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hotel construction

SUSD gains planning consent for hotel and members club on the Thames

800 508 Hamish Kilburn

The hotel developer, SUSD, has just won planing consent to convert the estate into luxury retreat, complete with a 53-key hotel…

SUSD, the developer behind two of London’s most successful hybrid destinations, The Curtain Hotel & Members Club and Devonshire Club, has just won planning consent, subject to finalising the S106 Agreement, for a third development, this time on the banks of the Thames near Pangbourne, Berkshire.

The historic 3.4 hectare Grotto Estate includes a Grade ll listed house constructed as a riverside retreat for Lady Fane in the early 18th Century, extensive lawns, and rolling wooded parklands with direct access to the river. Capability Brown is thought to have advised on the original design of the landscape. Consent is for the restoration, reconstruction and enhancement of the main house, converting it into a 53-guestroom hotel with a restaurant and bars, six new two-bedroom detached lodges associated with the hotel and the replacement of several dilapidated outbuildings to create new leisure facilities. The consent, granted under the planning terms of Enabling Development, also includes two detached family houses, which will be for private purchase, in the original grounds of the Grotto.

“A 20th Century studio building will be replaced by a two-storey spa and gym with outdoor pool.”

The Grotto, view from the Thames Path
SUSD worked in close collaboration with Historic England and West Berkshire Council in developing the scheme to ensure that it would provide an amenity for the local community, that the site ecology would be protected and enhanced and that all works to the existing main house would be completely respectful of the heritage asset. This will involve the reinstatement of a number of original elements, including a first-floor conservatory, which will combine historical reference with contemporary detailing, and the return of the grand ‘Oval Room’ on the ground floor as well as sensitive remedial works to the white painted brick façade to replicate the former appearance of the building.

render of the exterior of a manor-like building

Image credit: SUSD

In the grounds, the tennis courts will be refurbished, the boathouse will be reinstated, a 20th Century studio building will be replaced by a two-storey spa and gym with outdoor pool and a ‘coach house’ extension will be built, linked to the original building by a glazed walkway, to accommodate 19 of the guestrooms.
“The reinstatement of the Grotto Estate as a luxurious country retreat will demand close attention to detail, careful selection of materials and an observance of traditional detailing and construction methods,” says Harry Harris, founder of SUSD who was recognised last year in The Brit List 2018. “Emphasis will be placed on achieving the correct balance between traditional and contemporary design and detailing, and on ensuring that an underlying consistency of quality and feel is established across the entire site. Both the hotel experience and the residences will sit within the high end of their respective markets.”

Grotto from the centre of the site looking North West
The new lodges will be single storey with a mezzanine sleeping area within the roof space. Located within existing woodland, the lodges will have a simple and restrained design aesthetic with clean, crisp contemporary form and detailing. They will be constructed of timber-clad, factory-built modules installed on a discreet plinth to make them a floating ‘light touch’ on the landscape that recedes behind the tree screening. The two family homes will reference existing residential buildings that neighbour the site and will be orientated and internally planned in response to Passivhaus standards as well as to maximise views towards the Thames. Across the development, sustainability and environmental performance have been a key consideration, with the hotel targeting a

BREAAM rating of ‘Very Good’
SUSD’s vision for the Grotto is to create a destination that celebrates its legacy while offering levels of comfort and a range of experiences to chime with the expectations of modern-day guests. These will include a kitchen garden and individually customised spa treatments as well as such advanced technology as room control apps for guests’ smart phones, biometric security and 3D hologram conference calling.

Harris concludes: “Just as we did with both Devonshire Club and The Curtain, we are curating spaces and services at The Grotto that will foster an experience relevant to the location and provide members with everything they need – from rooms, restaurant, bar, gym and spa, to cultural programmes, garden walks and riverside retreats. We create destinations to match how people like to live their lives today, in the process revitalising buildings and sites that might not stack up as a standalone hotel or leisure venue.”

