Posts Tagged :

Hotel Concepts

PRODUCT WATCH: GESSI adds architectural wellness to its range

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: GESSI adds architectural wellness to its range

The GESSI Architectural Wellness project is a new concept in design that makes the functions of “wellness of the five senses” modular and customisable, with signicant technical advantages….

Binario, the system that inaugurates the new project launched by GESSI, envisages the overhead installation of wall mounted tracks, similar to those used in the lighting sector. These location, customisable by number, length and form, can contain modules with different functions: waterfall, nebulisation, rainfall, illumination, sound and aeration. 

The illumination component was develo- ped together with Artemide, with whom Gessi boasts a historic collabora- tion. The technical track that olds the shower, light, sound and air elements is installable and usable in the con gurations preferred by the client. 

The system can be easily modi ed over time without further structural work, through the addition of new plug and play modules. The beauty of this product can extend beyond the shower area to also furnish other space of the home, creating versatile and new compositions. 

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

DESIGN INSPIRATION: 7 Quirky hotels built into their surroundings

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
DESIGN INSPIRATION: 7 Quirky hotels built into their surroundings

To continue putting Hotel Concepts under the spotlight, leading booking management service STAAH identifies seven quirky hotels that shelter one-off luxury experiences… 

Depending on the type of traveller you are trying to attract or designing for, sometimes a hotel needs to be nothing more than just a place to rest after a long day of exploring the surroundings of your destination.

For others, the right hotel is part of what makes the travel experience an interesting one. We have found some of the quirkiest hotels around to give you, your clients and/or your guests a memorable experience from check in right through to check out.

The Caves Resort, Jamaica

At The Caves Resort, Every room at the caves is unique and bursting with its own character, charm and heart-stopping coastal views. Sitting atop of some of the most incredible sea caves in the world, their 12 custom designed Cliffside cottages act as artful hideaways with all the comforts of home.

ICE Hotel, Sweden

Bed in the middle of iced shelter

Image credit: ICE Hotel

Staying in the largest ice hotel in the world is like living inside a diamond. Each suite is individually themed and hand carved by artists commissioned from around the world and a wide range of disciplines.  Spending a night in Ice Hotel is a surreal experience and a memory for life and in the morning you are awakened with a cup of hot lingonberry juice at your bedside.

Eco Camp Patagonia, Chile

At Eco Camp Patagonia, guests can immerse their in the stunning world of Torres del Paine National Park. Spend your days exploring this fragile paradise with trekking, multi-sport adventures, and wildlife watching, and your nights in harmony with nature in your very own dome.

Poseidon Undersea Resort, Fiji

Image credit: Poseidon Undersea Resort, Fiji/YouTube

At Poseidon Undersea Resort, the entire ocean is a playground. Activities abound for adventurers who wish to explore the unimaginable, like maneuvering a personal Triton submarine through a lagoon, exploring the ocean’s depths as the passenger of a 1,000-foot luxury submersible, and scuba diving in pristine waters. Those who seek solitude will find the epitome of relaxation when indulging in marine-focused spa treatments and meditation under the gaze of only the moon and stars.

Aurora Express, Alaska, USA

Image credit: Aurora Express, Alaska, USA

Hotel and Motel lodging just can’t compare to the breath-taking views and unforgettable memories you’ll have when you stay on this amazing train (or once was)! The décor and majestic views to match will keep you wanting more.

The Aurora-Express is a Bed and Breakfast in Fairbanks, Alaska made out of authentic Alaska Railroad cars renovated to historical periods. Experience Fairbanks, Alaska in this nostalgic Bed & Breakfast overlooking greater Fairbanks, the Tanana Valley, & Alaska Mountain Range.

Singita Sweni Lodge, South Africa

Image credit: Singita Sweni Lodge, South Africa

Situated on the verdant banks of the Sweni River, modern autumnal-coloured furniture springs to life with vivid shades of green in one of the most intimate lodges in the Kruger. Sweni’s seven Suites are perched on stilts above the lush river and blend effortlessly into the surrounding trees.

Suites are open-plan (with curtains for privacy) with deep baths, splendid views of the river and lavish decks with daybeds and outdoor showers.

Hotel Endemico, Mexico

Image credit: Hotel Endemico, Mexico

They always say “good things come in small packages”. These little rooms pack a surprising punch once you step inside.

Hotel Endemico is a rustic retreat in Mexico’s wine country situated on a slope overlooking the Valle de Guadalupe. “Endemico” is a Spanish word meaning “part of the environment” and so each eco-pod is designed to show-off the rural landscape.

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: Singita Sweni Lodge, South Africa

Feature: Designing the ‘live like a local’ experience

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Feature: Designing the ‘live like a local’ experience

Hotel Designs spends time understanding a new hotel concept from SB Architects that is said to “switch on the senses, capture imagination and transport guests on a journey though a mobile-canvas of captivating landscapes”… 

Luxury travelers are increasingly seeking unique, authentic and immersive experiences. They are becoming more curious and bold in their explorations and subsequently, their modes of transport. 

In Booking.com’s 2018 ‘Travel Predictions’ survey, they reported that 25 per cent of travellers were planning trips based on the journey rather than the destination, aiming to embark on an “epic road or rail journey”. 

Hyperlocalisation is no longer a trend, it’s a vital part of the guest experience, and design should interact with and enhance the local culture of the destination. The popularity of services like Air BnB shows no sign of slowing down, as inherently they provide what the guest is craving, a hyperlocalised ‘live like a local’ experience. As designers, we are tasked with creating a sense of place, communicating the unique story of the locale and designing adaptable spaces to provide hoteliers with the opportunity to reinvent and stay fresh. 

 Synonymous with ultra-luxury and glamor, we are experiencing a rail revival. The American West was built along rail lines that span the nation. What were once bustling railways are now silent and forgotten vestiges of our past. Many of these railways span untapped, truly breathtaking, locations, but provide no footing for hospitality development. The Infinite Explorer provides a unique opportunity to embrace and transform the existing infrastructure of these underutilized spaces, making the unreachable, reachable. 

Life aboard The Infinite Explorer is about the voyage, not the end destination. It’s a one-of-a-kind hospitality experience, designed to switch on the senses, capture the imagination and transport guests on a journey through a mobile-canvas of captivating landscapes.  

Embark on a five-night odyssey through one of the world’s most spectacular natural landscapes. Not only can guests experience a five-star service and luxury amenities onboard; including a dining and observation car; the exclusive itinerary will satiate the palate of the most intrepid traveler. 

Train travelers usually only capture a glimpse of the immense beauty that passes by outside their window, but imagine if you could step out of your cabin into the wilderness to feel, touch, and smell it? As the train weaves through a profusion of wildflower-filled meadows, rocky peaks, and crystal clear, aquamarine lakes, the train will stop, the side of the guest’s cabin will open up, and guests can step from their cabin onto one of the extraordinary platforms and experiences located along the route. Each stop along the route is unique and designed with an immersive program of activity, including outdoor adventures, wellness and dining; designed to astound, delight and capture the guest’s imagination at every turn. 

