEO. “Every hotel is designed and developed individually, referencing local themes and stories. Thanks to proprietary technical innovations, we plan, build and organise ourselves differently from conventional hotels. To be precise, we plan and build in a very modular way and centralise as well as automatise processes behind the scenes wherever possible. This helps us create a luxurious and unique hotel experience at an affordable price.”

Located just a three-minute walk from Waterloo station, Ruby Lucy rubs shoulders with some of the city’s best-loved and lesser-known cultural gems. From theatres and galleries to concert halls and independent shops, the area buzzes with artistic flair and creativity.

Ruby Lucy houses 75 rooms, ranging in size from cosy ‘Nest’ rooms (14-15 m²) to expansive ‘Loft’ rooms (21-23 m²) and a stylish 24-hour bar. All guest rooms showcase Ruby Hotels’ 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.

Image credit: Ruby Hotels

A laid-back, contemporary design sees quirky touches such as the inclusion of a Marshall guitar amp in each room, which guests can use both with their own guitar or one borrowed from reception, and ‘Ruby Radio’, the hotel group’s own internet radio station.

Founded in 2013, the group already operates eight Ruby Hotels, with 11 additional hotels either under construction or in the planning phase of construction. Also, with the Ruby Asia joint venture, founded in 2018, and following it’s London arrival, Ruby Hotels is expanding into new territories around the globe.

Main image credit: Ruby Hotels

Editor Checks In: Is it time to reinvent the hotel design experience?

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor Checks In: Is it time to reinvent the hotel design experience?

Steering away from the days of absurd tech-flooded hotels, editor Hamish Kilburn has identified a number of factors in the industry that are acting as catalysts to pave a more meaningful hotel design landscape…

The hotel design industry is a shrinking violet, said nobody… ever. And you can always count on the leading individuals to shake things up with a sprinkle of unconventional concepts.

In order to keep the tide of ideas flowing, though, designers, architects and suppliers need inspiration. Cue the arrival of CES 2020 in the wild and raucous city of Las Vegas, well and truly unlike anywhere else in the universe – AKA the perfect platform for the latest innovations in technology to take flight. The CES Convention, which took place on January 7 – 10, was a playground of breakthrough technologies and next-generation innovations. From Alexa-enabled showers to rotating TVs, the show was an insight into the possibilities of hotel design, if you knew where to look.

But what it perhaps lacked, which is often the case when futuregazing, was context on how these products will benefit the guests’ overall experience (I’m not sure we need a robot to check us in or fetch us a new toilet roll).

Learning the lessons from the days when the hotel industry layered hotels with unnecessary and complex technology, designers are now looking for ways in which to make the hotel experience smarter – think seamless cyber security preventions, products that aid better sleep and atmospheric lighting.

“My aim with the February features is to explore how the industry is reinventing itself through the use of materials.”

And that leads me seamlessly to introduce next month’s features: Architecture & Construction and Surfaces. My aim with the February features is to explore how the industry is reinventing itself through the use of materials. At last year’s London Design Fair, eagle-eyed visitors would have noticed a collage of biophilic materials being introduced and explored as palpable alternative in design. Hemp, tobacco, potato waste and palm leaves were among them.

I will be presenting ‘Biophilic Materials in Surface Design’ at the Surface Design Show next month. Joined on the Main Stage by Jeremy Gove from Sibley Grove, Richard Harvey from Holland Harvey Architects and Fraser Lockley from Parkside Tiles, together we will lift the lid on new, emerging and alternative surface materials with the aim to inspire the industry to think more consciously when designing the foundations of tomorrow’s hotels and cities.

Stay tuned…

Editor, Hotel Designs

5 minutes with: Interior designer, Yuna Megre

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
5 minutes with: Interior designer, Yuna Megre

Following the impressive VIP Suite that was unveiled Sleep & Eat 2019, interior designer Yuna Megre joins editor Hamish Kilburn for a five-minute chat on how the design concept came together…

It was one of the most popular elements of last year’s Sleep & Eat. Not only was the VIP Suite fit for purpose – giving designers, architects and the press a place to hide from the exhibition – but it was also flawlessly designed to look and feel like a premium space.