Main image credit: SUSD

Ikos Resorts begins construction on €150 million development project

Hamish Kilburn

The resort will be the company’s fifth property in the Ikos Resort portfolio and first outside of Greece, slated to complete construction in 2020… 

Ikos Resorts has announced its move full speed ahead with the construction of Ikos Andalusia, having recently celebrated the cornerstone laying ceremony at the hotel. Located in Estepona, the €150 million development will be the group’s fifth resort and its first outside of Greece, opening its doors in May 2020.

Construction of Ikos Andalusia started on November 15 with the placing of the first stone and will complete in March 2020. Once the works are complete, the resort will initiate a pre-opening period during April and will start welcoming guests in May 2020.

The objective of the company is to position Ikos Andalusia as a benchmark for excellence in the luxury all-inclusive resorts sector in Spain, bringing its award-winning* Infinite Lifestyle experience to the Costa del Sol.

Ikos Resorts announced the acquisition of the current Costa del Sol Princess hotel in Estepona in the first quarter of 2018. The brand will invest a total of €150 million in the reconstruction of the current building and its adaptation to the product and service standards of Ikos Resorts.

“We are also delighted to be transforming the existing property into a world-class premium resort, adding further to the proven success story of Ikos Resorts, while investing further in beautiful Estepona and this magnificent region, said  Dr. Andreas Andreadis, CEO of Sani/Ikos Group. By offering premium holiday experiences to international luxury travelers we aim to contribute in Estepona’s development as a top luxury tourism destination worldwide”.

The ceremony of the first stone was attended by different representatives of the company at an international level – Andreas Andreadis, CEO of Sani/Ikos Group; Luis Herault, CEO of Ikos Iberia, as well as local and regional authorities, who wanted to support the presentation of a project that will constitute as a milestone in the tourism transformation process in the region.

“Located on the shores of a 14,000 square meter beach, Ikos Andalusia will offer 411 rooms and suites.”

José María Urbano, Mayor of Estepona, thanked Ikos Resorts for investing in Estepona and expanding the city’s tourism offering.  “We are convinced that this new high-end resort will strengthen Estepona’s touristic brand in the international markets, while promoting employment and the revitalization of the economic sectors linked to tourism”, he said.

On another note, Luis Herault, Chief Executive Officer of Ikos Iberia, commented: “With Ikos Andalusia, we will contribute to further develop Estepona as a high end destination by offering world class service excellence and individual unique Ikos touches such as the Dine-Out Service, which includes selected restaurants from the surrounding area in our offer to our guests, the Local Discovery complimentary drive around experience promoting interesting destination experiences, sourcing local produce, the Ikos Green initiatives and recruiting approx. 60% of the minimum of 635 jobs required, from the local community.”

Located on the shores of a 14,000 square meter beach, Ikos Andalusia will offer 411 rooms and suites. In addition, the new resort will house seven restaurants, top-level sports facilities, a theatre, 3,100 square meters of heated and outdoor swimming pools, and a spa. It will also offer Ikos Deluxe Collection, an exclusive service meticulously created for the most discerning guests, offering a wide range of privileges and services including the use of reserved pool and beach areas.

Hotel construction pipeline in Europe continues to accelerate forward

1024 683 Hamish Kilburn

Statistics from Lodging Econometrics show impressive double-digit growth year-over-year in hotel development in Europe…

Lodging Econometrics’ (LE) analysts report another year of accelerating growth for Europe’s hotel construction pipeline which is at the highest level since LE began recording in 2007. The total pipeline stands at 1,388 projects/219,251 rooms for the second quarter of 2018. It is an impressive 18 per cent increase year-over-year (YOY).

Europe had significant growth in new hotel openings in the first half of 2018 with 198 hotels/26,164 rooms, up 38 per cent over the first half of 2017

There are 693 projects/112,580 rooms currently under construction, 403 projects/62,538 rooms planning to start construction in the next 12 months, and 292 projects/44,133 rooms in the early planning stage. Projects currently under construction and those in early planning are also at their highest since 2007.