The Infinite Explorer grants guests the opportunity to slow down, disconnect and intimately connect with scenery that might otherwise be unattainable.  

The concept, and its infinite possibilities, has been shortlisted for the Radical Innovation Award. 

Main image credit: SB Architects

Is this the most instagrammable hotel in Barcelona?

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Is this the most instagrammable hotel in Barcelona?

During August Hotel Designs is shining the Spotlight On Hotel Concepts. The editorial team believe that Hotel Arts Barcelona has all the ingredients in the mix to be Barcelona’s most instagrammable hotel. It’s a bold statement, but here’s why…

Exclusive and indulgent, the 28 penthouses at the top of the tallest building in Barcelona give guests a behind-the-scenes experience to those photos on Instagram – where luxury is the bare minimum. Beneath them, is the entrance of a hotel that has been designed around essence of wellness and wellbeing.

Iconic design, incredible culinary experiences and the sparkling Mediterranean are what draw visitors to Barcelona, Spain. These elements are also what attract luxury travelers to Hotel Arts Barcelona. Towering 44 floors above the sea, the 5-star hotel is a striking tower of blue glass and steel with beautifully designed accommodations, a two Michelin-star restaurant and spaces, including a rooftop spa and two outdoor pools, that overlook the sea.

Beautifully curated by world-renowned Catalonian designer Jaime Tresserra, the penthouses display unforgettable wraparound views over the city and the Azur of the Mediterranean beyond, making Hotel Arts Barcelona an unmistakable icon of Catalonia’s capital.

The hotel has been designed to evoke a certain wellness ambiance to shelter a collection of Insta-worthy and bespoke experiences including private cocktail mixology classes by highly acclaimed mixologist and high-end cuisine. From bright sunrises to soft pink sunsets, guests of the Royal, Presidential, Barcelona or Arts Penthouse can also book expertly taught, mindful yoga classes or have the professional therapists from the hotel’s 43 The Spa set up terrace massages for Natura Bissé spa treatments paired with undoubtedly Europe’s finest views.

Each Penthouse also features indulgent Bvlgari amenities, daily personalised breakfasts and personal use of a MINI Cooper Cabrio. Unparalleled service throughout, combined with dynamic design, the Penthouses boast exclusive check-ins as well as dedicated, multilingual butlers and magnificent flower arrangements by celebrity florist Donna Stain.

Main image credit: Hotel Arts Barcelona

NYC-based design firm uses technology to re-imagine the hotel bar

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
NYC-based design firm uses technology to re-imagine the hotel bar

A sculptural “Cubic Sky” inside La Concha, one of San Juan’s most iconic technology hotels, takes spatial design, sound, and lighting to the next level…

Design firm Cactus transforms club Fifty Eight inside La Concha Renaissance Resort from an underused space into a must-see design destination using the latest innovations in digital technology and architecture.

A sculptural, full-ceiling, architectural installation which is capable of creating electrifying patterns and reacting automatically to live music and programmed controls. Created from hundreds of individual, custom-made light boxes, Cubic Sky combines architecture and technical innovation for a jaw-dropping display.

Each light box of the chandelier is capable of creating a wide range of color and brightness individually. The ‘cubes’ are networked together and utilize custom-built software that visualises data using a combination of graphic design, algorithms, and animation.

Cubic Sky can generate natural, ambient patterns, react automatically to live music, or be controlled with a custom, tablet-based interface which allows DJ’s, artists and hosts to adjust light patterns and create ephemeral and bespoke experiences.

During the day, subtle changes in light color and brightness create beautiful ambient patternsin the room, mimicking the passing clouds of the Caribbean right outside. In the early evening, the colors of the sunset from that day are reflected by the light colors and natural patterns on the ceiling, evoking the beauty of the surrounding area. At night, the lounge area transforms into one of the region’s most unforgettable nightclubs. The ceiling can react to the live music below, using inputs from the audio system to change thepattern, color and intensity of the lights.

Cactus is an experiential design studio that creates work at the intersection of physical architecture and digital technology. The studio works for visionary clients across a range of industries including media, fitness, medicine, entertainment, automotive and financial services. All client work is united by one objective – to imagine, design, and build what is next.

Camouflaged hotel architecture of the 21st century

1024 650 Hamish Kilburn

As we continue putting architecture and construction in the spotlight, Hotel Designs reveals some of the world’s most spectacular hidden architectural gems…

Following our search to unveil impressive architectural drawings that are currently on the boards, this week Hotel Designs is investigating architecture’s largest, most impressive, magic trick; to make a building disappear.

With hotel owners and operators around the world competing with one another to open in eye-catching buildings, and sustainability more considered than ever before, here are a few examples of buildings that impressively blend into their surroundings.

1) Shipwreck Lodge, Namibia

Image of one of the lodges blending into the surroundings of sand dunes.

Image credit: Shipwreck Lodge

Crafted around the enigmatic shipwrecks that line Namibia’s Skeleton Coast, there’s nowhere on the continent – or the world – quite like Shipwreck Lodge. The raw and rugged shells of each shack is matched in the interiors with shabby blinds and rough wooden walls. Adding comfort, the soft furnishings and fur throws make the inside feel cosy – almost a home-from-home. The impossibly remote slice of African wilderness, where towering dunes and wind-swept plains roll as far as the eye can see, is buffeted by the icy Atlantic seas.

> Read more by clicking here

2) Whitepod, Switzerland

Image of the pods on the slopes

Image credit: Whitepod

Nestled in the Swiss Alps, the eco pods at Whitepod, complete with electricity, heating supplied by a pellet stove and fully fitted bathrooms, are quite literally on the side of a mountain. Each pod has been designed to be ecologically friendly.

> Read more by clicking here

3) Keemala Phuket, Thailand

Villa that is hidden in the woodland

Image caption: Tree Pool House at Keemala Phuket in Thailand

Categorised into four different tribes, the rooms and interiors at Keemala Phuket have been evenly designed to offer comfort and reflect Phuket’s rural beginnings.

Clay Pool Cottage – it is believed that people of this tribe excel in agriculture and have a strong bond to earth. The furniture is made from carved wood and clever patterns are imprinted to tell the tale of the tribe’s art and culture.

Tree Pool House – Living life at high levels, the people of this tribe can be found in trees. The interiors, therefore, include hanging furniture with embedded patterns throughout.

Tent Pool Villa – Seeking adventure through the art of hunting has been inspired in the design of this style of property. This reflects the tribe that is a born wanderer. The fabrics reveal ease of mobility while dark leather represents stalking instincts.

> Read more by clicking here

4) ÖÖD house – Rood Wood of Mayfield 

Image credit: Round Wood of Mayfield

The ÖÖD house – a stunning, 18 sq/m mini home/hotel facility clad in mirrored glass which blends to its natural surroundings – has been added to Round Wood of Mayfield’s collection of high end outdoor structures.

Originally envisaged as a “pop up” hotel guest room or Airbnb pad by Estonian company ÖÖD, it is now exclusively distributed and assembled by the timber and landscape specialists across the UK.