Named ‘Gather’ by the designers, the original oak panelled Olympia Club Room was transformed into a whimsical flora and fauna-inspired space. Drapes, upholstery and even the flooring were in a fabric depicting exotic flowers. Specially designed by MEGRE INTERIORS cascades of fabric flowers looped through the space and, in the epicentre, a large-scale light installation flickered warmly like a fire. Surrounded by orbicular seating – referencing the circular gathering places of human history and drawing a parallel to the primeval pleasure of coming together around a fire pit – the space was inviting, exciting and original.

Hamish Kilburn: Sum up your Sleep & Eat 2019 experience in one sentence?
Yuna Megre: Meaningful, inspiring, humbling experience, and there was an overwhelming appreciation of our ‘Gather’ concept.

HK: What was the brief?
YM: The brief was to create a VIP lounge that would reflect this year’s theme of the event of Social Flexibility. We went beyond that brief and created an experience rather than just a space, attacking all senses and immersing guests into a powerful atmosphere.

Image caption: Yuna Megre inside the VIP Suite at Sleep & Eat 2019

HK: Can you explain your choice of materials?
YM:
Straight away we knew we would keep to a mono-material / look as much as possible to create an atmosphere of immersion and to make shapes disappear, taking a back seat to colour and pattern. Originally we were aiming to cover all surfaces with fabric, and developed such fabric with Sahco, that could withstand all the application we would need. However, in development, we came to the conclusion that for fire safety, for ease of cleaning, for ease of application – we will produce glue backed vinyl with the same print to use on floors and some furniture. We further pushed the boundaries by creating fabric flowers and leaves that matched those drawn on the print and strategically placing them as if they burst out from the two dimensional world into the three-dimensional one. Everything but the print we wanted to disappear as much as possible and to create some spacial illusions – which we achieved through the use of mirrored furniture and surfaces. We also view the scent and music that we created for this project as the materials we used. Because for a concept to be experiential and immersive it must work with all human senses. 

“It is no longer enough to design spaces. We have to design experiences, environments, emotions.” – Yuna Megre, Founder and Head of Design at MEGRE INTERIORS.

HK: How does your design challenge conventional ideas of a public space?
It goes beyond space – that I feel is the biggest challenge to the convention. The way that our world is evolving, the way we consume our surrounding is evolving. It is no longer enough to design spaces. We have to design experiences, environments, emotions. There has never been such a cross-disciplinary overlap as today between interior design, event and experience design, art, digital design. And we are only at the beginning of this new paradigm. Our concept explores this new reality, a new approach to public spaces. It looks at space as an environment of interaction which has to create an emotion, a memory, rather than just serve a function.

HK: Can you explain your use of layers within the design?
YM: As we used a mono-material approach, we layered the project through senses rather than conventional visual layering. We addressed all six senses – the visual, the sound, the smell, the touch and with it ergonomics, the taste, and our last but most important one – emotion. We unravelled the concept of gather through them all. This is layering in the new era of design, not just visual layering. 

HK: What were the main challenges throughout this project?
YM:
Many people believed it could not be done. Throughout the journey multiple people were telling us to simplify it, to make it less complex. But we achieved what we set out to do, at 60 per cent of original cost estimations, on time, with everything as we envisioned. It is our teams approach to everything we do. There is always a solution, always to get things done. If you cannot see it, you are not looking hard enough. GATHER was such an overwhelming success because of this unwavering dedication to the concept and the support of all-out partners and contractors.

Main image credit: Megre Interiors 

CASE STUDY: Creating signage for stadium hospitality spaces

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Creating signage for stadium hospitality spaces

Recommended Supplier Signbox manufactured bespoke signage for 12 restaurants and premium hospitality spaces at Tottenham Hotspur stadium…

Working closely with F3 Architects, which was responsible for designing the premium interiors of the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium, Signbox manufactured and installed brand signage for each of the 12 individual restaurants and hospitality spaces across the new stadium.

This including a commission to design, manufacture and install extensive glass manifestations for the Tottenham Experience, the Club’s new store.