Europe had significant growth in new hotel openings in the first half of 2018 with 198 hotels/26,164 rooms, up 38 per cent over the first half of 2017 when 144 hotels/21,288 rooms opened. The LE forecast for new hotel openings shows continued growth for the next several years with a total of 367 new hotels/49,295 rooms opening by the end of 2018, followed by 383 hotels/53,030 rooms expected in 2019, and 392 hotels/60,740 rooms in 2020.  Metrics for new hotel openings are also at their highest since 2007.

London skyline

The top countries in Europe’s construction pipeline are Germany with 247 projects/47,155 rooms, the United Kingdom with 247 projects/36,487 rooms, France with 130 projects/15,198 rooms, Portugal with 83 projects/8,531 rooms, and Poland with 80 projects/12,221 rooms. All of these countries reached their highest levels since 2007 in either the first or second quarter of 2018.

The top hotel companies in Europe’s construction pipeline are AccorHotels with 220 projects/28,281 rooms, Marriott International with 178 projects/29,740 rooms, Hilton Worldwide with 166 projects/26,114 rooms, and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) with 138 projects/23,044 rooms. These four companies comprise 51 per cent of the total hotel construction pipeline in Europe.

The largest brands for each of these top companies are AccorHotel’s Ibis brands with 125 projects/15,391 rooms, Mercure Hotel with 24 projects/2,371 rooms, and Adagio City Aparthotel with 21 projects/2,844 rooms; Marriott International’s Moxy with 54 projects/9,615 rooms, Courtyard by Marriott with 32 projects/5,797 rooms, and the Autograph Collection with 14 projects/1,926 rooms. In addition, Hilton Worldwide has Hampton Inn with 69 projects/ 10,438 rooms, Hilton Garden Inn with 43 projects/6,644 rooms, DoubleTree by Hilton with 21 projects/3,042 rooms; and IHG’s Holiday Inn Express with 65 projects/9,873 rooms, Holiday Inn with 33 projects/7,116 rooms, and Hotel Indigo with 15 projects/1,897 rooms.

Top 7 design hotels in Russia

800 600 Hamish Kilburn

As the 2018 FIFA World Cup final approaches, Hotel Designs investigates the top design hotels in Russia…

Riddled in history, Russia holds many hotel gems within its borders. In recent years, hospitality has also been on the rise with a boom in hotel development. TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION database recently confirmed this by announcing that Russia has 96 projects upcoming hotels that are slated to shelter 18,437 rooms. Of these projects, 49 percent of the hotels are being planned to open in 2021 or beyond, while a whopping 17 per cent are expected to open this year.

With this in mind, and as the eyes of the world focus on the host nation in the lead up to the FIFA World Cup final, our editorial team did some digging to unveil the best design hotels in Russia – and here they are in no particular order.

1) StandArt Hotel

Interior of Stand Art Hotel

Image credit: Stand Art Hotel

The StandArt Hotel in Moscow has helped to put the Russian capital firmly on the hotel design map. Situated behind a monumental Art Nouveau façade,  hotel shelters modernism and sleek lines throughout, with 105 meticulously Russian-doll designed rooms and suites. The spa includes a full thermal zone complete with a traditional Russian steam room.

2) The St Regis Moscow Nikolskaya

Lobby of St Regis Moscow

Image credit: St Regis

St. Regis was proud to announce the debut of The St. Regis Moscow Nikolskaya, redefining elegance in a landmark restoration.

The name Nikolskaya comes from the monastery of St Nicholas Old, built in 1390 on Vladimir Road, on the site where Nikolskaya Street runs today. The name was first recorded in 1547. This place is where heritage meets design and boasts stunning views of the Red Square.

In the 17th century, Nikolskaya Street contained houses for nobles and was one of the few in Moscow paved with wood. The names Bolshoi Cherkassky and Maly Cherkassky, which today border the hotel building, recalls a court of Cherkassky dukes – the largest residence in the times of Peter the Great.