The stand-alone living space for both commercial and domestic clients, which also make ideal office spaces, guest accommodation or even yoga studios, blends beautifully into any setting courtesy of the striking insulated glazing that covers the front and sides.

> Read more by clicking here

5) Matetsi Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Interior Designer Kerry van Leenhoff fused together design and nature effortlessly. The Zimbabwean created spaces that encompassed the concept of ‘life on the river’ using locally sourced material throughout. The resort, which Hotel Designs reviewed in October of last year, sits alone on a 123,000-acre plot of game reserve.

The future of Matetsi is bright: “We are working on a few things at the moment, which are really exciting projects,” van Leenhoff told Hotel Designs. “The design direction and our aim is to strike the balance between feeling isolated and feeling safe.” The new plans will further challenge conventional luxury lodges in Africa with a real focus on opening up the guests to undisturbed nature.

Read more by clicking here

6) treehotel, Sweeden

a camouflaged mirrored cube in the trees

Image credit: treehotel

The Mirrorcube was launched as an “exciting hide-out among the trees, camouflaged by mirrored walls that reflect their surroundings.” Its base consists of an aluminum 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.

> Read more by clicking here

Main image credit: treehotel

Profile image of Ronald Homsy

In Conversation With: Ronald Homsy, CEO and co-founder, Utopian Hotel Collection

800 473 Hamish Kilburn

Concluding our month of focusing the lens on Hotel Concepts, editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn puts Ronald Homsy under the spotlight to learn more about how he plans to make the world see luxury hotels for the experiences they shelter…

In a quiet café just off London’s Sloane Square, which is a pleasant experience itself, something amazing is happening: I am about to meet one of the men behind a new hotel collection that inspires through one-off experiences. The sharp-looking businessman approaches my table and takes off his tailored blazer and rolls up his sleeves to shake my hand, which breaks down all formal barriers. The CEO and co-founder of Utopian Hotel Collection, Ronald Homsy, sits down comfortably and starts to share what I can tell has been a driving passion of his for years.

We start talking about locations as we constantly refer to them as playgrounds that need exploring. It becomes clear that finding the hotels for Ronald’s newly launched collection is half the fun – or battle depending on how to you look at it. “We find our hotels on the basis of five principles. They are story of everything, unexpected adventure, people-to-people service, technology and the playful character,” he explains. “In addition to that, though, we want to find hotels that have unique characteristics, which of course can come from the design.”

“It doesn’t take a genius to realise that Ronald’s looking for unexpected gems.”

Ronald assures me that a hotel cannot be a member of Utopian Hotel Collection if there isn’t something exquisite about the design. Having previously read how he has worked in the restaurant and club scene before, it strikes me that Ronald is not unfamiliar of good design that works, or luxury for that matter. “Sometimes design works best when there is no design,” he says drawing me in as I am a sucker for minimalism. “A lot of our hotels within our brand are actually old buildings and they have something authentic about the interiors. To disrupt that would be wrong, so instead we aim to elevate it.” It doesn’t take a genius to realise that Ronald is looking for unexpected gems. Portugal’s São Lourenço Do Barrocal is a great example of this as it combines understated luxury with the simplicity of farm life and is one of the 25 hotels that the brand has securely under its umbrella.

Clean, fresh interiors

Image caption: Sleek interiors at São Lourenço Do Barrocal

Ronald and his business partner Paul Cordier became friends 25 years ago at school where they both studied hotel management together. When working as hoteliers, they saw an opportunity in the bustling international hotel market. In 2014, the entrepreneurial spirit in them led them to spot the interesting gap for the need for a brand to be built around hotel experiences in 2014. “Travellers have changed,” Ronald says. “We realised that, all of a sudden, there was a huge desire to spend more money on experiences rather than physical products. On the hotel side, independent hotels needed solutions and advice.”

Helping hotels do better on all levels, the collection to me feels like an older, wiser and perhaps more knowledgeable brother who will help guide its siblings through life spotting and taking advantage of opportunities.

Green hotel courtyard

Image caption: Marbella Club

Ronald strikes me as a man who listens in business, which is fresh, as he asks me my thoughts on whether I have come across any areas or hotels that slot in line with Utopian Collection. “Have you heard of Nevis,” I spill, almost interrupting his question. I explain how on the untouched Caribbean island, with no building is taller than a palm tree, is somewhere that has to be experienced to believe. The island has not one fast-food restaurant, which naturally fits in with the huge wellness wave that everyone is riding at the moment – and most importantly, the hotels are naturally stunning with the location itself doing most of the talking. I imagine that Ronald gets this a lot, but his general interest makes me feel as if he’s one for researching new places that have a unique core.

Quick-fire round

Hamish Kilburn: What’s your favourite colour?
RH: Black.
HK: Where’s next on your travel bucket list?
RH: Nevis now that you’ve mentioned it!
HK: What’s your number one travel essential?
RH: My iPhone.
HK: Biggest inspiration in business?
RH: Steve Jobs.
HK: Biggest inspiration in life?
RH: My stepdad.

At first, luxury simply equalled opulence. Today, it is just as much about attitude. 72 per cent of people would rather spend money on experiences than things; with travellers now seeking more than just exceptional service, fittings and furnishings. There’s an appetite for the intangible and a desire for truly authentic adventures which enrich and surprise. This same zest flows through every Utopian hotel which bears a luxury no longer defined by the old school; but by exceptional service, a richness of experience, one-off authenticity and the verve of youth.

Despite the hotel collection focusing its sights on the amazing unique properties in Europe, it seems to me that Ronald’s interest in my one suggestion of a tiny island with a huge personality is an almost firm indication that his sights are firmly on the world and all the opportunities that it holds. Given the gap in the market, I’m sure this is just the start of what is going to be an amazing experience for the hotel collection.

Aerial image of a hotel

The benefits of designing a modern eco-hotel

800 537 Hamish Kilburn

As the spotlight this month continues to shine on Hotel Concepts, Ali Howe explores the benefits of an eco-hotel in the congested arena of international hotel design…

While only 6.8 per cent of hotel reviews mention sustainability, the ones that do are almost exclusively positive. This in turn leads to customers who frequently return to the hotel and advertise it to friends via word of mouth and social media. With shifting attitudes and a need for a socially conscious eco-hotel image, designing for sustainability is a smart business move. Lower running costs also mean potentially higher profits margins. It’s not all about the money though. A medium-sized hotel switching to renewable energy can expect to reduce its carbon footprint by 68,500kg per year. This is crucial to preventing catastrophic climate change. Therefore, many would argue that the focus in hotel design should be to create a hotel around customers’ needs and desires, by creating an eco-hotel that really stands out from the competition.

Shifting customer attitudes
Depending on where your hotel is located, will depend on the type of guests that will be arriving. However, there is a general trend towards a focus on the environment. The amount of customers craving an eco-friendly option is expected to increase by 36 per cent between 2016 and 2018. Making observable eco-conscious upgrades to your hotel will help you maintain this customer base.

