• Covid-19 – click here for the latest updates from Forum Events & Media Group Ltd

Posts Tagged :

Hotel Design

Hotel Designs LIVE - speakers

Speakers announced for Hotel Designs LIVE in August

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Speakers announced for Hotel Designs LIVE in August

Following four successful virtual events, Hotel Designs LIVE, which is completely free for designers, architects, hoteliers and developers, will return on August 10, 2021. In order to confront ‘zoom fatigue’ with meaningful content, we have just announced the global line-up of speakers who will appear in a series of four engaging panel discussions throughout the day. Editor Hamish Kilburn, who will host the event at Minotti London, reveals all… 

Hotel Designs LIVE - speakers

Hotel Designs LIVE, the one-day conference which is free to attend if you qualify as a designer, architect, hoteliers or developer, will return on August 10 to serve up a series of online panel discussions with the aim to keep the industry connected and the conversation flowing during the on-going pandemic.

The four topics that have been confirmed for the virtual event, which was recently shortlisted shortlisted in the ‘Best Webinar Series’ category at the Digital Event Awards, are senses, sleep, surfaces and social.

Editor Hamish Kilburn will host the event from the comfort of Minotti London’s Fitzrovia showroom. “For more than a year now, Hotel Designs LIVE has been meaningfully serving the international hotel design and hospitality community by simply keeping the conversation following,” Kilburn explains. “It feels very fitting, considering our previous networking collaborations the luxury Italian furniture brand and its relevant to all of our four panel discussions, to welcome Minotti London as our headline sponsor.”

There are limited spaces available. Simply click here to secure your place in the virtual audience (booking form takes less than two minutes and entry is free for designers, architects, hoteliers and developers).

Meet the confirmed speakers (so far): 

The agenda: 

1st session Hotel Designs LIVE

Click here to participate.

1st Session - Hotel Designs LIVE

Click here to participate. 

Hotel Designs LIVE - sleep session

Click here to participate. 

Hotel Designs LIVE – surfaces session

Click here to participate. 

Session 4 - Hotel Designs LIVE

Click here to participate. 

If you are a designer, architect, hotelier  or developer and would like to secure your complimentary seats in the audience, click hereIf you are a supplier to the hotel design industry and would like to promote your latest product or services to the Hotel Designs LIVE audience, please contact Katy Phillips via email or call +44 (0)1992 374050.

Main image credit: Oladimeji Odunsi/Unsplash

The June April Brown and Srah Sklash

Meet the women who are pioneering a new wave of design-led motels

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Meet the women who are pioneering a new wave of design-led motels

With a penchant for ‘great wine and good vibes’, The June is a female-led motelier that was founded by best friends, April Brown and Sarah Sklash. Following our bow to International Women’s Day, Editor Hamish Kilburn sat down with Brown and Sklash to learn more about how the due are using design into to evolve The June into a leading lifestyle brand…

The June April Brown and Srah Sklash

What started as a side hustle turned into a full-time passion project in 2016, with April Brown and Sarah Sklash converting their first rundown roadside motel into a boutique hospitality destination. Centered on bold feminine design with a retro twist, the two properties, located in Ontario’s Prince Edward County and Sauble Beach, are both set amongst beautiful landscapes that inspire their aesthetics.

To achieve the balance of beautiful design with a plant lady personality, the best friends started by tapping into the epitome of North American motel culture: neon signs, bright coloured doors, and retro Solair chairs. Collaborating with other female-founded businesses, creatives, and makers from their local communities and beyond, The June brand look quickly came together. Everything from the custom bathroom tiles, terrazzo countertops, bespoke wallpaper, and perfect paint shades like Apricot Beige and Palladian Blue set the mood and transform the spaces from roadside motels to places of refuge.

Hamish Kilburn: Tell us a little bit about yourselves. What is your background and how did you get to where you are today? What made you decide to open The June?

April Brown: Simply put, we’re two best friends who took a risk to do something we love. My background is in PR, and Sarah’s is in government, but we both have this love of travel and boutique hospitality, and wanted more than our corporate jobs in Toronto. On New Year’s Day 2016, we finally decided to work together and develop a sort of side hustle. Originally, we wanted to create a weekend “wine camp” for adults, setting up camp at a roadside motel in the Prince Edward County countryside. It didn’t take long for us to realise that there was a bigger idea there, so we visited a dingy, roadside motel and decided to purchase it. It was exciting to take that leap, but what followed was a lot of hard work. We renovated the property entirely ourselves – except for the plumbing and electric – and learned so much along the way. The result is something that we literally built, and we’re looking forward to growing the brand.

HK: What was the inspiration behind The June? How would you describe the style of The June?

Sarah Sklash: The June is a little old school, high-spirited, eccentric, good vibes – and we like to personify that throughout the properties. To achieve all of that, we really focused on the designs, putting a lot of time and attention into every detail. The Prince Edward County property features pink doors, statement palm wallpaper and serious plant lady vibes; Sauble Beach has sun-bleached wallpaper in every room, a retro colour palette, and an idyllic 70s motel pool. Both properties have a balance of North American motel culture (neon signs, bright coloured doors, and retro Solair chairs) while also pulling inspiration from the beautiful surrounding landscapes. The results are visually stimulating, but also feel like you are in a very cool friend’s house. In addition to the design, we like to throw in other nice touches, like a free glass of rosé at check-in.

HK: The June is a big supporter of Female-led businesses, after all you have created one yourself. Tell us about the creatives and makers you have collaborated with for the two properties.  

AB: Wherever we can, we love to partner with like-minded, female-founded and owned businesses in our communities and beyond. The June wasn’t built by us alone; we leaned on a lot of family and friends to help make The June the success it is today, so we really believe in that sense of community. We have a long list of collaborators, having worked with partners on everything from our branding to our custom wallpapers.

Here are some examples of the incredible women we work with:

  • Jackie Treitz, The Paper Bakery, who helped us create and design The June brand
  • Candice Kaye who designed our perfectly sun bleached wallpaper in the guest rooms in Sauble Beach
  • Melissa Condotta of Sunday’s Company, who created our signature scent and in-room apothecary products (body oil, soap and linen spray).

Image of pool in motelHK: How does The June stand out from other hotels and motels in the industry?  

SS: We believe a good amount of our success is because we’re so hands on and everything is from our points of view. We believe ourselves to be the target audience, so there’s an authenticity in everything we do, and luckily it resonates with our guests. Our approach is also very casual, informal, and friendly, which is exactly what people want when they’re looking to escape and unwind.

HK: Earlier this year you launched your e-commerce business. Tell us more about The June Shop and the collections available…

AB: Since we opened our pink doors in Prince Edward County four years ago, our followers have been messaging us and asking where some of our most iconic items are from, and how they can create The June aesthetic at home. We finally decided to reveal our sources and created a destination where our community can shop The June look and find inspiration. Also, with the pandemic and everyone stuck at home for the past year, we wanted to create an opportunity for our guests to bring The June’s iconic vacation vibes home.

Image credit: Kassandra Melnyk Photography

Image credit: Kassandra Melnyk Photography

The Shop features our Core Collection, a small curated selection of our most asked for items and iconic decor accessories that make The June uniquely feminine, like our pink neon signs, bold wallpapers and signature body oil. It’s dedicated to highlighting bold and visionary female founders, who each took a chance on themselves and pursued their dreams to build creatively fulfilling lives on their own terms.

HK: You opened your Sauble Beach property during the Covid-19 pandemic. How do you think this has impacted the business – and have there been any other challenges you’ve had to overcome?

SS: We learned a lot from launching the Prince Edward County property and in the four years since, so we went into the Sauble Beach project with some key learnings and a strong sense of our brand. In terms of opening Sauble Beach, it was actually very satisfying; it was challenging and rewarding at the same time. The project was so much bigger than PEC, including a swimming pool, 24 rooms, and an indoor/outdoor restaurant. When the pandemic hit we of course were concerned, but we stayed flexible and open to learning. We accommodated staff schedules, implemented new policies, relied on government subsidies, and overall made the best of it as much as we could. Being a small business you have to stay proactive and reactive. We did and it worked. 

HK: So what’s next for The June? 

SS: Right now, we’re looking forward to opening our doors again once Covid restrictions in Canada lift. As for the future, we’re hoping to grow the brand and bring The June to more communities, continue working with inspiring brand partners, and beyond. We’re proud of what we created, and want to deliver as much good vibes and good wine to all as we possibly can.