The bespoke hospitality signage manufactured by Signbox were fabricated using a range of materials such as brass, copper, Corten steel, acrylic, LED neon and aluminium to create an elaborate suite of signage across the stadium’s premium interiors.

Installed across nine floors on both the East and West sides of the stadium, the Signbox’s installers covered on average 10km and 12 flights of stairs a day, working 24|7 to a tight deadline. Almost every single sign type was unique and as such had to be coded and marked on the plans with its individual location ID.

Collaboration was the key to success

Following on from the success of the previous Spurs project at their training campus (a stone’s throw from the new stadium) ‘The Lodge’ player accommodation, F3 Architects invited Signbox to become involved with the stadium works and to support them in the delivery of the bespoke hospitality, player and media signage across the new stadium for their client Tottenham Hotspur.

Collaboration with the client and BASE Contracts who were responsible for the delivery of the build was the key to success. With F3 Architects, we went through a highly detailed design process for each of the spaces and developed every element of the fixings, specification and location ensuring this was coordinated with the surroundings and making sure the placement for each sign was considered exactly.

Click here to read to find out more about the signs manufactured and installed by Signbox at Tottenham Hotspur stadium, the greatest and most innovative stadium in the world.

If you want to create that critical first impression that speaks volumes about your hotel brand and delivers a guest experience they’ll remember for all the right reasons, talk to Signbox about our award-winning hotel and hospitality signage solutions.

Signbox 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.

Leading suppliers to attend Hotel Summit 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Leading suppliers to attend Hotel Summit 2020

Hotel Summit, the original meet-the-buyers event for hotel operators and suppliers that was recognised last year at the IndyAwards, returns this year on April 27 – 28 at Five Lakes Resort, Colchester…

With more than 20 years’ experience serving the hotel industry with relevant and engaging meet-the-buyer events, Hotel Summit has announced the suppliers (so far) that will be attending this year’s Summit.

Portable Floor Makers, Airwave, Birchall Tea, Victoria + Albert, ADI Trading, Cole & Son, Sico, LUQEL, James Alexander Bespoke Furniture, Ruark Audio, Matrix Fitness, Meiko, HCI, Good Energy, Falcon Contract Flooring, Schluter and NT Security are all among the suppliers that will showcasing their latest products and services.

 

The Summit, which this year celebrates its 22nd year anniversary, is specifically organised by Forum Events for senior professionals who are directly responsible for purchasing and procurement within their organisation, and those who provide the latest and greatest products and services within the sector. ‘ The event was amazing,” commented The Beaumont Hotel after last year’s event. “I met some really great people and it’s always good to network and discover hidden secrets of the industries, and you only find them through events such as this.”

Already confirmed delegates attending Hotel Summit 2020 include Sloane Square Hotel, Marriott Hotels, Laura Ashley Hotels and Nadler Hotels among many others.

How to register 

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

If you are a hotelier and would like to attend the Summit for free, please contact Kerry Naumburger at k.naumburger@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

*Please contact Kerry Naumburger for complete delegates list.

Hamilton Litestat announced as Headline Partner for MEET UP networking events

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hamilton Litestat announced as Headline Partner for MEET UP networking events

Recommended Supplier Hamilton Litestat has been announced as Headline Partner for MEET UP London and MEET UP North….

Electrical Solutions and wiring provider Hamilton Litestat will once again support Hotel Designs as Headline Partner at two of its key industry networking events in 2020.

MEET UP London, which will take place on May 13, and MEET UP North that takes place in Manchester on July 6.

Having previously supported Hotel Designs with its annual The Brit List Awards event, Hamilton aims to further increase its business and product awareness amongst the site’s loyal audience.

“We’ve found a supportive partner in Hotel Designs and The Brit List Awards was a great way for us to strike up meaningful conversations within the industry.” – Gavin Williams, Head of Marketing for Hamilton

“A key part of the Hamilton business is engaging with those within the design, architecture and hotel industries, and the Hotel Designs MEET UP events are an ideal way to get face-to-face time with important players,” said Gavin Williams, Head of Marketing for Hamilton. “We’ve found a supportive partner in Hotel Designs and The Brit List Awards was a great way for us to strike up meaningful conversations within the industry. We’re hoping that we can take that one step further with the MEET UP networking events.