By putting sustainability first, you remove the corporate atmosphere and create a space which is interesting, forward thinking and welcoming

Travellers to more rural and natural beauty spots are particularly keen to limit their environmental impact. They expect a hotel designed with nature conservation in mind. By taking a plane and other transport, they are already conscious of their carbon footprint. If they can balance this with an eco-friendly hotel, they will end their vacation feeling positive.

 

Image credit: Unsplash/Sara Dubler

Build a friendly image and loyal customers
62 per cent of people distrust large corporations. They are seriously concerned that profit is at the heart of almost every business. Showing, through your hotel design, that you are willing to go the extra mile to create a socially conscious business highlights that you are about more than just money. Hotels should have a homely feel, where guests feel comfortable and welcome. By putting sustainability first, you remove the corporate atmosphere and create a space which is interesting, forward thinking and welcoming. Solar panels and bamboo toothbrushes are small design features that easily identify your hotel as being environmentally conscious.

Enjoy lower running costs
A luxury, unique and comfortable hotel can be expensive to run. From hiring staff to keeping the place running to ensuring you use the highest quality mattresses, fixed costs are high. Why would you increase costs further by using outdated, inefficient and non-renewable fuel sources? For one megawatt-hour of solar power, you will spend around £40. That’s compared to the £80 needed for the same amount of coal. Switching to solar makes far more financial sense, offering long-term savings. You can then use the extra money to increase the quality of your hotel’s design or simply lower prices for guests.

Making ecological design improvements to your hotel is arguably a no-brainer. You’ll keep up with shifting public attitudes, making you a leader in your area. A sustainable design will not only save you money on running costs, but create an atmosphere that keeps guests returning and always leaving positive reviews.

Main image credit: Unsplash/JoshG

Cowshed Spa Babington Hotel

Top 5 stories of the week: Big data, Britain’s best spas and it’s almost show time

800 533 Hamish Kilburn

Editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn breaks down the major happenings in this week’s headlines…

Lights, camera and action. That’s right, here at Hotel Designs we are counting down the days before the curtain rises on yet another full and fabulous London Design Week. As the drumroll roars ahead of designjunction, Decorex and 100% Design, here are the top five stories of the week.

1) Hotel Designs announces the judges of this year’s Brit List 

It’s a busy time in the Hotel Designs HQ – when is it not? With less than a month for designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers to get their free entries in, we have announced this year’s esteemed judging panel.

2) Top design hotel spa concepts in Britain

Following on with this month’s ‘Spotlight On’ theme focusing on Hotel Concepts – and with this year’s Brit List fast approaching – Hotel Designs investigates Britain’s best spa concepts…

3) Designing Instagrammable: Big data = big opportunities for hospitality design

Animation of woman looking out a skyline

In part four of Designing Instagrammable, Scott Valentine, the Managing Director of Valé Architects, explains the benefits and potential of analysing big data…

4) Spotlight On: The hotel lobby and furniture

Hotel lobby

Throughout September, Hotel Designs will be shining the spotlight on two areas that together help the other evolve. Namely: the hotel lobby and furniture…

5) It’s showtime, almost! 

Decorex International 2018_Blue Trend Colours_Federico bed from Gillmore Space

Blue is in this season, according the Decorex. In addition to the bold statement that blue will be bold during this year’s London Design Festival, the BIID has also announced its plans around all three of the major shows, of which Hotel Designs is a media partner for all….

Animation of online marketing

INSIGHT: How is the hotel market performing online?

1024 749 Hamish Kilburn

The Hotel Sector Report has published a brief look into who is winning and who is losing the battle in the hotel sector online…

The Hotel Sector Report, produced by digital marketing specialists Inside Online, ranks 46 of the leading websites within this competitive market according to their online performance.

The annual study reveals the successes and shortcomings of each website, highlighting where there is room for improvement.

Other stand-out results from visibility include:

  • Accor Hotels [117 per cent] recorded the most significant increase among the top 10
  • The top 10 saw a majority (nine) see a rise in their visibility year-on-year
  • Marriott saw a reduction on its previous years’ visibility as Q Hotels dropped out due to a 21 per cent reduction, and was replaced by Radisson Blu after its 23 per cent increase

“It’s been a fantastic year for the hotel sector with nine of the top ten seeing improvements in their visibility,” commented Gemma Curtis, Inbound Content Marketer, at Inside Online. “It looks like paid media is the way forward when it comes to getting your Hotel site to the top of the SERPs.

“Overall, there is a big difference between the number of the brand searches and owned social score across the board. Content was on-brand, frequently posted and mostly varied but we weren’t wowed by any hotel company in particular.

“With an estimated 85 per cent of millennials using their phones to make purchases now, social is a huge asset to your business. Brands should focus on making engaging content which invites interaction to boost their owned social scores.”

Five-star social

Following Hotel Designs’ recent focus on social media, it seems as if UK company Premier Inn leads the overall social charts, coming in first place for brand searches per month but outside of the top five for owned social scores, led by Marriott.

The top five social scorers:

  • Premier Inn is the top performer with 1,500,000 monthly searches
  • Travelodge, Village Hotels, Marriott and Radisson Blu rounded out the top five for searches per month
  • Marriott leads owned social scores with Hilton, Accor, Melia and Intercontinental making up the top five

The social score considers followers and engaged conversations on all major social platforms.

Despite leading the overall charts, Premier Inn has a high brand search with 1,500,000; however, this hasn’t translated to their owned social score [659]. Likewise, Travelodge recorded a brand search score of 1,000,000 against an owned score of 202

Similarly, however, Hotel Duvin [40,500] had a high brand search but recorded an owned score of 86, while Britannia Hotels scored 27,100 against 13. Easy Hotels has a brand search score of 22,200 but owned social of 26 while Corinthia and Warner Leisure both score 12,100 for brand search against owned scores of 73 and 61.

Conversely, Marriott leads the owned search scores with 5,214 but only recorded a brand search score of 60,500.

Lodges to links

Links have always been an important ranking factor and can make all the difference to how far up a brand appears on Google. Consistently gaining new high-quality links can be great for business; however, high-link volumes without the quality could spell trouble ahead.

Hilton has the highest average number of links per month of high quality, which is likely because they are an international brand with many different subdomains and franchises. Most of their links are going to the various hotel sites, and they don’t appear to have any creative content outlet.

IHG, on the other hand, has a blog gaining many links, covering topics such as the best places to shop, eat, stay or things to do in various cities – which puts them in second place.

There are several sites with ‘high-quality, low-volume’ links; these include Radisson Collection, Star Hotel Collezione, Apex Hotels, CP London City and Point-A Hotels.

Conversely, there are also sites with ‘low-quality, high-volume’ links, such as Corinthia, Best Western, Q Hotels, Campanile and W London. Consistently gaining a high quantity of low-authority links highlights an urgent need to address your off-site reputation.

 

Top design hotel spa concepts in Britain

825 505 Hamish Kilburn

Following on with this month’s ‘Spotlight On’ theme focusing on Hotel Concepts – and with this year’s Brit List fast approaching – Hotel Designs investigates Britain’s best spa concepts…

Between the years of 2013 and 2015, Global Wellness Institute (GWI) concluded that the wellness travel market grew by a whopping 10.6 per cent to be worth an estimated US$563.2 billion. With that trajectory expected to rise even further, as GWI predicts that the wellness tourism will grow to be more than a US$800 billion industry by 2020, spa concepts and the core designs around spas are arguably the windows to new clientele.