Main image credit: Lauren Miller Photography

inside Hotel Indigo Warsaw

Designing Hotel Indigo Warsaw inside an antique tenement house

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Designing Hotel Indigo Warsaw inside an antique tenement house

Hotel Indigo Warsaw is sheltered under a spectacular architectural shell. We spoke to the team at Kulczyński Architekt Workshop to understand the challenges and triumphs of designing the city’s latest boutique hotel…

In the Warsaw City Centre, in the tenement house at Smolna 40 Street, there is Hotel Indigo Wasaw – a boutique hotel that HD has followed from concept to completion – which is now visited by guests from all of the world.

inside Hotel Indigo Warsaw

They are being enchanted not only by a perfect location but also by the building itself – its elements have been carefully restored and also improved by skilfully adding modern architectural solutions, which together appear uniquely attractive. Bogdan Kulczyński, from Kulczyński Architekt Workshop, was responsible for the revitalisation of the tenement house.

The history of the tenement house goes as far as the beginning of the 20th century when count Ksawery Branicki, owner of properties adjacent to Branicki Palace (at Nowy Świat 18/20 Street), decided to divide them into six parcels and build buildings on them, facing Smolna Street. Branicki entrusted a project of five tenement houses (the sixth parcel went to another owner) to Bronisław Brochwicz-Rogoyski. In the corner house, at the number 40, came into existence a summer residence of Branicki family – the construction was finished in 1903. More than 40 years later, during the Second World War, the tenement house was bombarded and plundered. In October 1945 Bolesław Bierut decided that the house was going to become a state property. The building was reconstructed again according to remaining plans and photographs. For a short time it was a main office of the First Secretary of Polish United Workers’ Party.

Up until the 1970s, when the building was regained by Branicki family, it was the headquarters of the Polish Socialist Youth Union. At the end of the 1980s, the tenement house was listed as a vintage building. In 2014 the building was bought by an investor who envisioned creating an elegant, boutique hotel in this place. The renovation project was entrusted to Bogdan Kulczyński who is an architect and has a lot of experience in this type of projects. Three years later Hotel Indigo opened its doors for guests.

Image credit: Hotel Indigo

In search of tracks

Eclectic and heavily adorned elevation of tenement house at Smolna 40 Street, which was supposed to inform about status of Branicki family, was in a poor state. The original roof also did not survive – the highest floor was destroyed by bombs and fire. “One can say that the tenement house was scalped and the roof, which was reconstructed in the middle of the last century, did not match at all with the whole building,” said architect Bogdan Kulczyński. “We knew that initially it must have looked differently. A conservator agreed to some little adjustments to the roof but did not agree to add an entire floor.”

The architect and his team were forced to look in libraries and other historical sources for some hints how the original construction looked like. “At first we found a layout on which the roof was present, next we saw a movie, which was recorded from a plane but unfortunately after Warsaw Uprising,” says Bogdan Kulczyński. “Luckily, the walls, with traces of fire, were still standing – and based on them, we managed to reproduce a real height of the roof. This gave us an opportunity to acquire an immediate approval of the conservator to bring back a historical character of this building.” In order to point out that the roof is new and restored, it has been completed with lucarnes made of glass. They are not the only one modern aspect of the front of the building, but also introduce more light into hotel rooms. A modern, completely glazed annexe was built at the back of the tenement house. Connecting an original style with modern materials and elements is one of hallmarks of Kulczyński Architekt Workshop.

Adjustment to modern functionality

At first, the building was suitable for habitation but after the war it transformed into an office and with the passing of time its condition continuously deteriorated. – Patio was dreadful, one could here make movies about the end of the world – mentions the architect. In the revitalisation project every wall, ceiling and staircase were preserved. Interior patio, which today serves as a hotel lobby, is finished with a glass roof on the last floor and there is also a restaurant on high floor. In the underground part of the building there are conference rooms, technical infrastructure and kitchen. 2KUL Interior Design Workshop provided the refreshed hotel with interior design. “From an apartment building it transformed into a hotel, so its function is the same, the only difference is the time period for which people stay in,” Bogdan Kulczyński sums up. Hotel Indigo is an outstanding example of how an idea by an architect living and working almost one hundred and twenty years ago can be effectively merged with modern elements and functions.

Main image credit: Hotel Indigo/IHG

Weekly briefing: Locke’s new home, ‘rugspiration’ & a Four Seasons journey

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: Locke’s new home, ‘rugspiration’ & a Four Seasons journey

Roll up, roll up, read all about it – Hamish Kilburn here with your weekly briefing. In this week’s round-up we share some of our top stories from the week, including our feature on Tara Bernerd’s journey through Four Seasons, our exclusive on Modieus’ new rug collection and the latest on Omni Hotel & Resorts’ hotel development in Texas… 

For the first time in a long time, the team at Hotel Designs were let out of their homes this week in order to explore hospitality, in person, once more. The moment of euphoria was short-lived, though, after I confidently walked into Carlton Tower Jumeirah – a hotel that has recently completed a full renovation – only to find that it was not opening until July – and we were in fact (unknowingly I would like to add) trespassing. Awkward encounter with security aside, it make me realise that despite many hotels having now opened their doors, it will be a while until we can freely walk into a hotel lobby without having to show proof of reservation. What is reassuring is to see hotel developments that shelter designs that will enhance public areas, connect locals and travellers alike and ultimately share the beauty of interaction – something we will all need after this unpredictable storm passes.

With that in mind, let’s think positively when rounding off another week with our top and most-read stories from over the last few days.

Home-meets-hotel brand Locke opens first hotel outside the UK

Locke Zanzibar lobby

Image credit: Locke

Following what can only be regarded as dominating the home-meets-hotel market in lockdown with several openings of design-led properties in London, pioneering hospitality brand Locke, which joined Hotel Designs LIVE in October last year to explore adding personality in public areas, has opened its first hotel outside of the UK. Zanzibar Locke overlooks Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin…

Read more.

First look: Modieus launches Makers’ Mark rug collection

Spontaneous Mark – Modieus

Image credit: Modieus

Makers’ Mark is a collection by Modieus of unique rug designs inspired by the process of making art. The brand’s latest body of work began with the design team experimenting with a series of traditional artistic techniques – dedicating time to painting, creating collages and drawing. The team then took their original artist work and digitally manipulated the images to achieve an immersive and interactive art experience…

Read more.

Four Seasons through the eyes of designer Tara Bernerd

Image credit: Joe Thomas

From one iconic brand to another, to celebrate the upcoming arrival of Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Fort Lauderdale, we take a look back at Tara Bernerd‘s design journey with the hotel group – from London to New York – in order to understand how the designer and her team created such interesting design narratives…

Read more.

Construction begins for Omni Hotel & Resorts’ new resort in Frisco, Texas

Guestroom inside the Omni hotel in Texas

Render credit: SB Architects

SB Architects is celebrating the official groundbreaking of the new Omni PGA Frisco Resort, mixed-use development in Frisco, Texas, which will include a 501-key hotel. Scheduled for completion in 2023, the design for the destination golf course, 501-key Omni PGA Frisco Resort and premier golf and retail experience, will usher in a new era for the sport. Let’s take a look as to what we can expect…

Read more.

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Locke Zanzibar guestroom

Home-meets-hotel brand Locke opens first hotel outside the UK

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Home-meets-hotel brand Locke opens first hotel outside the UK

Following what can only be regarded as dominating the home-meets-hotel market in lockdown with several openings of design-led properties in London, pioneering hospitality brand Locke, which joined Hotel Designs LIVE in October last year to explore adding personality in public areas, has opened its first hotel outside of the UK. Zanzibar Locke overlooks Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin…

Locke Zanzibar guestroom

Zanzibar Locke, the latest property from home-meets-hotel brand Locke, is strategically positioned in Dublin’s city centre. Overlooking Ha’penny Bridge, Zanzibar Locke is the brand’s sixth property and first outside of the UK, featuring 160 studio apartments, an original food and beverage offering, gym, and a locally-led cultural programme. 

Brick wall in lobby in Zanzibar Locke

Image credit: Locke

Locke leads the way in a hybrid travel concept that combines the space and comfort of home with the experience and thoughtful design of a boutique hotel. Each of Zanzibar Locke’s studio apartments come equipped with fully fitted kitchens and living space. Generously-sized rooms create a sense of freedom unique to the Irish market, where guests can enjoy the option of a short stay in a City Studio (average 25sqm) or retreat to a larger premium River Suite (average 40sqm) for a long term stay. 

“We are very excited to finally be welcoming leisure travellers into our first property outside of the UK,” said Stephen McCall, CEO of edyn. “It has been a great experience familiarising ourselves with the local Dublin market – and early indications show that our unique aparthotel concept is something new and exciting that the city needs at this pivotal moment. With a second opening in Dublin later this year, we are delighted to be able to welcome all guests in time for summer.”

The aparthotel will house new food destination BARAZA, operated by Dublin foodie favourites NolaClan (House Dublin, 9 Below and Xico). Located on the mezzanine floor, BARAZA will serve coffee and light bites in the morning, before transitioning into a lively restaurant serving seasonal small plates and craft cocktails.