Until January 31 (this Friday), EARLY RELEASE tickets to both Meet Up London and Meet Up North are available to purchase for designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and those who supply to the hospitality industry. The regional events, which last year bridged the gap between more than 400 design and hospitality professionals, are regarded as two of the industry’s most established networking events. “We are fully committed to host our networking events in locations and venues that are at the heart of the hotel design community,” said editor Hamish Kilburn. “We hope that Meet Up London and Meet Up North, which include relevant themes and talks at both, help to build seamless relationships as well as inspire the industry to further push boundaries in design and hospitality.”

To book tickets to MEET UP London:

EARLY RELEASE SUPPLIER TICKETS*: £99 + VAT (expires on January 31)  | CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.
EARLY RELEASE BUYER TICKETS**£10 + VAT (expires on January 31) | CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.

To book tickets to MEET UP North:

EARLY RELEASE SUPPLIER TICKETS*: £99 + VAT (expires on January 31) | CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.
EARLY RELEASE BUYER TICKETS**£10 + VAT (expires on January 31) | CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.

If you would like to discuss various sponsorship packages available, or if you have any enquires regarding tickets, please contact Katy Phillips via email, or call 01992 374050.

Early Release offer strictly ends January 31, 2020.

* Those eligible to purchase Supplier Tickets must be industry suppliers.
** Those eligible to purchase buyer tickets must prove that they are an interior designer, architect, hotelier or developer.

 

Four Seasons to open six new hotels in 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Four Seasons to open six new hotels in 2020

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts continues to expand its global portfolio with strategic openings of new hotels, resorts and branded private residences…

Luxury hotel giant Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has lifted the lid on its 2020 hotel development strategy, which includes the opening of six new hotels in tourism and business hotspots in Europe, Asia and America.

Planned openings for 2020 follow an exciting year as Four Seasons celebrated a significant number of new openings around the world in 2019, including its first entry into Greece with the rebirth of the legendary Brudzizki-designed Astir Palace Hotel in Athens, and the company’s return to Montreal with a stunning and sleek new hotel in the heart of the city’s Golden Mile, featuring the opening of the restaurant MARCUS with celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson.

Additional openings included a new hotel in the Garden City of Bengaluru, its second in India; the return of the brand to Philadelphia (located within the Comcast Centre, the city’s tallest building) as well as a second hotel in Boston at One Dalton Street; a third address in Mexico, this time on the pristine beaches of the East Cape of Los Cabos; the company’s first all-inclusive wellness retreat in the fully refurbished Lodge at Koele on the Hawaiian Island of Lanai; and the completion of its full suite of historic chalet offerings in the French Alpine community of Megève.

“An unwavering commitment to service and quality, a strong operating model and alignment with hotel owners who share our vision places Four Seasons in an enviable market position as we continue to grow our portfolio and strengthen our global development pipeline,” says John Davison, President and Chief Executive Officer, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “As we begin a new decade, we continue to elevate the experience for our guests and enhance our product offering, affirming our passionate dedication to excellence and the industry-leading innovation that has defined our brand for nearly 60 years.”

Working in concert with its partners, each new development authentically reflects the character of the destination, envisioning new ways for travellers as well as local residents to experience the world of Four Seasons. Recent innovations have included the company’s first standalone Private Residences, fully serviced by Four Seasons, in London at Twenty Grosvenor Square, a technology-led development with Comcast in Philadelphia, the Athenian riviera conversion of the iconic Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens, and the company’s first all-inclusive wellness retreat in Hawaii.

Soon, having just opened its collection of traditional chalets at the foot of the Mont d’Arbois slopes with Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois, Megève, the company that also introduced the first private jet will debut its first resort with an onsite winery in Napa Valley.

Planned Openings in 2020

The six new openings that are anticipated for 2020 include the return of Four Seasons to Bangkok with the glorious new Jean-Michel Gathy-designed landmark along the Chao Phraya River, debuting with nearly 300 stunning guest rooms and over 350 beautifully appointed Private Residences. Also opening in the Asia-Pacific region early in the year is a third address in Japan, in the Otemachi area of Tokyo facing the Tokyo Imperial Palace.