As a result, spa design within the hotels to reach that ambitious five-star status is hot on the mind of designers, architects and hoteliers – and rightly so. As the spa becomes the spirit of the hotel, here are some awe-inspiring hotel spa concepts that have the ability to transform guests into another world whilst checked in.

Gleneagles, Scotland 

ESPA at Gleneagles, Scotland

In its majestic position underneath Scotland’s Ochil Hills, Glenagles’ escape doesn’t get much better than its spa. Designed by the great Sue Harmsworth, ESPA at Gleneageles was named last year as Britian’s best spa by The Good Spa GuideAs Scotland’s pre-eminent destination spa, it has been designed symmetrically to keep male and female areas separate.

Visitors to the spa can de-stress in the soothing surroundings of the central courtyard, enjoy indulgent heat and thermal experiences before or after their treatment, or enjoy a snack at The Spa’s café. Considering the majestic settings and the grand 1920s main building, the hotel is surprisingly modern with all the right levels of luxury.

The Gainsborough Spa, Bath 

Image credit: The Gainsborough Spa, Bath

As Bath’s only hotel that taps into the city’s natural thermal springs, The Gainsborough is in a league on its own in the South West.

The spa’s design fuses modern elements with traditional architecture typical to surviving examples of Roman Baths. At its heart are three healing pools of warm thermal water beneath a contemporary glass atrium. The spa is spread over two levels. On the lower level there are treatment rooms, an ice room, infra-red sauna, traditional sauna, steam room, luxurious men’s and ladies changing rooms and the thermal pools. Respecting the historic Roman tradition, each pool is a few degrees warmer or cooler than the next and are to be experienced – as they were in Roman time – in sequence.

Between the columns of the Romanesque colonnade and feature wall surrounding the largest of the pools of the Bath House, are niches clad in custom glass mosaics in blue and grey. Designed to reflect the thermal water and the Bath sky beneath the glass roof above, bathers will sit amongst the columns enjoying massaging jets of therapeutic water. Above, three contemporary interpretations of Georgian lanterns illuminate the Bath House, adding another contemporary edge to the spa’s design. Elsewhere, a Roman mosaic floor, uncovered during 19th century archaeological works and sealed beneath the surface, has been replicated above.

On the second level, linking the Gainsborough to its sister YTL property, Green Leaf Niseko Village, in Japan, a Tatami and a VIP room complete with an Ofuru-style tub (a wooden Japanese soaking tub accented with river rocks) is a feature element honouring the Asian hydrotherapy tradition. Ensconced further within is a cloistered space called the Fountain Room where guests are invited to taste the mineral-laden thermal water – a practice known to Roman bathers in Bath – and to meditate on a waterfall in contemplative solitude.

ESPA at Corinthia, London 

Spa at Corinthia London

Image credit: ESPA at The Corinthia London

Another Harmsworth-inspired retreat, the ESPA at The Corinthia London is the largest hotel spa in London and is, bizarrely enough, located just metres away from one of the city’s most iconic landmarks, Trafalgar Square. Arguably, that’s what makes the experience that much more special and surreal.

The spa which spans across four floors (reception and spa lounge, thermal floor, treatment floor, gym) is the perfect escape from the city above. The gateway to luxury starts at the reception area. Deliberately narrow corridors leading towards the thermal floor evoke the feeling of escaping into an underground world. Seamless ceramic doors camouflaged in the walls make every turn feel like an exclusive experience. Meanwhile, the roaring fires placed around the venue compliment the dark hues of blues and blacks. As well as creating drama, the concept of fire also cleverly breaks up the space without using walls.

Located underneath the hotel, and the busy streets of the capital, the spa includes a swimming pool – which sits below a large glass amphitheatre sauna, an ice fountain, a vitality pool, heated marble sun loungers and private sleep pods.

Lime Wood Hotel

Herb House Spa

Image credit: Lime Wood Hotel

Located on an original medieval hunting grounds, Lime Wood Hotel shelters a three-floor spa, Herb House Spa.

Dedicated to natural wellness and inspired by its forest surroundings, Herb House instils a sense of calm, well-being and serenity – it’s the perfect chilling retreat.

Herb House has a largeSauna and indoor Hydro Pool with stunning forest views, a mud house, a steaming outdoor hot pool, eight spacious single treatment rooms and two magnificent double treatment rooms – the perfect place in rural England to escape from the world in the heart of the New Forest.

Cowshed Spa Babington House

Cowshed Spa Babington Hotel

Image credit: Babington House

Set in the heart of Somerset, Babington House was designed with the stressed-out city goers in mind. The relaxed and typical ‘Soho House’ colour scheme of green and white stripes marries nicely with the honey-coloured facade of the main building that sits behind. The ‘rustic-chic’ Cowshed spa is surrounded by stunning vistas of the Somerset countryside. Facilities include two heated pools (one inside and one outside), sauna and steam room.

To celebrate the best of British in the hotel design industry, Hotel Designs has now opened up nominations for this year’s Brit List. The Brit List will amplify Britain’s top interior designers, hoteliers and architects. Click here for more information

Main image credit: ESPA at The Corinthia, London

Top 5 stories of the week: Furniture in the fast lane, VR insights and flawless flooring trends

800 456 Hamish Kilburn

As Hotel Designs continues to focus on Hotel Concepts and Flooring & Carpets, Editor Hamish Kilburn breaks down this week’s top news stories…

Throughout this week, we have had a bit of everything – from flooring trends to Lamborghini sofas, from VR insights to hotels inspired by nature. This is somewhat not surprising considering the two vast topics that we’re shining the spotlight on this month. Here are this week’s top five stories.

1) Virtual Reality is changing the game in hospitality

Hotel Tech Spa & Live

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Hotel Spa Tech Live describes how Virtual Reality is changing the face of international hotel design and service…

2) 7 flooring trends that are leaving clear footprints in 2018

This month, as we focus our lens on hotel flooring, Hotel Designs is going all out to give you an accurate take on how the flooring trends are shaping up for the back end of this year. From what our editorial team can see, rules have been broken – and rightly so. Here are a few top trends to keep an eye on for the rest of the year.

3) Nature-inspired villa suites open at Son Brull, Mallorca

With a noticeable nod to nature, Son Brull in Mallorca has completed the design of two brand-new villa suites. The two-bedroom villa suites are situated in the hotel’s idyllic gardens and offer the ideal combination of space and privacy while remaining fully serviced. Located in the northern Mallorca near Pollensa, the family owned and managed hotel is housed in a former monastery that dates back to the 12th century, in a peaceful rural setting for guests looking to disconnect and spend some quality time surrounded by nature.