Situated on Ormond Quay, with views overlooking the River Liffey, Zanzibar Locke draws on its rich architectural heritage to inform its design. Formerly site of the infamous noughties’ hotspot Zanzibar Nightclub – which inspired the property’s name – the Georgian building has been sensitively restored and developed by Dublin-based interior design studio O’Donnell O’Neill Design and C+W O’Brien Architects. Working with local contractors, joiners and artists, O’Donnell O’Neill retained the original character of the building, while combining the stylish design, contemporary fittings and custom furniture synonymous with Locke.

From its interiors to music playlists, the brand has worked extensively with Irish partners and suppliers to create Zanzibar Locke, including O’Donnell O’Neill Design, sustainable fashion brand GROWN, and DJ and founder of creative collective Gxrl Code, Mona Lxsa. In doing so, the brand aims to build a unique, inclusive environment that is deeply embedded in the social fabric of its neighbourhood.

Locke Zanzibar lobby

Image credit: Locke

“Locke’s forward-thinking aparthotel concept has shown resilience throughout the pandemic,” added Osgur Ó Ciardha, Country General Manager. “In an exceptionally challenging year for Irish hospitality, we were able to remain open throughout the national lockdown to house essential stays largely enabled by the self-contained apartments. We are looking forward to welcoming back leisure travellers.” 

Alan Clancy, Founder, NolaClan, commented: “We’re excited to partner with Locke on its food and drink offering in Dublin, and bring our new restaurant and bar concept, BARAZA, to Zanzibar Locke. Our ambition is to create an all-day dining experience in a vibrant, beautiful environment that locals and travelers alike can enjoy.”

As the world continues to navigate travel over the coming months, Locke’s self-contained studio apartments provide safe, clean, and flexible accommodation for business and leisure travellers, as well as short-term residents. Zanzibar Locke’s opening to leisure travellers follows an extended soft launch period where the property housed guests for essential stays and those in need of an interim home during lockdown, which was possible due to the self-contained design of the apartments. As a result, Zanzibar Locke experienced an average of 27 days length of stay, with an average occupancy of 40 per cent occupancy – considerably outperforming the Dublin industry average of 10 per cent.

Main image credit: Locke

First look: Modieus launches Makers’ Mark rug collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
First look: Modieus launches Makers’ Mark rug collection

Makers’ Mark is a collection by Modieus of unique rug designs inspired by the process of making art. The brand’s latest body of work began with the design team experimenting with a series of traditional artistic techniques – dedicating time to painting, creating collages and drawing. The team then took their original artist work and digitally manipulated the images to achieve an immersive and interactive art experience…

New from Modieus, the Makers Mark Collection is defined by the lines, dots, marks, patterns and textures they create in artwork. It can be loose and gestural, controlled or neat. It can apply to any material used on any surface: paint on canvas, ink/pencil on paper, scratched mark on plaster, digital paint tool on a screen, a tattooed mark on skin can be a form of mark making.

The end result is nine encapsulating art stories. From colour blurs to graffiti and stylised monochromatic graphic effects, this unique collection of rug designs belongs in an art gallery. The collection launches on Modieus Instagram account on June 16th. In the meantime, here is a sneak peek at what to expect.

Established in 2015, founder, Xander Okhuizen has assembled an expert team to deliver unrivalled commercial flooring solutions. Backed by an extensive global network, Modieus provide exceptional, contemporary flooring throughout Australasia, the Middle East, the Far East and Europe.

Spontaneous mark

Spontaneous Mark – Modieus

Image credit: Modieus

Colour Blur

Colour Blur - Modieus

Image credit: Modieus

Grid and Blocky Arrangements

Grid and Blocky Arrangements

Image credit: Modieus

Feel the Mark

Feel the Mark - Modieus

Image credit: Modieus

Colour Sharp Movements

Colour Sharp Movements - Modieus

Image credit: Modieus

Graffiti Combined with Systems

Minimal scene with podium and abstract background. Geometric shapes. Pastel colors scene. Minimal 3d rendering. Scene with geometrical forms and textured background for cosmetic product. 3d render.

Image credit: Modieus

Collage Colour

Collage Colour

Image credit: Modieus

Collage Black & White

Collage Black & White - Modieus

Image credit: Modieus

Digital Distort

Image credit: Modieus

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

Main image credit: Modieus

KEUCO shower

Product watch: IXMO Shower series by KEUCO

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: IXMO Shower series by KEUCO

The IXMO shower series by KEUCO is the go to for sanitary experts and lovers of excellent design. It offers an extensive range of functions; which have been efficiently combined and tailored to enable specifiers, designers and consumers alike to create a stylish shower area with the minimum number of visible components…

KEUCO shower

IXMO’s technical construction created a milestone in the development of sanitary fittings, the designs pioneered by KEUCO, are offered as round or square fittings; each providing IXMO’s unique combination of functions. For example, a three-way diverter valve, a hose connection and a bracket for the hand shower, have been combined into one.

When fitting an IXMO shower it is the ability to freely position the individual elements that allows for much greater design choice. A clever mounting rail enables an easy and precise alignment of the components; whether you want to position the valves horizontally or vertically, they will always align with the help of the mounting rail. The IXMO thermostat fitting incorporates the perfect example of KEUCO innovation; if the waterways have been crossed during installation the cartridges can simply be switched over inside the valve instead of the costly ordeal of accessing the pipework!

Another intelligent feature of IXMO is the depth-compensator which ensures fast and safe installation. The depth compensator makes it possible to install IXMO showers into walls with depths between 80-110mm allowing for building methods both new and old.

One of the key details when designing a showering space is the ability to visualise the area and how all the elements will work together. With IXMO it is possible to combine up to three separate water outlets; so for example the main shower head, a hand shower with shower rail or wall bracket, waterfall shower and a spa hose can all be combined.

This can be easily demonstrated via the brilliant IXMO on-line planner, a system which enables designers and consumers to create a personalised showering solution. The results can be saved in pdf format providing both a detailed specification with illustrations and an installation guide showing component placement and pipework routings.

The star of the IXMO series is the IXMO solo thermostat. Created for single function showering it easily surpasses conventional thermostat solutions as they require two wall mounted elements to adjust the water flow and temperature and a third element for the hose connection. However, the IXMO solo thermostat compresses the shut-off valve, thermostat and hose connection into one single element.

The IXMO_solo Thermostat and IXMO_solo Single lever mixer created for single function showering cleverly combines shut off, flow and temperature control and hose outlet into one single fitting allowing for ease of use and speed of installation.

IXMO shower fittings have an elegant minimalistic design, they are available in six different finishes including; chrome-plated, aluminium and PVD stainless steel, brushed bronze, brushed nickel and brushed black chrome. IXMO shower accessories also provide innovation; an integrated yet movable soap dish; a height adjustable shower rail with an easily adjustable bracket that can be turned by 180° so it is ideal for both right and left-handed persons and can be moved with just a single hand.

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

Main image credit: KEUCO

Four Seasons Forte Lauderdale, designed by Tara Bernerd

Four Seasons through the eyes of designer Tara Bernerd

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Four Seasons through the eyes of designer Tara Bernerd

From one iconic brand to another, to celebrate the upcoming arrival of Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Fort Lauderdale, we take a look back at Tara Bernerd‘s design journey with the hotel group – from London to New York – in order to understand how the designer and her team created such interesting design narratives…

Four Seasons Forte Lauderdale, designed by Tara Bernerd

Long-time design collaborators for Four Seasons, designer Tara Bernerd and her team have created a plethora of typologies for the brand, from urban hotels, including the interior design for the hotel’s guestrooms of Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane and also the Empire Suite in Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown, to resorts such as the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Fort Lauderdale. Bernerd is currently working as the lead creative for the 148-bedroom property as well as 50 condo rooms and private residences, opening later this year.

Throughout all three hotels, the studio’s aim to embody the aesthetics of the Four Seasons brand whilst simultaneously creating meaning and connection through a distinct sense of place. By balancing the studio’s refined design principles with Four Seasons signature style, Bernerd and her team create something entirely new for each region.

Speaking about the design of each Four Seasons project, the designer says: “It’s very much a part of our philosophy to make every property unique, with its own story to tell. As we create custom projects for each hotel, we try and refrain from bracketing ourselves into a particular style. However, there is a common aspiration found behind all our work through the themes of colour, topography and geography. Fusing these touchpoints, we create individual experiences in each location.”

Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane

Image credit: Philip Vile

Last month, the hotel welcomed back guests to experience its newly renovated, re-modelled Superior and Deluxe Rooms and Junior Conservatories in partnership with British designer Tara Bernerd & Partners.