In Europe, Four Seasons will debut in Spain for the first time with a new hotel in central Madrid, an assembly of several historic buildings now fully restored and reimagined, and highlighted by a rooftop restaurant by three Michelin-starred Spanish celebrity chef Dani García.

Long established as the premier luxury hospitality brand in California with seven existing locations, Four Seasons continues to expand its presence in the northern part of the state with the spring opening of its second hotel in San Francisco, a soaring building in the Embarcadero district. Also scheduled for 2020 is the highly anticipated opening of Four Seasons resort in Napa Valley, including a unique collection of Private Residences as well as Four Seasons first on-property winery in partnership with acclaimed winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown.

Also in the United States, a recently announced hotel in New Orleans is expected to open in late 2020 in the city’s historic World Trade Center.

In addition to announcing new properties in San Francisco and New Orleans, Four Seasons also unveiled plans for new hotels in Okinawa, Japan; Nashville and Minneapolis, USA; Cartagena, Colombia; and a second resort in Cabo del Sol, Mexico. The company also previously announced new Four Seasons projects in Dalian, China; Makkah, Saudi Arabia; Hanoi, Vietnam; and Caye Chapel, Belize.

“Four Seasons residential portfolio is expected to double, with more than 90 per cent of all development projects including a residential component.”

Building upon Four Seasons 35-year history in branded residential following the opening of its first Private Residence in 1985, the company continues to strategically enhance its portfolio of exclusive Private Residences in markets around the world.

In the next five years, Four Seasons residential portfolio is expected to double, with more than 90 per cent of all development projects including a residential component. The company’s global portfolio is on track to exceed 7,000 homes, affirming Four Seasons as the world leader in luxury property management services. In 2020, Four Seasons anticipates to open 9 new Private Residences including three standalone private residences in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Marrakech.

Main image credit: Four Seasons

Authentic restaurant inside 18th century palace. Large pillars separate tables and rustic fabric hanging down from the ceiling adds charm and character

Palacio Solecio opens as Malaga’s first luxury boutique hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Palacio Solecio opens as Malaga’s first luxury boutique hotel

An inspiring transformation of an aristocratic palace, Palacio Solecio has opened as a 68-key luxury boutique hotel in 18th century building…

In the heart of old town Malaga sits Palacio Solecio, an 18th century architectural gem that now shelters the destination’s first luxury boutique hotel.

Authentic restaurant inside 18th century palace. Large pillars separate tables and rustic fabric hanging down from the ceiling adds charm and character

The palace, which was derelict for 80 years before restoration began, has been lovingly and sensitively redesigned by Antonio Obrador in order to retain its authenticity. The building, which became a masterpiece of architecture for its time, has been transformed, whilst maintaining the essence of its architecture and decorative details, creating a hotel where old meets new.

“The idea was to be authentic, but not folksy.” – Pablo Carrington, founder of Marugal Hotels.

The hotel is operated by Marugal Hotels, which specialises in the management of independent, one-off hotels. “Palacio Solecio is one of the finest examples of 18th century domestic architecture in Málaga, so our restoration has been incredibly sensitive,” said Pablo Carrington, founder of Marugal Hotels. “We’ve been able to incorporate the wonderfully decorative original architectural elements – pilasters, garlands, Tuscan columns topped by vases, the original staircase – into the design of the hotel. For the interiors, we’ve been led by old photos of the palace. The idea was to be authentic, but not folksy.”

Exterior of the palace

Image credit: Palacio Solecio

Current rules dictate that the footprint of Listed buildings in Spain must remain the same – so details such as the inner courtyard are exactly as they would have been when the palace was new. Original features – the old grills over the windows, elements of the main staircase (including the decorative arch and columns)– have been meticulously restored. The façade has been re-painted and returned to its original appearance.