4) Chic bungalow-style, luxury-chic hotel to open in the City of Angels

Home-from-home cosy guestroom

Image credit: 850

A new chic 23-key boutique hotel created by Jeff Klein’s JK Hotel Group and designed by Rita Konig is slated to open Autumn 2018…

5) SPOTLIGHT ON: Bentley Hotel rooms and Lamborghini furniture in the fast lane

With this month’s focus being on weird and wonderful Hotel Concepts around the globe, Hotel Designs stitched the lining of these very quirky – and slightly ‘out there’ automotive designs and Lamborghini sofas…

SPOTLIGHT ON: Bentley Hotel rooms and Lamborghini furniture in the fast lane

800 532 Hamish Kilburn

With this month’s focus being on weird and wonderful Hotel Concepts around the globe, Hotel Designs stitched the lining of these very quirky – and slightly ‘out there’ automotive designs and Lamborghini sofas…

Fast cars and flash hotel rooms are nothing new. In 2014, St Regis Istanbul famously unveiled the Bentley Suite, which played on the concept of automotive luxury design. A sofa lounge, with signature Bentley diamond upholstery in Bentley linen leather, brought Bentley’s distinctive motoring luxury to life. From the curved veneered walls, in Bentley smoked fiddleback eucalyptus, to the elegant upholstery, the suite’s shapely architecture skillfully reflected the Continental GT’s seductive lines.

Bentley Suite, Istanbul

St Regis Istanbul

In June this year, Hotel Designs reported on the hotel bathroom that was inspired by the design of a supercar. Working predominately in carbon fibre and taking design cues from the world of the supercar, award-winning designer Charles Wan was developing a number of unique automotive bathroom styles.

Now, with much hype around creating moments within a hotel experience, the Lamborghini sofa could be coming to a hotel guestroom near you.

The racing sofas, designed and manufactured by Design Epicentrum,  are a unique combination of realistic sport cars and comfortable seats with elegant leather upholstery. Next to such furniture is not a way to pass indifferently – they are created to play a main role in the space arrangement.

With Lamborghini sofas now on the market – albeit limited edition – the question over how far hotel concepts can go continues to be asked.

 

5 Stories of the Week: Underwater firsts, re-defining luxury and The Brit List early bird tickets

800 500 Hamish Kilburn

As July falls over the horizon, August is looking bright-full of juicy stories. Editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn breaks down the top five stories of the week…

As we run into August, I’m heard a number of designers and architects asking where 2018 has gone. Already, this year has thrown some serious shapes in the never-stopping world of hotel design. Imminently upon us, the world’s first underwater hotel suite is about to be opened. This is why this month is dedicated to Hotel Concepts and Flooring & Carpets, two ever-changing elements in our industry.

As we conclude another week, here are the top five stories from the last five dates.

1) Designing Instagrammable: understanding the psychology of Instagram

Animation of Instagram

All this month, we are working with Australian-based architecture firm Valé Architects to investigate how to design the Instagrammable hotel. In PART ONE of FIVE, Scott Valentine, the firm’s Managing Director, explains the psychology of Instagram… The next article will be live on Monday.

2) 9 eye-catching hotel concepts from around the world

As we being to shine the spotlight on ‘hotel concepts’ this month, the editorial team have pulled together a handful of the most striking hotels from around the world…

3) The Brit List 2018 launches early bird tickets

Following the opening of nominations for this year’s Brit ListHotel Designs has launched early bird tickets for both delegates and suppliers.

4) Designing the world’s first luxury underwater hotel

Coridor leading to underwater guestroom

The race to designing the first underwater hotel has been more like a marathon than it has a sprint. There have been false starts, claims of cheating along the way and training plans that in reality have been non-starters. But now, for the first time ever – and proudly entering the history books – Conrad Maldives – led by a talented handful of architects, engineers and interior designers – is about to open the world’s first underwater accommodation in a hotel.

5) Hot hotels around the globe to cool down in

Last month was the second hottest July ever on record in the UK, reported The Telegraph. In light of the sweltering heat that the UK is facing this year, and that this month the spotlight is on Hotel Concepts, Hotel Designs has listed the hottest hotels around the globe to cool down in.

Hot hotels around the globe to cool down in

873 491 Hamish Kilburn

As the UK experiences one of the hottest summers on record, Hotel Designs took a sneak peek at hot hotels to cool down in…

Last month was the second hottest July ever on record in the UK, reported The Telegraph. In light of the sweltering heat that the UK is facing this year, and that this month the spotlight is on Hotel Concepts, Hotel Designs has listed the hottest hotels around the globe to cool down in.

1) Velaa Private Island – Maldives’ Only Snow Room

The first and only one of its kind in the Maldives, the snow room at Velaa Private Island instantly cools the body whether it be following a sauna, a steam room or after a long day in the sun. Situated within the island’s My Blend by Clarins Spa, Velaa takes the aspirational escape to a whole new level and the island’s snow room is just one of the exclusives including it’s own semi sub-marine; equally perfect for an afternoon out of the sun.

2) The Nai Harn – Cold Brew Coffee

Recently introducing home-made Cold Brew Coffee, The Nai Harn provides a refreshingly cooling alternative to traditionally hot-brewed coffee for a welcoming boost to the day. Allowing the aromas and flavours unfold, the three cold-brewed varieties come from Ehiopia, Costa Rica and Sumatra and are produced in specialised coffee machines at room temperature. Take a moment to cool down on the infinity-edged rooftop bar, Cold Brew Coffee in hand overlooking what has been voted as Thailand’s best beach.

3) Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort – Water Source Journey

The idyllic Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort sits in a special location, providing both Thermal and Thalasso waters to their sprawling Myrthia Spa. Offering the perfect opportunity to cool down, the spa offers a  ‘Water Source Journey’, including 6 contrast pools of between 32 and 10 degrees, all giving the skin a chance to calm and heal. The experience then culminates in the opportunity to relax inthe semi-submerges sun loungers overlooking the dazzling Aegean giving you a chance to sunbathe without the heat.

4) Aphrodite Hills Resort – The Red Lobster Calming Facial 

‘The Retreat Spa by Atlantica’ at Aphrodite Hills Resort has recently launched a ‘Red Lobster Calming Facial’. Targeting those who have been out in the sun all day, making the most of the outstanding sporting facilities, including the PGA National Golf Course for Cyprus, they uses the best in ELEMIS, Phytomer and VieCollection products to counteract over-exposure to the sun. The process includes a light exfoliation, a mild cleansing and deep moisturising treatments to have the skin looking fresh and radiant, not burnt and painful.

5) Nobu Hotel Miami Beach – South Beach Revival Treatment

With Miami Spa Week in full swing, Nobu Hotel Miami Beach are offering the ‘South Beach Revival’ treatment, which uses a full body wrap made out of green clay to regenerate, sooth and oxygenate the skin. Perfect to sooth and repair the skin at this sweltering time of year, this 110 mins treatment is then followed by a relaxing 75 mins massage and hair and scalp treatment to make sure all sun and heat damage is fully relieved.