Designed to bring a freshness to the hotel, the studio’s holistic approach and their use of bespoke design, lighter colours and materials, were specifically chosen to create a more spacious feel for guests on entry. Each room displays Bernerd’s signature handsome style of approachable luxury with a timeless elegance and the Hotel’s prestigious location situated between three of London’s Royal Parks was an immediate source of inspiration for Belgravia-based Tara Bernerd & Partners, with hints of green incorporated into the classic colour palette to add a modern edge.

As with each of the projects Bernerd and her team undertake, the location and geography in which the hotel is set was a key source of inspiration. This thread runs throughout the furniture and finishes, indeed extending to the art. Greeting the guest in the entryway to the deluxe room are two prints created from old tailors’ suit patterns, a nod to the sartorial history of Savile Row which resides in close proximity to the hotel. A triptych over the headboard depicts deconstructed photographs and sketches of London from the turn of the century. Found in old picture books in a Notting Hill antique shop, these pieces are particularly special. 

The art in the superior rooms take inspiration from the iconic views over Hyde Park. Three abstract pieces hang above the bed, one of which loosely explains the layout of the park, with another having been painted by a Four Seasons employee. Not only does the piece fit perfectly within the room’s palette, but the hotel’s connection to the artist creates a meaningful story behind each piece.

Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown

Image credit: Joe Thomas

Having recently reopened, this Tribeca based Four Seasons presents its reimagined Empire Suite by British interior designer Tara Bernerd. In the updated design, Tara and her team focused on optimising the layouts and furniture placement within the suite to take advantage of the unparalleled views across the city, while simultaneously providing larger spaces for entertaining and more intimate, homely cocoons. Providing essential versatility, the home office/study was redesigned to make the most of the natural light and give guests the option of using the space as a second bedroom. The Principal Bedroom was designed to provide the ultimate sleep sanctuary with soft silks and hand painted de Gournay wall panels to add a touch of drama.

Featuring a living room, dining room, media room, study, walk-in closet, two bathrooms, master bedroom and a full catering kitchen, the Empire Suite offers the ultimate sanctuary and comes complete with a $25,000-per-night Empire Suite Experience that includes helicopter airport transfers, limousine transfers, daily breakfast for two, a personal spa retreat and  more.

Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Fort Lauderdale

Render credit: Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

Render credit: Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts/ Tara Bernerd & Partners

Opening later this year, Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Fort Lauderdale sets a new standard in contemporary living, set in a prime location on Fort Lauderdale’s desirable North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard.

Complete with unparalleled views across the Atlantic Ocean to one side and the Intracoastal Waterway on the other, Tara Bernerd and her team have taken inspiration from the natural beauty and quality of light in Fort Lauderdale – the pale silver sands, blue seas and stunning Floridan sunsets. Known for its yachting heritage, the studio have sought to encapsulate the elegance of a previous design era of Chris Craft yachts and Capri pants to create an approachable luxury with a timeless quality.

Main render credit: Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts/ Tara Bernerd & Partners

Unidrain: Minimalism meets industrial

Minimalism meets industrial in the bathroom

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Minimalism meets industrial in the bathroom

The new addition to the GlassLine series of designer shower screens from Unidrain can perfectly be described as minimalism meets industrial. The leading Danish design company and creators of the original linear drain are infamous for their sleek designs and the unique ability to highlight ‘invisibility’…

Unidrain: Minimalism meets industrial

One of the most dramatic options and currently a key trend in bathroom interior design is to use black for fixtures and fittings. Unidrain are delighted to introduce a new version of their impressive GlassLine shower screen; defined with a distinctive black frame; this industrial, New York loft style design complements the Reframe Accessories collection and the black variant of the HighLine Colour drain perfectly.

The GlassLine shower screen is 10mm of clear tempered glass which is secured discreetly and securely without any visible display of fixings, screws, fittings or joins.

GlassLine_black frame_closeup_low

Image credit: Unidrain

The screen is mounted in a shower base situated under the bathroom flooring, designed to be used in conjunction with the ShowerLine drain unit it comes complete with a groove-in-the-floor-flange.

The screen lowered into this before being attached to the wall, this not only ensures the screens stability but that the interior of the shower area is water tight. The black frame sits against the tiles, hiding any edges and creating a clean smooth finish.

Enclosed in black powder-coated metal, the interior panel of each quality glass screen is treated with Cleantech nano-treatment, this increases the screens hygiene standards as water runs of the glass with ease and it is extremely easy to clean and maintain a clear finish.

Available in three sizes: 800mm, 900mm and 1000mm and a height of 2104mm the shower screen can be mounted to the left or right and fits tile thicknesses up to 15mm for wall tiles and 20mm for floor tiles.

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

Main image credit: Unidrain

Weekly briefing 4th june

Weekly briefing: Sleep masterclass, award winners & art outside the frame

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: Sleep masterclass, award winners & art outside the frame

Allow me, Hamish Kilburn, to walk you through this week’s top design and hospitality stories. The weekly briefing was designed with busy on-the-go designers, architects, hoteliers and developers in mind – so kick back, relax and scroll down to read a snapshot of this week’s happenings…

It’s been a turbulent week – in fact year – for the travel industry, as the UK government continues to play chess with tourism boards that rely heavily on UK tourism.

Weekly briefing 4th june

With the latest ‘check’ against Portugal now being moved off the ‘green list’ it’s becoming more and more likely for the industry to lose yet another season due to new variants of Covid-19.

However, that hasn’t stopped or hindered plans for brands to re-open showing solidarity and strength – as can be seen in our latest VIP arrivals story, which takes a closer look at this month’s hottest hotel openings. It also hasn’t affected young designers’ creativity, as seen in this year’s shortlisted entries for the Accor Design Awards, which concluded this week.

To round off yet another week, while the sun is still shining the UK – good news for staycation businesses – here are what we believe are this week’s top stories…

Accor Design Awards – and the winners are…

Overall winner: Nomadish

Overall winner: Nomadish

Our most-read story of the week comes from Accor’s spectacular, global campaign to find the world’s most talented design students. First launched in in 2016, the Accor Design Awards aim to rethink the future of hospitality in collaboration with design students the world over. Their creativity blended with Accor’s know-how, provide unique solutions and new concepts for the hospitality industry. I had the privilege of sitting on this year’s judging panel – and what an experience it was… Finally, we can now announce the winners.

Read more.

VIP arrivals: Hottest hotels opening in June 2021

White room inside OMMA Santorini

Image credit: OMMA Santorini

A few weeks ago, restricted by green, amber and red lists – it’s as if we are at a junction and the traffic lights are broken – we on the editorial desk at Hotel Designs unveiled the best design hotels to visit in Portugal. But, as you know, we are a global platform and have over the last few months been publishing our VIP Arrivals series, which takes a closer look at the latest hotels opening on the hotel design scene.

For the June edition, things are hotting us as the summer season approaches. Although (for the time being, at least) many desirable destinations remain untouchable, we thrown down the metaphorical towels on the sun loungers for you at the new hotels we have recently added to our own travel bucket list. Here’s our editor’s pick of the must-visit hotels opening in June.

Read more.

Judges have been announced for The Brit List Awards 2021

The Brit List Awards judges 2021

Now that the free nominations/applications process is open for The Brit List Awards 2021, it’s time to meet this year’s judges. The 2021 panel consists of respected travel journalists and international experts in the design, architecture and hotel development arenas. The judges will gather to select the winners ahead of the awards ceremony on November 3 at PROUD Embankment, London.

Read more.

EXCLUSIVE // Virtual hotel design masterclass: The science of sleep

Image credit: YOTEL

In a recent article exclusively published on Hotel Designs, Hannah Shore, sleep expert at Silentnight Group, shared an ‘experts guide on the science of a good nights’ sleep’. In this article, she explored the optimum environment to enhance the best sleep performance, which included looking at temperature, lighting and comfort – or ‘TLC’ as she puts it.

Following this insightful piece, it felt natural for us to extend an invitation out to a cluster of designers and hospitality experts to explore with the professionals at Silentnight Group, the science of sleep.

Read more.

(in video) Hotel Designs LIVE: Art outside the frame

Following two engaging panel discussions looking at a new era of lifestyle and bathrooms beyond practical spaces, the third debate virtually sheltered under Hotel Designs LIVE was around challenging conventional portrayal of art in hotel design. Sponsored by Elegant Clutter, which prides itself on offering a professionally different approach to art consultancy, this chapter of the event addressed new demands from public areas and clever ways to inject branding and sense of place in hospitality establishments.

Read more.