Reading light on blue and cream textured wallcovering

Image credit: Palacio Solecio

In a deft and subtle acknowledgment of Andalucía’s history, the decorative details are rich with Moorish influence. Painted leatherworks – Cordobanes – which became popular in Andalucía in the 16th and 17th century adorn the walls, bringing their striking patterns and deep colour palettes to the interior. Fabrics have been reproduced from old photos of the palace interiors, such as the typical espiga fabric with its herringbone design, used in the guestrooms. Even the smallest detail – door handles, the bedside tables – are subtly redolent with local character to brilliant effect.

Image of the guestroom, which features blue and cream fabrics on bed, headbaord and led lighting in the ceiling

Image credit: Palacio Solecio

The guestrooms meld quiet sophistication and comfort with the authentic charm of the building, with parquet floors, and stunning lighting. The interiors are both rustic and modern, a combination of neutral colours with splashes of bold prints and local Andalusian artwork.

Following the initial opening, in 2021, the hotel is expected to add a further 49 rooms as well as a rooftop bar and pool.

Main image credit: Palacio Solecio

VIP ARRIVALS: Top hotels to open in February 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
VIP ARRIVALS: Top hotels to open in February 2020

With the aim to cut through the noise in a contemporary tone, Hotel Designs has the scoop on which statement and game-changing hotels are expected to open in February, 2020…

The hotel industry never ceases to amaze with its ability to break through hard barriers to take design, architecture and creativity to new heights and levels.

Following Hotel Designs’ two-part series published last month, where it shared the major hotel openings of 2020, the editorial team have narrowed down the search even further to identify the hotels that will arrive onto the international hotel design scene this month. From architectural firsts in Dubai to long-awaited heritage hotels in London – and the start of a family of hotels in Manchester – the industry, in all corners of the globe, is about to display a spectacular performance of how far design and architecture briefs can be stretched.

Here’s February’s top picks…

Hotel Brooklyn, Manchester

Image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn Manchester

As Hotel Designs prepares its troops for its annual northern networking event to take place in the city that is fast-becoming a hotel developer’s dream, Hotel Brooklyn is ready and waiting in the wings to unveil its contemporary design.

Designed by Squid Inc – the team behind the renowned Hotel Gotham – the long-awaited Hotel Brooklyn will shelter 189 rooms that are inspired by the New York Borough and chosen for its resonating similarities to Manchester, in terms of its buzzing industrial growth, as well as its strength of identity and culture.

If Hotel Gotham, its older sibling that opened in 2015, is anything to judge by, then we expect a playful hotel that is not afraid to bend, even break, the rules of hospitality for its guests.

ME Dubai

Image credit: ME Dubai/Zaha Hadid Architects

Following the opening of The Morpheus last year, and Hotel Designs’ interview with one of the lead architects behind the projectZaha Hadid Architects is preparing to celebrate yet another groundbreaking moment in architecture.

The London-based firm’s latest project, the Opus, is days away from entering onto the international hotel design landscape with arrival of ME Dubai. The 93-key hotel will feature dramatic, signature furniture in the lobby, lounges and reception area, which were either designed or personally selected by the late Zaha Hadid.

Zedwell, London

Image credit: Zedwell London

Opening it’s doors February 2020, the first Zedwell will be housed in one of central London’s most iconic venues; The London Trocadero. Holding in excess of a staggering 700 guestrooms, the flagship Zedwell will be one of the largest hotel openings in the capital within the last decade.

As well as large in size, the hotel is also clever and ahead of its time for many reasons, such as installing high-tech soundproofing, filtered air to enhance the overall guest experience.

Artist Residence, Bristol

Image credit: Artist Residence

The founder of Artist Residence, Justin Sailsbury, is known today as a true pioneer in sustainability and meaningful design who spends hours on end browsing ebay and other search engines for vintage-gem furniture and casegoods to layer into his hotels.

Following the success of the London property, the brand is expanding – and so too is his message to other independent hoteliers in the industry. Entering into tier two cities around the UK, allows the brand to stay in its unique lane of offering a residential, friendly and quirky hotel and hub. The bustling city of Bristol is the next location on the list, with the opening of Artist Residence Bristol moments away.