3) Hotel Astoria

Guestroom of Hotel Astoria

Image credit: Hotel Astoria

The hotel is where Hitler once planned to hold a victory ball after taking Leningrad. The effortless style is what you would expect from a luxury hotel, but the character comes from something a little different. The Astoria was where Hitler planned to hold a victory ball after taking Leningrad, as the city was called during World War Two. He never did, and the invitations he sent on were presumably binned.

4) Corinthia St Petersburg

Image credit: Corinthia Hotels

The majority of the hotel rooms at this hotel are newly-refurbished. Any hotel within the Corinthia brand shelters opulence, and this hotel is no different, which is immediately apparent when stepping into the lobby.

The guestrooms are modern and stylish, with neutral beige and cream colour schemes and a handful of comfortable mod cons.

5) Chao, Mama

Guestroom at Chao Mama

Image Credit: Chao, Mama

Chao Mama Hostel is located in the heart of Saint Petersburg. The private and dormitory rooms are decorated in modern style. The shared bathrooms are in the hallway. At Chao Mama Hostel will find a shared kitchen. Other facilities offered at the property include a shared lounge and a vending machine.

6) Soul Kitchen Junior hostel

Within a neo-baroque building that dates back to 1863, this property today is the best of both worlds; a hostel and a hotel. It has spacious lounge and kitchen areas with quirky and loud interiors: exposed walls painted in blues and yellows and dotted with old and new pictures, good quality sofas and beanbags, and designer lamps.

7) Radisson Blu Hotel, Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport

Guestroom with orange accents

Image Credit: Radisson Blu

Airport hotels are more than just a bed and breakfast at a landing strip. The beautiful Radisson Blu Hotel, Moscow Sheremetyevo airport takes this further still.  The hotel combines a towering design by famous Swedish architect Christian Lundwall with 391 stylish and suites. Take advantage of 24-hour dining at Restaurant Stratosphere, or visit Altitude Bar & Restaurant to enjoy a panoramic view from the 11th floor as you linger over dinner on the terrace. After a day of travel or meetings, you can unwind in the fitness center and sauna. Some of our many helpful services include Free high-speed, wireless Internet access and secure parking adjacent to the hotel.




Voco logo

IHG launches voco, a new upscale hotel brand

916 515 Hamish Kilburn

The new brand, voco, is slated to add more than 200 hotels for IHG over the next decade, with the first voco hotel opening late this year…

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®) has launched voco™, a new upscale hotel brand, which prides itself on being ‘reliably different’.

voco, inspired by the meaning ‘to invite’ or to ‘come together’ in Latin, will combine the informality and charm of an individual hotel, with the quality and reassurance of a global and respected brand.

Speaking at the exclusive press launch in London yesterday, Karin Sheppard, Managing Director – Europe, explained how the voco-branded properties will very much inject the character and personality of each hotel’s location through the use of clever interiors and artwork. “voco is an upscale, unstuffy brand that will treat all guests as individuals,” she said. “The environment [within each voco hotel] will live through the morning latte right through to the evening night cap.”

The brand will focus primarily on conversion opportunities and will strengthen IHG’s offer in the $40 billion upscale segment, which is expected to grow by a further $20 billion by 2025. Working with high-quality individual and locally branded hotels, the distinctive brand will offer owners the ability to drive higher returns through delivering a compelling guest experience and leveraging IHG’s powerful systems.

coffee and voco menu

Keith Barr, Chief Executive Officer, IHG, commented: “We’ve talked about the significant growth opportunity we see for IHG in upscale and voco will help us deliver against this. We’ll work with owners of attractive properties, who appreciate the power and expertise that a global business can bring to the table. Guests will be able to enjoy the appeal of a more individual hotel, alongside the reassurance of a name above the door that they trust. The versatility of the brand, means a voco hotel can retain and celebrate all of the elements that make that existing hotel successful.

“With voco, the recent addition of Regent Hotels & Resorts in the luxury space, the launch of avid™ hotels in the Americas, and the work we’re doing to enhance our existing brand portfolio, we’re making great progress with our ambitious plans to accelerate growth.”