M Social arrives in New York

M Social NY terrace night view

Image credit: M Social

Ever since checking in to M Social Singapore, designed by the one and only Philippe Starck, a few years ago, I was convinced that this brand would thrive in the concrete neighbourhood of Manhattan. With the opening of a 480-key hotel located at 226 West 52 Street  –literally in the heard of Times Square to you and I – it’s about time (and it’s better late than never).

Read more.

In Conversation With: Alex Tredez on designing The Lost Poet

Image credit: The Lost Poet

“We felt that there was a gap in the market for accommodation which offers high quality service, attention to detail and professionalism synonymous with the hotel experience – but also offering an authentic local experience which guests love about Airbnb-like residences,” Alex Tredez, lead designer of The Lost Poet, explains to me as we start to discuss one of West London’s most anticipated hotel openings this year.

Read more. 

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Villa Igiea

Now open: Rocco Forte Hotels’ Villa Igiea

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Now open: Rocco Forte Hotels’ Villa Igiea

Rocco Forte Hotels, the prestigious family-run hotel group, led by Sir Rocco Forte and his sister, Olga Polizzi, has unveiled the newly restored Villa Igiea in Sicily…

Recently included in our VIP Arrivals series, Villa Igia, the historical Art Nouveau palazzo overlooking the Gulf of Palermo, originally designed by Ernesto Basile commissioned by the influential Florio family, returns to its former splendour as a jewel of the Mediterranean.

Villa Igiea

Villa Igiea’s location, nestled between land and sea, makes it a perfect base to discover the extensive cultural heritage of Palermo, which provides visitors with enchanting sights and unique experiences. Built in 1900, the historic palazzo has been meticulously renovated by Olga Polizzi, Deputy Chairperson & Design Director of Rocco Forte Hotels, in collaboration with renowned architects Paolo Moschino and Philip Vergeylen of Nicholas Haslam Studios.

Over the last two years, the intricate restoration process has enhanced the hotel’s charm and renovated the building’s Belle Époque feel. Villa Igiea’s allure has been reinstated, combining the architectural grandeur of the past with contemporary comfort of the 21st century in the design and style of Rocco Forte Hotels.

Image credit: Rocco Forte Hotels

Image credit: Rocco Forte Hotels

“Villa Igiea is an iconic building which, like its original owner Franca Florio, is a grand lady of charm and elegance and a symbol of hospitality,” said Sir Rocco Forte, CEO and Chairman of Rocco Forte Hotels. “It has been the focal point of the city of Palermo for over 100 years hosting artists, emperors and the Hollywood elite, enraptured by the wonders of Sicily. I am so proud to be part of the history of this remarkable hotel and to have had the chance to restore it to its original splendour.”

Creative Director of Food for Rocco Forte Hotels Fulvio Pierangelini will oversee the Florio Restaurant, the Igiea Terrazza Bar and the Alicetta Pool Bar, serving delicious Sicilian flavours with unmistakable expertise. Each restaurant will portray the culinary history of Sicily – “a simple, but not simplistic cuisine, which is sincere and unrestrained; respect for little everyday gestures which perfect the island’s thousand- year-old culinary art, realising au gout du jour marvels; this cuisine embodies family, generosity and femininity” chef Pierangelini comments.

The Florio Restaurant welcomes guests into an elegant and refined, yet joyful atmosphere, typical of seaside Grand Hotels. The muted colours of the interior design, and the large floor-to-ceiling windows which reveal wondrous views of the Tyrrhenian Sea, recall the golden age. Seasonal produce, harvested locally and from the Verdura Resort vegetable garden, along with fresh fish and crustaceans, pasta, fried delicacies and arancini are just some of the ingredients of this natural, authentic cuisine.

Image credit: Rocco Forte Hotels

Suspended between the botanic gardens and the Mediterranean Sea, the Igiea Terrazza Bar, is reminiscent of Edwardian high society and boasts marvellous frescoes by Palermo artist Eugenio (Geno) Morici. A wide selection of Florio liquors and drinks from the “Spirit of Igiea” cocktail list designed by the maestro Salvatore Calabrese, is inspired by Sicilian fragrances and illustrious guests who have honoured hotel the with their presence. Open from lunchtime, the bar serves a range of snacks and main dishes as well as the “Leggero by Fulvio Pierangelini” menu with its many healthy, flavourful delights.

Housed in a pavilion reminiscent of Palazzo Butera, the Alicetta Pool Bar offers a tasty menu of the day with Sicilian specialities as well as raw fish dishes, sashimi, seafood, fresh fish and crustaceans ready to be grilled. Local steamed and grilled vegetables and rich mixed salads will complete the menu, with pizza and filled focaccias baked in the outdoor oven. The tempting sweet trolley offers a selection of fresh fruit and home-made ice-creams.

For the opening of Villa Igiea, the Concierge team has created a series of itineraries, which guarantee unforgettable memories, and allow guests to get to know Palermo, the city of a thousand faces. With its eight UNESCO heritage sites and the intense colours and scents of the local markets, this Mediterranean gem offers endless inspiration for discovering the city’s historical, architectonic and landscape delights. You can choose from the “Jewish Palermo”, “The Leopard Tour”, “Local market tour with cooking lesson”, decide to take the “Florio trail” or explore the island’s coastal roads on a Porsche cabriolet in complete freedom and much more.

Main image credit: Rocco Forte Hotels

Roundtable - sleep

Virtual hotel design masterclass: The science of sleep

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Virtual hotel design masterclass: The science of sleep

In late May, 2021, Hotel Designs invited a handful of designers and hotel experts to speak at a virtual roundtable on sleep performance, in association with Silentnight Group. Editor Hamish Kilburn, who moderated the session that naturally turned into a masterclass, writes…

Roundtable - sleep

In a recent article exclusively published on Hotel Designs, Hannah Shore, sleep expert at Silentnight Group, shared an ‘experts guide on the science of a good nights’ sleep’. In this article, she explored the optimum environment to enhance the best sleep performance, which included looking at temperature, lighting and comfort – or ‘TLC’ as she puts it.

Following this insightful piece, it felt natural for us to extend an invitation out to a cluster of designers and hospitality experts to explore with the professionals at Silentnight Group, the science of sleep.

Key panelists

Also on the panel:

  • Angela Moran, Product Strategy Director, Silentnight Group
  • David Lawrenson, Sales Director, Silentnight Group

Hamish Kilburn: Angela, could you just kick us off please with a bit more context on Silentnight Group and what the brand is currently working on from a product perspective…

 Angela Moran: Where do I start? Silentnight Group is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. We’re the leading consumer brand in the UK and the largest bed manufacturer in the UK. We mainly operate out of our site in Barnoldswick in England and we also have a partnership with Comfy Bedding – and we can do a whole sleep package with them including air filtration systems within the bedroom.

Sustainability is one of our pillars at the brand, and one of my deep passions in my role. We are really pleased that we make all of our products in the UK and 70 per cent of our raw materials are also come from the UK and many are within two hours of our HQ.

In terms of product design, our key principles are:

  • Comfort – looking at how we can offer the best nights’ sleep
  • Cleanliness – everything from antiviral treatments
  • Durability – we want our products to stand the test of time without a decrease in comfort
  • Sustainability – we do a lot of work in this area. One area we are really focused on is recycling. We have a 97 per cent recycle rate.

In all the research that goes in during product development, we are always balancing those four areas.

HK: Jeremy, given your expertise in this area around sustainability – assembly to dissemble mind-set on all your projects – how difficult has it been in the past with beds at the end of their life cycle?

 Jeremy Grove: We think about that in relation to every product and beds were a problem. Over the last two or three years we have started to find solutions. I think it’s something like 13 million mattresses go to landfill every year. Currently, it’s very limited to what’s out there, but I do see that changing.

Joanna Knight: I think it’s very important. We are working on a large project at the moment where we are changing out 614 beds and mattresses and we are very keen not to send the old products to landfill – and we are working with Silentnight Group on how we best do this.

Emma King: Hygiene and materiality are both so important right now. And by that I mean the whole sleep experience, what is happening when it comes to recycling duvets etc. From a brand point of view, the first thing to be removed when Covid-19 hit was the soft furnishings and cushions because everyone, it seems, wants a clean, white bed right now. I believe the consumer will want to be more informed, from now on, about where materials have come from and what they are sleeping on.

Image credit: Kimpton DeWitt Amsterdam Hotel. Interior Design. Photography. Laure Joliet

Image credit: Kimpton DeWitt Amsterdam Hotel. Interior Design. Photography. Laure Joliet

HK: Does what bed and mattress you specify change depending on where the project is geographically?

Ariane Steinbeck: To a certain extent, yes. Interestingly, we find that the Asian market prefers to specify a firmer mattress. I remember travelling in mainland China not so long ago and wherever we stayed in a non-internationally branded hotel the mattress was rock solid!