Arctic Bath in Lapland, Sweden

Image credit: Arctic Bath Sweeden

Situated under the northern lights in winter, and the midnight sun during the summer months, Arctic Bath is a unique hotel and spa experience that welcomes guests to immerse themselves in the elements while leaving a minimal environmental footprint behind.

The idea of a floating sauna first came to Harads resident Per-Anders Eriksson during the opening of Treehotel in 2010. At first, the vision was a glass cube on a raft. Bertil Hagström, who designed Treehotel’s The Bird’s Nest, took over the idea and in 2013 he and Johan Kauppi designed Arctic Bath’s floating, circular building.

The Guardsman, London

Image credit: The Guardsman Hotel/Tonik Associates

The Guardsman is a purpose-built luxury London boutique hotel that is expected to offer the atmosphere, discretion and personal service usually associated with a private members’ club.

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

Hotel Designs is currently researching and writing the next article in this series, which will identify the top hotels that are opening in March, 2020. If you are working on a hotel project, or know of a hotel, that would qualify, please email the editorial team

Main image credit: ME Dubai/Zaha Hadid Architects

CASE STUDY: Furnishing London Marriott Hotel Kensington

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Furnishing London Marriott Hotel Kensington

Recommended Supplier Curtis has recently supplied headboards, TV units, wardrobes, desks, vanity shelves and mirrors in London Marriott Hotel Kensington…

In line with the design brief to create a stylish and modern ‘bleisure’ hotel, Curtis was specified to create bespoke furniture for London Marriott Hotel Kensington.

The company supplied furniture in xylocleaf MFC, hand-selected pressed European walnut, including upholstery, and polished stainless steel.

Due to the complexity of the room design for this stunning hotel refurbishment, the client needed to find a supplier whom they could trust to work closely in partnership with the main contractor.

Having worked with the furniture company before, the client chose Curtis to supply the hotel because it is a quality UK-based supplier with large manufacturing capability, it prides itself on having a meticulous project management process, tried and tested since 1998 and its solid partnership approach with a strong customer service record.

“The effect of all these different co-ordinating materials is of a luxurious design with consideration given to every detail.”

Each room needed to be supplied over four separate visits to allow other contractors, such as decorators and electricians, in to complete their work in the correct sequence.  Curtis, already known to the client for our eagerness to be flexible and provide great customer service, worked in close partnership with the main contractor to ensure our timings fitted into the schedule perfectly.

“The initial stages had tight lead times and Curtis pulled out all the stops to ensure we could get moving as quickly as possible,” explained David Elliott from County Contractors. “We were impressed with how smoothly everything went, and with the quality of finish and fitting of the furniture.”

Curtis manufactured, supplied and installed bespoke furniture, including:

  • Upholstered headboards
  • Gladstone oak MFC TCMF trays with black powder coated legs
  • Statement hand-selected pressed walnut features on TV units, sideboards and wall panels
  • Xylocleaf MFC bedsides
  • Fenix NTM desks, with solid ash legs and mirror panelling
  • Upholstered luggage benches
  • Co-ordinating wardrobe areas with Gladstone oak drawers with leather handles, xylocleaf minibar units and black powder coated hanging rails
  • Metal-framed mirrors with integrated glass vanity shelf.

In the suites, slotted privacy walls and swivel TV units in hand-pressed walnut add to the impressive combination of beauty and function.

The effect of all these different co-ordinating materials is of a luxurious design with consideration given to every detail and how it will impact on the guests’ experience.  Thoughtful design doesn’t come better than this.

Curits 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.

MINIVIEW: The Spa at South Lodge

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MINIVIEW: The Spa at South Lodge

Following a thread of rave consumer reviews, Hotel Designs travels to the scenic countryside of West Sussex to take a dip inside the nature-inspired spa at South Lodge…

Opened in the Spring 2019 to become a contemporary wellness extension for the luxury hotel, The Spa at South Lodge was designed sensitively by Sparcstudio in partnership with architecture studio Felce and Guy.

Situated within the grounds of the hotel, The Spa at South Lodge follows the natural contours of the land and provides a haven away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Surrounded by wildlife, nature and peace, and perched above the rolling hills of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. the 44,000 sq. ft. spa champions the estate’s landscape.