Image credit: Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, New York

Coridor leading to underwater guestroom

Designing the world’s first luxury underwater hotel

800 400 Hamish Kilburn

As Hotel Designs puts ‘hotel concepts’ in the spotlight, editor Hamish Kilburn dives in to understand what it takes to design the world’s first underwater hotel…

The race to designing the first underwater hotel has been more like a marathon than it has a sprint. There have been false starts, claims of cheating along the way and training plans that in reality have been non-starters. But now, for the first time ever – and proudly entering the history books – Conrad Maldives – led by a talented handful of architects, engineers and interior designers – is about to open the world’s first underwater accommodation in a hotel.

Many believe this race was won by Dubai a few years ago, when it launched its version of the underwater suite at the Atlantis The Palm. But, like many greats in the world of sport that were caught out for cheating and seriously bending the rules, the hotel also fell short of the title. What the hotel claimed to be the ‘Underwater Suite’ in 2008 was actually just a floor-to-ceiling view into a very large – and equally impressive – aquarium. Dubai’s ‘go big or go home’ attitude was in full swing, and plans and renders for more underwater experiences were launched.

The residence at Conrad Maldives’ The Muraka comprises an above-sea residence and an underwater level, which is completely immersed in the ocean

Aerial shot of the hotel

Meanwhile, over in the Maldives, plans and concepts were becoming a reality much faster. 13 years in the making, and USD 15 million later, The Muraka – which translates to ‘coral’ in native Dhivehi – in Conrad Maldives is now on track to open a unique, luxurious two-level residence. The residence comprises an above-sea residence and an underwater level, which is completely immersed in the ocean. This offers guests an unobstructed 180-degree panoramic view of the marine life in natural surroundings.

Mike Murphy the engineer of The Muraka Residence at Conrad Maldives had the job in making sure the equations add up. “Site conditions are paramount,” he says when explaining what factors must be taken into account when designing the ambitious accommodation. “This includes tidal range, water depths, protection from storms, storm wave heights, wind loads, type of soil for driving piles, access for big crane ship rick of tsunami etc. This dictates freeboard heights, the depth of undersea unit below the sea level, height of stairwell, piling design and everything else.”

Render of underwater bathroom

Elements that would not cross your mind, such as working out if the client needs to install a wheelchair lift, would impact on the final volume of the underwater unit. “The greater the volume, then the more water displaced, which means more buoyant uplift, which means more weight to hold the unit down so that it doesn’t float,” Murphy adds.

The bathroom is mind-blowing, even if I do say so myself

Elsewhere in the project, but in constant communication with the engineers and interior designers, Ahmed Saleem, the director of Crown Company Pvt;. Ltd was the lead architect on the The Muraka Residence. “Like all architects, I was also trying to come up with a unique Maldivian image,” he said.

The bedroom is an acrylic tunnel that makes guests feel completely submerged under the waves

Once all the issues with privacy, safeguarding and supplying air to the underwater areas was addressed, Saleem and his team got to work in designing the underwater room to great a full underwater-living environment. “The bathroom is mind-blowing, even if I do say so myself,” he adds. “I have designed it so that the ocean is the constant view, with the ocean above your head and the sense of being surrounded by water.”

Render of Underwater guestroom

The interiors were led by Japanese architect Yuji Yamazaki. What makes the room design unique is the varying uses of acrylic that has been incorporated into one unit. The bedroom is an acrylic tunnel that makes guests feel completely submerged under the waves. The acrylic that forms the living room is curved vertical glass, which allows guests to further marvel at the marine wildlife outside the sea-wrapping pod.

The main challenge for this project, aside from the obvious being that architects, designers and engineers do not have gills, was the sheer scale of it, and the logistical nightmare of transporting it from Singapore, where it was built, to the Maldives. “The room is the maximum weight (600 tonnes) that can be lifted by the ship’s crane and that can moor close to the reef,” explained Murphy. “Finding the right ship [to transport the parts] with crane capacity to be able to do the job.”

The result of years of planning and construction is an out-of-this-world hotel experience that literally takes hotel concepts to new depths. The underwater level features in the property includes one king bedroom, a living area, a bathroom and an impressive spiral staircase.

This very special part of the hotel, which will settle on the seabed for years to come, will be open to guests from November of this year.

A new floating hotel to launch in Scotland

800 445 Hamish Kilburn

A new floating hotel, which will be permanently berthed in Scotland, is about to launch with interiors envisioned by well-known hotel designer…

With Hotel Designs this month investigating the ever-changing world of hotel concepts, the idea of ‘floating hotels’ is a hot topic at the moment with many hotel designers extending their services to include cruise ship design. Launching in Autumn 2018, a new £5 million development is set to transform Scotland’s hotel scene. Fingal, a former Northern Lighthouse Board ship, begins an exciting new chapter offering beautiful cabins, dining and entertaining space, set in Edinburgh’s historic Port of Leith.

The development is being carried out by the Pedley Group. Co-founder Alan Pedley has been responsible for manufacturing and installing more than 180,000 hotel rooms in 61 countries for the world’s leading hotel groups including IHG, Hyatt, Hilton and Marriott.

Developed by The Royal Yacht Britannia’s trading company, Royal Yacht Enterprises, Fingal’s 23 luxury cabins are each named after Stevenson lighthouses, inspired by her rich maritime heritage. Guests can choose from staying in a private deck, a duplex cabin with comfortable living space or the stunning Skerryvore Suite with extensive outdoor space to relax and entertain.

Carefully considered design offers high specifications of craftmanship and finish, with nautical touches and polished woods. Sumptuous Scottish leathers and the finest linens are in colour palates inspired by Fingal’s journey from land and sea.

“Fingal is like no other in Scotland,” said head of hospitality & events, Andrew Thomson. “It is a privilege to take this historic ship and create a new, exciting and world-class addition to the Scottish tourism landscape. The craftsmanship and design, inspired by Fingal’s provenance and heritage, coupled with the best of Scotland’s larder will ensure our guests’ experience on Fingal is truly memorable.”

A stylish yet relaxed restaurant with banquette seating offers a light menu celebrating the best of Scotland’s larder, from coast to field. Raise a glass at the welcoming Moët Hennessy Champagne bar or enjoy a cocktail from the creative menu.  Spacious outdoor decks provide a blend of private and public spaces to bask in the quayside setting or sit out under the stars.

Hosting up to 80 guests, Fingal is ideal for exclusive hire, private parties, weddings and corporate events. A spectacular ballroom reached by a sweeping staircase is nestled uniquely in the bow of the ship and flooded in light by a movable skylight above.

Permanently berthed in Edinburgh’s waterfront hotspot of Leith, guests will be ideally situated to access the best the city has to offer. Award-winning restaurants, bars, artisan boutiques and galleries are just a few minutes’ walk away. The Royal Yacht Britannia is also nearby.

 

Luxurious eco-minded boutique hotel re-opens

800 568 Hamish Kilburn

Let’s Sea Hua Hin Al Fresco Resort sets new boutique standards following renovation…

The ocean-facing boutique hotel Let’s Sea Hua Hin Al Fresco Resort champions locality and eco-minded initiatives. The barefoot Thai luxury hotel has recently completed a significant renovation to its 40 suites, public spaces and famous beachside restaurant. Eco-chic and dedicated to supporting the community whilst preserving the natural beauty of its surroundings – the hotel’s staff are entirely local, and its eco-architectural design minimises the overall environmental impact.