Frank Esmeijer: At YOTEL, we call our rooms ‘cabins’ and we believe they are very unique. The bed in each of our cabins takes a leading role. Our model is very different, and our bed has to have the functionality to fold up.

Image credit: YOTEL

HK: So often when we future gaze to what the hospitality and hotel design landscape might look like in the future, the bed is often depicted as something out of a sci-fi movie. And yet we today are grounding the conversation around materials and sustainable methods. Where do you then draw the line between what’s a gimmick and what’s meaningful?

AS: I try to stick to the science and when I am travelling, I would like things to be simple and clean. If we are working with someone independently and we have more of a voice on what gets specified, all the information available is very helpful as decisions are easier to make when they are informed. Personally, I want to know whether or not sleeping on material that is ‘natural’ is better for you…

HS: We always have this argument over natural vs synthetic. Every material that goes into a mattress has its pros and its cons. Natural materials, for example, have really great thermal regulatory properties and are extremely breathable. However, the downsides to natural materials include that they might settle a bit more and generally be less durable. On the other side, synthetic material is probably more durable but does not offer as good breathability. So, as you can hear, it all just completely depends what the end consumer wants.

“The reason why polyester is such a valuable material is that it is arriving as someone else’s’ waste and is approved by the Global Recycled Standards (GRS).” – Angela Moran, Product Strategy Director, Silentnight Group.

Image credit: Silentnight Group

AS: Has it been proven that there is off-gassing by using non-natural materials?

AM: I recently had a call with leaders from the bed industry and we are looking at how to move the industry forward for the societal good. In terms of foam, I have completely changed my view. I initially thought that it may be durable but it is an oil-based product. However, I have now realised, due to the work that Hannah has done, that the mattress is a sustainable option because it just lasts so long. And, at end of life, synthetics are very easy to recycle over the natural materials that, while they are compostable, there is no infrastructure in place to recycle so they are unfortunately going into landfill. The reason why polyester is such a valuable material is that it is arriving as someone else’s’ waste and is approved by the Global Recycled Standards (GRS). In five years, I believe that every mattress material will be able to be recycled, at scale!

“We were finding that many mattresses were passing durability tests in the lab and yet failing in real life scenarios.” – Hannah Shore, Sleep Expert, Silentnight Group.

HK: How do Silentnight test their latest products?

HS: Let me introduce you to Robbie, he is our climate machine who was created as a result of a widespread research collaborations between ourselves, universities and institutions. He heats up to about 75 per cent humidity. We did a bit of research under the duvet, creating our own microclimate. Using Robbie, we can apply heat and moisture in different ways. We can manipulate the settings to match realistic climates in the bedroom. We were finding that many mattresses were passing durability tests in the lab and yet failing in real life scenarios. If you add heat and moisture, as you would have in a real setting, then the fibres were collapsing more. As a result, that can decrease the lifespan of a mattress by up to 30 per cent. So, although we test everything in the lab, we also use Robbie as an in-depth testing method. Another way we can use Robbie is to measure how quickly that heat and moisture goes through the different layers of the mattress. The key finding we found was that the heat and moisture management was in the top five centimeters of the mattress.

Daniel Englender: When it comes to sleep performance, I think everyone has been interested in the science over the last few years especially. What I am interested in understanding more about is the on-going maintenance of the mattress, as in how much they need to be turned etc?

AM: Our learning has been that in a hotel environment it has be easy care and there are a few things to consider. A lot of mattresses these days can come single-sided, so that you don’t have to think or worry about ‘turning’ the mattress continually – and again, that’s where foam really rates highly.

On the other side, the piece of kit that Hannah referred to has allowed us to completely reinvent our fibre specifications. Some of the innovation in the polyester front has been, instead of just horizontally laying fibres, we can now vertically lap them so that they mimic foam more. It ensures that fibres are more long-lasting. From all of this, my conclusion would be that single-sided mattresses are best suited for hotels because you can put more on the top.

Image credit: RPW Design/Marriott International

DE: What’s the magic formula for a zip and link bed to feel like a regular mattress?

David Lawrenson (Sales Director, Silentnight Group): It’s interesting because the zip on a zip-and-link product is a hugely contentious topic in the hospitality industry. Depending on where you have the zip, it can cause the materials to separate and if it is too high up then it becomes uncomfortable for the user. We are working on new technology and products that offer a solution.

“Interestingly for us to fall asleep, our core temperature needs to drop 1 degrees. A lot of people think that wrapping up warm and cosy is the answer, but science has exposed that to the be a myth.” – Hannah Shore, Sleep Expert, Silentnight Group.

HK: Hannah, in a recent article we published from you, you said that 75 per cent of Brits admit to not having good nights’ sleep. 30 per cent of those asked rated their sleep as ‘bad’ Why is this stat so high? 

HS: We live in a 24-hour world at the moment where we don’t shut off with our phones and a zoom call never too far away. These scenarios emit a blue light, which is not conducive for sleeping. It depresses melatonin, which is fundamental for us to fall asleep. Something that I do mention in the article is ‘TLC’, and by that I mean temperature, lighting and comfort. Interestingly for us to fall asleep, our core temperature needs to drop 1 degrees. A lot of people think that wrapping up warm and cosy is the answer, but science has exposed that to the be a myth. Lighting is fundamental, and comfort is a big factor. There are lots of people who are not sleeping on the right mattress. From a hotel perspective, all you have to do is go onto the TripAdviser website to see the amount of comments that reference bad nights’ sleep.

HK: What are your clients’ thoughts, and concerns, when it comes to specifying the bed?

JK: Most of our clients are focused on providing a good sleep experience and it is beneficial to get repeat business. We are led by brand standards, when working for brands such as Radisson Blu and Hyatt, and these standards are generally very high.

HK: When it comes to lighting when talking about sleep performance, there is a lot a talk on circadian rhythm. Are there affordable products out there that offer a quality solution?

JK: I think the price will come down as products become wider developed. To be honest, it [circadian rhythm technology] is not something a lot of the brands who we work with are looking at the moment, but I think it is a very interesting concept. In 20 years alone, there have been a lot of innovations that started being only accessible for luxury brands with deeper pockets that has filtered down into other sectors of the market. So much technology has become widespread now.

Cozy bedroom

Image credit: Silentnight Group

AS: What is the single most element for good sleep, is it the mattress or is the pillow?

HS: You need to get a good combination of both. Both the mattress and the pillow contribute to your spinal alignment. Comfort is subjective – what one person finds comfortable, another will not. So, when we measure comfort, we try where possible lead with objective science. An important factor I look at is spinal alignment. Your mattress provides a lot of support, but if you sleep with the wrong pillow, this can affect your alignment in your neck and down your mid spine.

And that brings me on to talk about Zoning. Working with our partners, we were able to test for optimum spinal alignment. We looked at soft, medium and firm and there were differences. What is more important when looking at a large group of people of all different shapes and sizes to cater to is the zoned part of the mattress. If the centre-third of the mattress is slightly firmer it supports our hips and our lower back. That part of the body needs that little extra element of support. So, a well-zoned mattress with the right pillow is key for sleep performance.

FE: I think there could be an opportunity there. We all remember the days of pillow menus. Ultimately, how do you. There are levels of comfort that you can customise, such as lighting and sound – and as a guest you can optimise your experience. But there are some elements in a room, like a mattress, you cannot customise.

EK: I think we need to bring the pillow menu back. If we are specifying an average mattress (depending on brand), then we can make the pillow the individual differentiator that I had not necessarily thought of.

JK: Does the base and having a sprung base have any baring?

AM: Yes, because it affects the softness. Whatever you are specifying you should always try it on the base that is also being specified.

HK: How do you create a cosy and calm setting in bedrooms that are awkwardly sized?  

JG: We’ve never been a company that really disrupts the conventional bed. It’s an element within the room that is generally based on comfort rather than appearance, depending on the hotel. In awkward spaces, it’s about trying to sprit back to the bare minimum so that you can have a bed that doubles up to be a bedside table. It’s about making these spaces easy to navigate. For mid-level brands, it’s about getting the basics right such as full black-out curtains. These are the annoying details that end up on trip advisor if not thoughtfully implemented.

FE: Space has become a premium these days and I think it’s important to draw out the important elements of the design and try to inject them in first. We are constantly trying to figure out new ways to utilise the space without compromising on comfort and experience.