The natural theme continues throughout the Spa’s interior, with a colour palette of beige, white, pale blues and greens across the walls, floors and soft furnishings. Natural light floods into the wide, open spaces and carefully placed lighting guides guests down the stairs and through to the workout areas, 14 nature-themed treatment rooms and changing rooms. Luxurious brushed-brass hardware and plush chairs give the expansive changing areas a personable touch, complemented with the very best in grooming equipment, including premium brands such as Dyson Supersonic hairdryers and Paul Mitchell hair straighteners.

Image credit: South Lodge Hotel

Relaxation is at its best in The Spa’s treatment rooms encourage deep relaxation, with heat, light and sound mood pods. A variety of thermal experiences include a private mud room and infused sauna, as well as marble-lined salt steam and jasmine herbal steam rooms.

Outside, lounge chairs lead the way to a vitality hydrotherapy pool and beyond, the spa boasts a serene heated wild swimming pool, with an attractive wooden bathing platform inviting guests to take a revitalising dip. In colder months, the 22m x 10m indoor infinity swimming pool is the place to swim against the dramatic Sussex landscape.

New-York style gym area with punch bag and weights area

Image credit: South Lodge Hotel

A New York loft-style fitness gym slots right into the West Sussex countryside, where beaten-leather punch bags, retro-inspired boxing gloves and state-of-the-art Technogym equipment compliment all kinds of fitness programmes. An adjoining terrace provides space for alfresco training and first-class fitness instructors are on hand to ensure workout goals are met.

Outdoor hydrotherapy pool on wooden decking

Image credit: South Lodge Hotel

The hotel’s spa has been meaningfully designed to combine the best of luxe interiors with the natural, untouched geology of the surrey countryside. What really sets it aside from others, though, is its answer to the rise and evolving demands of modern travellers in regards to wellness and wellbeing. For that reason, The Spa at South Lodge is a timeless gem, perfectly placed in England’s pleasant land.

Main image credit: South Lodge Hotel 

Feature: A well-designed accessible hotel bathroom can look and feel elegant

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Feature: A well-designed accessible hotel bathroom can look and feel elegant

UKBathrooms investigates the leading bathroom manufacturers who are creating stylish and accessible hotel bathroom products…

The UK hotel business is thriving, and whilst that’s great news – and despite awareness generated by the Blue Badge Access and Style Awards – there is still a lack of genuinely accessible hotel rooms, particularly outside of capital cities.

Despite the demand hoteliers remain wary of creating accessible guestrooms, for fear of putting off non-disabled customers and because of concerns over installation costs. However, they be missing out on significant business opportunities each year. Guests with accessibility needs would certainly travel more, for work or for pleasure, if more accessible rooms were available, businesses are missing out on a huge opportunity to attract a range of potential clients, meeting the needs of all without lessening the experience of existing customers.

“There is absolutely no reason why a well-designed, accessible hotel bathroom cannot look and feel like a luxury upgrade.” – UK Bathrooms

According to UK Bathrooms, one of the leading online store for premium designer bathrooms, there is absolutely no reason why a well-designed, accessible hotel bathroom cannot look and feel like a luxury upgrade. A beautiful, stylish space can be created that appeals to all guests, creatively designed and appealing to everyone, regardless of ability.

With more than 13.9 million disabled people in the UK and a total spending power of £249 billion a year its certainly worth businesses considering investment in this area.

An accessible hotel bathroom can be characterised by certain improvements to comfort along with a number of design options. Intelligent planning of taps, fittings and furnishings is required to create an accessible space.  The bathroom should be large enough for the guest to move around in if they are a wheelchair user and the layout of the room should allow for a clear turning circle of 1500 mm, its also important that the bathroom door opens outwards into the bedroom.

Toilet flush controls should be positioned towards the front of any cistern and on the side that is most easily accessed. Handles should also be easy to grip, and the toilet seat should ideally sit about 400mm from the floor.  A level access shower is often the best option and a shower seat is recommended. Again, easy to grip and accessible controls should be made available.