With sense of responsibility to sustain and be a leader in romantic relaxation for conscious travellers, the resort briefly closed over the first two weeks of June 2018 to give each of the public areas the full renovation.

Taking it one step further and looking beyond aesthetics, the ambition behind the renovation is to set inspiring new standards of quality in luxury hospitality. With sense of responsibility to sustain and be a leader in romantic relaxation for conscious travellers, the resort briefly closed over the first two weeks of June 2018 to give each of the public areas the full renovation.

Reopening with its fresh new look as a destination that draws a new blueprint of cutting edge cool in Hua Hin, the intimate suites orbit a spectacular 120-metre lagoon pool whilst the carefully considered architecture takes full advantage of natural light and cooling breezes. Certifying the resort’s carbon footprint is kept to a minimum, all food is locally sourced with sensitive waste management systems.

Leaving lasting impressions, newly installed eco-friendly air conditioning and smart showers blend into natural hues to create an organic ambience that retains a strong sense of place with Thai influence. New to discover is a wellbeing pavilion located above the high-tech fitness studio, high-speed internet connections, Bose Sound Wave 10 Bluetooth speakers and oversized spa tubs situated on the rooftops of the suites whilst recognising the importance of sleep is the hotel’s new collection of next generation LaZzzzz Beds.

“Great design sits at the heart of all we do and we’re lucky to have amazing talent working with us to bring our guests a whole new level of luxury, relaxation and romance,” said Srayut Ekahitanonda, CEO of Let’s Sea Hua Hin Al Fresco Resort. “Our Barefoot Luxury concept introduces a softer, richer character to the resort, creating a space that suggests genuine refinement but with a casual, laid back ambiance that puts guests immediately at ease.’

Let’s Sea Hua Hin Al Fresco Resort originally began as a restaurant which has become renowned with both local and international diners. Female Head Chef Supanee J. Ketbumrung leads the way serving a fragrant blend of local and international favourites that are seasonally sensitive, along with its own unique creations that make Let’s Sea Hua Hin Al Fresco Resort a gourmet destination in and of itself.

Top 5 stories of the week: Mountain-mad retreats, chart-topping hotel groups and cliff-hanging hotel design

800 450 Hamish Kilburn

As our month of threading together the latest in fabrics and soft furnishings comes to a close, we wrap up another fast-paced week in the creative world of international hotel design with the top five stories of the last five days…

Following on from the successful Meet Up North networking event we hosted in Manchester’s King Street Townhouse, this week we’ve covered hotel design news from around the world. We’ve seen ambitious plans launching, hotel groups becoming leaders and Hotel Designs has announced its Spotlight On features for August. Here are the top five stories of the week, as selected by editor Hamish Kilburn.

1) Spotlight On: Hotel Concepts and Flooring & Carpets

Throughout August, Hotel Designs will be putting the spotlight on two massively talked-about areas of international hotel design, namely: Hotel Concept and Flooring & Carpets…

2) IHG becomes the UK’s leading luxury hotel operator

The story with the most views this weeks comes from a brand that is taking luxury travel to a new level – and fast! IHG has just been named the UK’s leading luxury hotel operator after a series of shifts and openings. The hotel group has confirmed the UK debut locations for its boutique brand Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants and its recently launched upscale brand, voco™ Hotels. This move follows the announcement made in May of an agreement with Covivio (formerly Foncière des Régions), to rebrand and operate 12 high-quality open hotels in the UK and one pipeline hotel. Nine of the hotels join IHG’s brand portfolio today, making IHG the UK’s leading luxury hotel operator. The remaining three open hotels are anticipated to be added in the coming weeks…

3) Design hotel in the Dolomites will define a new model of mountain luxury hotels

The plan for the new Faloria Mountain Spa Resort, historical glamorous hotel based in Cortina, has finally been unveiled. A new design hotel in the Dolomites, the Faloria Mountain Spa Resort, is said to set a new standard in mountain luxury hotels. The project, signed by the architect Flaviano Capriotti, upgrades the resort to the highest hospitality standards, achieving the fifth star and presenting a new hospitality model: at crossroads between local tradition, innovation and comfort.

4) Opposites attract at Wyndham Grand Phuket Kalim Bay

Guestroom image with stunning ocean views

Nestled behind vibrant streets, where thousands of Gap-Year backpackers find shelter in cheap hostels, rises a luxury hotel with personality, style and unmatched ocean views. Editor Hamish Kilburn checks in to ‘a new kind of luxury’ at the Wyndham Grand Phuket Kalim Bay to see for himself how opposites in South East Asia can attract after all…

5) Waldolf Astoria Bangkok prepares for ‘Asia’s most anticipated hotel openings this year’

Image credit: AFSO

The anticipated opening of Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, designed by the award-winning André Fu is said to evolve the hotel landscape in Southeast Asia. The end of August will see the opening of what is said to be Asia’s most anticipated hotel openings of 2018. The grand Waldorf Astoria in Bangkok, meticulously designed by, André Fu, from AFSO who was named Designer of the Year for Maison & Objet Asia in 2016, captures the brand’s iconic image in the vibrant Thai capital.

Spotlight On: Hotel Concepts and Flooring & Carpets

1024 682 Hamish Kilburn

Throughout August, Hotel Designs will be putting the spotlight on two massively talked-about areas of international hotel design, namely: Hotel Concept and Flooring & Carpets…

Next month, Hotel Designs will be digging beneath the surface to uncover the most extraordinary hotels from around the globe as we celebrate the weird, the wonderful and the very brave world of Hotel Concepts. In addition, we will be laying down all the latest from flooring and carpets as many flooring suppliers gear up to present their latest collections at London Design Week in September.

Hotel concepts

Image credit: Conrad Maldives

The editorial team at Hotel Designs is always on the hunt for bold hotels that unapologetically stand out from the crowd. Next month, we want to celebrate these fine examples of truly exceptional spaces by revealing the craziest hotel concepts from around the world. We’re looking for overnight accommodation that completely challenges conventional hotel design.

Flooring & carpets

Technological advances in flooring manufacturing continue to dictate the trends. Vinyl can now mimic hardwood, stone, concrete and much more, while random-coloured woods – or replications of wood in vinyl or laminate – marry together to create an interesting and playful look and feel.

Waterproof carpets are making a splash with their durable qualities making it ideal for heavily used areas in hotels. Many companies are choosing to go ‘carbon-neutral’ in an effort to be more green, and abstract patterns are making their way to the front with a number of companies using aerial shots as inspiration to create some truly unique products.

If you’re a supplier in either of these categories and want your products to reach more than 41,000 hoteliers, interior designers and architects per month, there are plenty of ways you can get involved with these features next month, from supplying an opinion piece to working with us on a targeted mini-series.

If you wish to find out more, please contact Phoebe Kasapi on 01992 374059 or p.kasapi@forumevents.co.uk

Main image credit: Vora Santorini