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

Hotel Designs LIVE - art outside the frame

(in video) Hotel Designs LIVE: Art outside the frame

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
(in video) Hotel Designs LIVE: Art outside the frame

In the second session of Hotel Designs LIVE on May 11, 2021, we looked at art outside the frame. In an exclusive panel discussion, editor Hamish Kilburn welcomed Harry Pass, Creative Director, Elegant Clutter; Rob Wagemans, Founder, Concrete; Federico Toresi, Global Vice President Design – Luxury & Premium Brands, Accor and photographer Mel Yates to explore unconventional ways to portray art and branding in the hotel design process…

Hotel Designs LIVE - art outside the frame

Following two engaging panel discussions looking at a new era of lifestyle and bathrooms beyond practical spaces, the third debate virtually sheltered under Hotel Designs LIVE was around challenging conventional portrayal of art in hotel design. Sponsored by Elegant Clutter, which prides itself on offering a professionally different approach to art consultancy, this chapter of the event addressed new demands from public areas and clever ways to inject branding and sense of place in hospitality establishments.

Editor Hamish Kilburn welcomed a mix of designers, architects, art experts and even a leading photographer to capture the topic through a slightly different lens,to join him on the virtual sofa. Taking what was learned in the early conversations, the panel looked holistically at art’s role in hotel design.

On the panel:

Here’s the full video of the panel discussion (on demand), produced by CUBE, which includes Product Watch pitch from Elegant Clutter.

We have also published the full recordings of session one and session two from Hotel Designs LIVE . The full recording of the final session on workspace design trends will be available on-demand shortly.

SAVE THE DATE: Hotel Designs LIVE will return for a fourth edition on August 10, 2021. The topics explored will include surfaces, sleep, senses and social and speakers will be announced shortly. Once these have been announced, tickets for Hotel Designs LIVE will be available. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss sponsorship opportunities, focused Product Watch pitches or the concept of Hotel Designs LIVE, please contact Katy Phillips or call +44 (0) 1992 374050.

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Accor Design Awards

Accor Design Awards – and the winners are…

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Accor Design Awards – and the winners are…

During the Accor Design Awards – a global campaign – design students pushed conventional boundaries to redefine the services and guest experience that will ultimately shape the hospitality landscape of tomorrow. Editor Hamish Kilburn, who was on this year’s judging panel, has more about this year’s winners…

First launched in in 2016, the Accor Design Awards aim to rethink the future of hospitality in collaboration with design students the world over. Their creativity blended with Accor’s know-how, provide unique solutions and new concepts for the hospitality industry.

Accor Design Awards

For the fifth edition, candidates’ brief was to “redefine the services and guest experiences that will shape the hospitality of tomorrow”. Respected visionary designer Beth Campbell, founder and CEO of Campbell House, presided over this edition, while the international jury of experts had the task to select the top three projects across many submissions from design schools around the globe. After establishing a shortlist of 10 projects, the jury gathered online on May 25 to select top three projects and from them an overall winner. Finally, on June 1, the winners were announced in an online award ceremony.

“I’m very impressed by the level of this edition contest,” said Damien Perrot, Global Senior Vice President at Accor, who recently took part in our roundtable that explored lifestyle hospitality in 2021 and beyond. “I would like to congratulate the winners but also to thank the 150 students who participated to this contest and who are the students we would like to work with in the future. The future is definitively today because when we work on projects, we always think of what could be the world in the next 10 years.”

Manon Figuier, Victoire Datchary, Mathéo Maurel, Harold Loquillard from L’Ecole de Design Nantes Atlantique, whose project NOMADish provided an innovative solution that hit the three key goals: overall guest experience, element of surprise and delight, and consideration for social, economic, and environmental responsibility, won the first prize. They also won the Public Choice Award, voted for by the general public via our bespoke online award voting platform.

Overall winner: NOMADish

They will spend a five-day experience between Barcelona and Basel offered by Roca and Laufen, the campaign’s official sponsors, to discover the brands centre of innovation, see Art Basel and spend a wonderful time in these two beautiful cities.

The second prize was awarded to Ashley Ulm from Berlin International University for her Relove Hotel project, a sustainable and deeply locally conscious concept that goes beyond a biophilic design scheme. Ulm will enjoy a three-day stay in Basel offered by sponsors Roca and Laufen brands.

The Waterwalk project was awarded the third prize. The concept of the world’s first ‘floating and flying cruise’ inspired the judges to look outside the conventional perimeter in order to unlock something quite spectacular. As a prize, Fanny Jalet, Nolwenn Arhuis, Julie David and Lucie Vallée from L’Ecole de Design Nantes Atlantique will spend three days in Barcelona with Roca teams.

Third prize: Waterwalk

Last but not least, this year’s entries were of such a high standard, that the judges insisted on awarding an extra Special jury prize to the Cocoon project. The hotel presented to the judges catered to the rising demand of bleisure travel. Forget the typical corporate shell, though. This hotel suite concept – made from biopolymer and local wood – would become a one-off travel experience in Africa.  Yasmine Bennani, Solène Percie Du Serf, Nicolas Alibert and Alexandre Albert-Picquet from L’Ecole de Design Nantes Atlantique were offered a Jo&Joe experience in Paris, and Hotel Designs will catch up with the team shortly to learn more about how the project would come to life.

In addition to the prize winners, the shortlisted finalists included hospitality concepts in space, suspended on the side of a mountain and even on the bottom of a cliff, which used the natural tides as a way to naturally and effortless change the guests’ setting. Innovative sustainability solutions were evident in all projects, as was the sensory experience.

Supported by Hotel Designs, the Accor Design Awards will return next year. 

Main image credit: Accord Design Awards

Bette launches BetteAir Design Competition

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Bette launches BetteAir Design Competition

Bathroom manufacturer Bette is calling on creative minds to design ‘the walk-in shower bathroom of the future’ featuring BetteAir, the world’s first glazed titanium-steel shower tile. Architects, designers, bathroom planners and students have the chance to give free rein to their creativity and win a personal feature on Bette’s social media channels, as well as a free BetteAir shower tile…

With BetteAir, Bette completes the evolution of the shower tray into part of the bathroom floor and opens up unprecedented possibilities in bathroom design. Like a conventional tile, it can be glued directly onto the screed, making the shower area an integral part of the bathroom floor and seeming to merge with it. With a choice of 31 colours, there are virtually no limits to creativity – whether colourful, contrasting or barely seen..

To participate in the competition, submit a design  for the “walk-in shower bathroom of the future” as a PDF, JPG or PNG. Real bathroom projects are also welcome. The deadline for entries is June 28, 2021. A jury, including Dominik Tesseraux (Tesseraux & Partner, Potsdam), the designer of BetteAir, will select the most exciting, unique and creative design concepts from the entries. The winner will be decided by a community vote on Bette’s social media channels from July 5, 2021. In addition, direct voting is possible on the website, where the CAD downloads and entry conditions can also be found.

As well as being a Recommended Supplier, Bette was a Product Watch Pitch partner at Hotel Designs LIVE, which took place on May 11, 2021. The next Hotel Designs LIVE will take place on August 10, 2021

Main image credit: Bette

M Social arrives in New York

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
M Social arrives in New York

“It’s about time,” editor Hamish Kilburn reacts to Millennium Hotels & Resorts opening of M Social New York, which marks the brand’s understated yet very dynamic arrival in the United States…

“Ever since checking in to M Social Singapore, designed by the one and only Philippe Starck, a few years ago, I was convinced that this brand would thrive in the concrete neighbourhood of Manhattan,” says editor Hamish Kilburn. “With the opening of a 480-key hotel located at 226 West 52 Street  –literally in the heard of Times Square to you and I – it’s about time (and it’s better late than never).”

M Social NY terrace night view

Image credit: M Social

The hotel’s distinctive, contemporary rooms are designed for all types of travellers to rest and re-energise in style with guest’s practical needs in mind. We’re told that each room has unparalleled Times Square, river or city views and each comes equipped with modern workspaces and ergonomic chairs, Serta mattresses and streaming-capable 4K smart TVs.

Guestroom inside M Social New York

Image credit: M Social

A hub for explorers, M Social features spaces that are designed to be accessible, comfortable and practical, including outdoor venues with some of the best views of the city. M Social New York is home to the vibrant bar and lounge, Beast & Butterflies, a private oasis perched above Times Square boasting unobstructed views of the city and the perfect vantage point for the iconic Times Square Ball Drop. Guests of Beast & Butterflies can indulge whilst eying New York City’s sparkle on a 7500 square foot wrap around terrace adjacent to an indoor glass perch. Beast & Butterflies is designed to be a vibrant space with a highly curated cocktail menu and light bites.

The hotel is adorned with an eclectic art collection and pairs its unique architecture with contemporary, avant-garde designs that illustrate a story based on New York City’s main characteristics. The lobby showcases a digital art installation which combines architecture, contemporary art and technology to create an unexpected and dynamic experience. 32 digital screens continuously display a curated library of digital art, transforming the space into an immersive living narrative that incorporates elegant display pieces throughout the area. Specialised art consultants also helped inject their own quirks throughout the hotel with installations such as the 600 sq ft lobby art wall, designed to enhance the aesthetic and spatial designs of the Times Square property.