Hotel staff welcoming guests

The voco brand promises guests an experience that is reliably different, brought to life through a bold, distinctive identity, informal service style and thoughtful touches along the guest journey. Three critical moments (symbolised by three different birds) on the guest journey have been identified through deep customer insight. In each of these moments, voco can create a compelling guest experiences. These include:

  • Come on in (symbolised by the finch) – a signature welcome experience, swift and simple check-in with an unexpected, locally-influenced treat to kick-off a guest’s stay.
  • Me time (symbolised by the owl) – encouraging guests to take a moment for themselves with extra cosy beds and bedding, quality bathroom amenities, rejuvenating aerated showers, a variety of viewing content on Smart TVs and excellent connectivity in every room.
  • voco life (symbolised by the flamingo) – vibrant and sociable bar and lounge spaces that work for different moments of the day, so that guests always have space to relax and enjoy themselves – from offering a great coffee to start the day or shareable and classic dishes in the evening that provide something to talk about afterwards.

Voco webpage

The roll-out of voco will begin in IHG’s Europe, Middle East, Asia & Africa (EMEAA) region, with plans to take it to the Americas and Greater China over time. The new brand will drive significant incremental growth for IHG, with an expectation to open more than 200 voco hotels in attractive urban and leisure locations over the next 10 years.

IHG announced plans last month to expand its luxury and upscale estate in the UK through a conditional agreement with Covivio (formerly Foncière des Régions) to rebrand and operate 12 high quality open hotels and one pipeline hotel into its portfolio across the UK. This deal will establish an important presence for voco in the UK with a number of these properties converting to the new brand in the coming months.

Today, though, IHG has confirmed the first signing for the voco brand outside of Europe will be the Watermark Hotel & Spa Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, Australia. The 388-room hotel is located at the heart of Surfers Paradise, a few steps away from the beach, and offers guests two swimming pools and 800swm of meeting space. The property is shortly to be acquired by IHG’s long-standing partner, SB&G, which currently owns five other IHG hotels in Australia. The hotel is due to open under the voco flag in late 2018.


Site of the new Rosewood Hotel in Houston's Uptown District (PRNewsfoto/Rosewood Hotels & Resorts)

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts to open first hotel in Houston

1024 620 Hamish Kilburn

Houston continues to be an area of interest as Rosewood Hotels & Resorts announces plans to open Rosewood Houston…

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has been selected by McNair Interests to manage a new, ultra-luxury hotel in Houston. Set to open in 2023 in the city’s Uptown District, the hotel will be Rosewood’s second in Texas and their ninth in the United States.

The 150-room hotel will be located in an exclusive mixed-use and high-rise development led by McNair Interests, managed by the Patrinely Group and designed by architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP. In addition to the hotel, the six-acre site will include 80 luxury residences atop the hotel, multi-family residences, lifestyle-driven amenities, and retail and office space.

“Texas is the birthplace of the Rosewood legacy, which launched with the Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas in 1979, so we are thrilled to expand our presence in one of Texas’ most vibrant cities,” says Sonia Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of Rosewood Hotel Group. “Offering innumerable cultural attractions, a sophisticated culinary scene, and unparalleled shopping, Houston is a natural destination for Rosewood’s affluential explorers.  Ideally situated in the Uptown District, Rosewood’s new property in Houston will serve as the ultimate urban retreat from which travelers can explore everything this exciting city has to offer.”

Boasting two distinct dining venues, including a full-service restaurant and a vibrant outdoor pool bar, the hotel will offer visitors a sophisticated urban dining experience. Guests will also have access to Sense, a Rosewood Spa, as well as an outdoor pool and fitness center. The property’s extensive meeting and events spaces will accommodate a variety of private gatherings, conferences and special events.

“This is a defining development for McNair Interests and the city of Houston,” said Cary McNair, Chairman and CEO of McNair Interests. “Our vision redefines the southernmost entrance of Post Oak Boulevard and the Uptown District, fusing a distinctive, sophisticated design with Houston’s future. We are excited for what this project will bring to our city and to visitors from around the world.”

The news that Rosewood Houston will open in 2023 follows statistics showing that more than 2,300 rooms will come online in the area in the next few years, which heavily suggests that Houston continues to be a major hot spot for travel, tourism and business travel.

Dubai skyline

The Middle East and Africa hotel construction pipelines continue to grow

960 640 Hamish Kilburn

Analysts at Lodging Econometrics (LE) report that the construction pipelines for the Middle East and Africa continue to grow resulting in 875 projects/216,045 rooms combined, according to LE’s recent Trend Report.

The Total Middle East pipeline has 594 projects/170,490 rooms and is up 23 per cent by rooms Year-Over-Year (YOY). This is the 16th consecutive quarter of pipeline growth seen by the Middle East. In the Middle East, there are 358 projects/113,830 rooms under construction, up 13 per cent by projects YOY. Those scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months are at 127 projects/31,752 rooms, up 9 per cent while projects in early planning stand at 109 projects/24,908 rooms are up 31 per cent.

The total Africa pipeline has 281 projects/45,555 rooms and is up 21 per cent by projects YOY. In Africa, there are 127 projects/21,233 rooms under construction, up only 1 per cent by projects YOY. Those scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months are at 79 projects/11,954 rooms, up a whopping 65 per cent, while projects in early planning stand at 75 projects/12,368 rooms are up 29 per cent.

5 Big Benefits of Building Modular Hotels

1024 768 Katy Phillips

Modular construction is an ever-growing market, with everything from hospital wards to student accommodation being built offsite and then shipped to the construction area. There are numerous advantages to this type of construction, making this forward-thinking technique a natural and powerful solution to progressive hotel design.

Below are five of the biggest benefits of this new and improved approach to construction, and the advantages that hotel owners, designers, architects and developers can enjoy when they make the transition.

Speedy construction

There are many contexts in which the swift construction of a hotel is necessary. Imagine: a city with a creaking hotel infrastructure has won a bid to host a major event that will attract people from all over the world, with only a few years to prepare. Over that time period, only a few conventionally constructed hotels would be completed, but with an offsite construction plan, many more will be built, leading to a far more successful build schedule and event for all involved.

Environmental benefits

A conventional building site can be a source of pollution, as building with concrete especially is resource-intensive and can damage the wider ecosystem. With a modular construction technique, all the construction is done offsite and in a controlled factory environment, adhering to eco-friendly best practice – and the modules themselves are simply shipped in and placed into the building’s shell. This is a particularly effective construction option if you’re looking to build an ‘eco-lodge’ style hotel, ensuring harmony with the environment from the development stage onwards.

Flexible design and redesign

Another massive benefit of a modular hotel is that renovations and modifications can be done easily, with minimal fuss and disruption. For example, a hotel needing an extension can easily have one constructed offsite, then assembled in a timely manner, avoiding months of loud construction disrupting the sleep of guests. In addition, what would normally be an expensive refit can be completed easily with a modular design – by simply replacing the existing pods and modules.

Safety from the elements

Inclement weather can really harm a construction project, whether its snow preventing supplies from being delivered on time, rain making key components damp, or even intense heat making it dangerous to work outside for long periods. The factory manufacturing involved in modular construction means that the elements will have less of a say on the project’s completion date – allowing the bottom line to be protected for all those concerned.

Quieter build site

As the building process is more focused on putting together pre-assembled pieces, the onsite assembly process is, naturally, far quicker and quieter. This means undisturbed sleepers in your hotel, an easier relationship with neighbours and a lack of noise pollution that could otherwise harm the environment – an important consideration if you’re building in a rural area.

Modular construction is only becoming more and more popular as sustainable building solutions are increasing in demand and, with so many obvious benefits to reap, it’s no wonder. Taking construction offsite has the ability to truly disrupt the hotel sector for the better – offering quicker and greener builds for all.