The M Social brand was launched in Singapore in 2016. Millennium Hotels and Resorts is exploring ways to grow the brand in more cities, to capture diverse stories and build up a community that shares itself with authenticity, an open mind and giving heart.  M Social New York will be the third location for the brand with other outposts in Singapore and Auckland. 

Main image credit: M Social

Inciso by Gessi

INCISO by Gessi – an “American design in an intersection of history & dynamism”

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INCISO by Gessi – an “American design in an intersection of history & dynamism”

Thanks to the professionalism and inventiveness of two complementary realities, INCISO by David Rockwell has been created, marking Gessi’s first exclusive collaboration with an American designer…

INCISO is the result of a meaningful collaboration between bathroom brand Gessi and architectural visionary David Rockwell. It was was born from a deep curiosity for the world and a continuous search for perfection. A unique collection that reveals on one side the genuine emotion of ancient Italian craftsmanship and on the other the most innovative technologies used for working brass.

Inciso by Gessi

INCISO was a tough but exciting challenge for Gessi, a great opportunity to capture and then communicate, through an object, the American soul with an Italian touch thanks to a new aesthetic language in the contemporary bathroom.

Inciso by Gessi

Image credit: Gessi

“INCISO’ is not only the name of the new collection, but also its main feature, an engraving hidden in the spout that confers a strong personality to this piece of art, giving Inciso an elegant and refined profile. The collection embodies strength, integrity and quality, with the aim of conveying the emotion and authenticity of ancient manufacturing in perfect harmony with the technological processing of materials.

Taps from Gessi

Image credit: Gessi

An all-American asset with an Italian soul, for a contemporary furnishing where revolution, history and dynamism are dominant. The distinctive and decisive style of the collection is inherent in the Gessi design as well as in the American industrial chic flair. A new aesthetic code characterised by modern shapes and meticulous details, where the ancient soul is enlightened by a contemporary light, in details and finishes.

Thanks to the various finishes and surface treatments available, such as brushed black, brushed brass, gold, bronze and finox, each space will be customised and made unique, truly special. David Rockwell has instilled to Inciso his typical modern charm, characterised by fine and elegant “industrial” details. Meanwhile, Gessi has given shape and life to an explosion of styles and finishes, once again successfully surprising and making a difference.

In Conversation With: Alex Tredez on designing The Lost Poet

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Alex Tredez on designing The Lost Poet

In an exclusive interview, editor Hamish Kilburn meets Alex Tredez, the lead designer of The Lost Poet, a new boutique hotel that shelters oodles of quirky and local personality. Ahead of it opening as a ‘modern interpretation of a traditional guest house’ on London’s Portobello Road, we took a sneak peek inside…

“We felt that there was a gap in the market for accommodation which offers high quality service, attention to detail and professionalism synonymous with the hotel experience – but also offering an authentic local experience which guests love about Airbnb-like residences,” Alex Tredez, lead designer of The Lost Poet, explains to me as we start to discuss one of West London’s most anticipated hotel openings this year.

Deeply rooted in its surrounding area, The Lost Poet, a hotel that is expected to open its doors this month following much anticipation, comes from the team at Cubic Studios – a local property design studio, born and bred in Notting Hill. The townhouse, located at Number 6, Portobello Road in London’s quaint Notting Hill neighbourhood, is a poetic love letter to the area, celebrating its creativity and dynamism through four individually designed bedrooms. The design harnesses the colour and playful curiosity of Portobello Road and takes inspiration from the market, mixing the old with the new. I was lucky enough to see beyond the colourful sketches to get a sneak peek and interview with the project’s lead designer.

The Lost Poet illustration

Image caption: An illustration of the exterior of the hotel

Hamish Kilburn: How will the hotel’s design challenge conventional London hospitality?

Alex Tredez: The Lost Poet is a modern interpretation of a traditional guest house. As far as we know, there is nothing quite like it. 

We felt that there was a gap in the market for accommodation which offers high quality service, attention to detail and professionalism synonymous with the hotel experience – but also offering an authentic local experience which guests love about Airbnb-like residences. 

It’s a concept that we thought is perfect for a city stay as it gives the traveller the best of both worlds. The guest house is an experience / destination on its own but it’s also very much rooted in the local area. The idea was to create accommodation for those who want to explore and experience the neighbourhood but also want a comfortable and characterful space to retreat to and relax in. Notting Hill is such a lively area with so much to offer we’d like to think we can encourage guests to explore it and enjoy. 

The small scale of the property and technology used through-out give the guests maximum privacy and flexibility. For example, the online check-in feature allows the guests to submit necessary information ahead of their stay, keyless access enables them to open the accommodation simply using their mobile phone. No matter what time the guests arrive at the property they are able to just walk in straight into the room. The receptionist and online support are there to answer any queries and provide assistance. The guests are free to have as little or as much face to face contact with the guest house staff as they choose. 

 We believe it is The Lost Poet’s unique mix of qualities is what will challenge the conventional hospitality. 

HK: With so much history in that area of London, how did you narrow down the interior design scheme?

AT: Embracing the rich history and character of the area was a huge part of the brief and a challenge we very much enjoyed. We felt it was important for this rich mix of culture and history to translate into the interiors. Our other objective was for the scheme to feel coherent and polished and have the same attention to detail that we strive to achieve on our residential projects. Having worked in Notting Hill for many years, this project is close to our hearts.  

The iconic pastel terraces of Portobello and nearby roads definitely inspired us. For this we drew from the classic proportions and timeless elegance of Georgian buildings in Notting Hill. Their construction uses a limited palette of materials such as yellow brick, stucco and stone and is what gives these streets coherence and harmony. However, instead of using a complex multi coloured palette throughout the property we decided to use different palette for each room. Our objective was to convey the vibrancy and playfulness of the area in The Lost Poet as a whole but have each bedroom feel more tranquil creating for the guests a welcome break from the surrounding bustle.

Using the colour as the tool adding individuality to the rooms also allowed us to use same architectural features and a similar overall design approach in each room so that they all feel like they belong in the same property but also have individual character. 

“We opted for mid tone and dark wood to add warmth and really tie the antique and retro furniture together.” – Alex Tredez, lead designer, The Lost Poet.

For eclectic and layered interior we used a mix of elegant classical inspired detailing and proportions, luxury traditional materials, modern forms as well as contemporary patterns. We opted for mid tone and dark wood to add warmth and really tie the antique and retro furniture together. Reclaimed and natural  materials add comfort and create domestic/ informal feel. Asymmetrical balance adds playfulness, visual interest and relaxed vibe. 

HK: How do you predict the pandemic will change the way modern travellers explore? 

AT: The pandemic has made many people really think about the way we travel and why we travel. We suspect it will change the way we explore. For starters, customers will put extra value on smart solutions such as online check-in and keyless access which can add the feeling of safety as well as flexibility. Travellers are looking for a more personal connection which values quality over quantity. Bespoke and meaningful experiences will be even more valued and by a wider portion of the market – the discerning traveller will make conscious choices, people having to really research and plan, less impulse decisions. Travellers may be willing to stay in one place for longer. For us this means longer stays, taking things at a slower pace which in turn means more time to explore the area. Guests are more conscious about sustainability, and we expect to see an increase in eco and wellness tourism.

I also think that we may see an increase in last minute bookings – still considered plans but confirmed shorter lead times than what the industry standard was in 2019.

HK: What’s the scene like on Portobello Road? 

At the moment? We are happy to see many restaurants and bars are and have been adapting well. We are seeing increased number of al-fresco dining and dining options. Some businesses have been burned though the pandemic and have since blossomed (just one example is Buns from Home). 

In general? We love that there are so many small businesses and restaurants on the street. You can wine and dine here for a week and not have to go to the same place twice. You can find everything from Moroccan sweets, through to Michelin starred restaurants as well as highly specialised vendors (vintage glasses, unique blends of tea, bespoke perfume etc). 

HK: Now more than ever design and service must answer each other. How is this the case inside The Lost Poet? 

AT: The Lost Poet thrives on its attention to detail. Since the inception of the design phase of the project to the thought put into the guest experience, the devil has been in the detail. The Lost Poet is Cubic’s love letter to Notting Hill, it’s part of the community, in the coolest neighbourhood in London. We want our guests to experience that, to feel and love the quirkiness and the friendly embrace of Portobello. The design of the rooms is intended to feel like home, we want our guests to be able to come ‘home’ to The Lost Poet and the end of their day. The service will be reflected in that. We only have a few rooms so which allows us to provide a much more personal experience and adapt to ever-changing guest needs. Everything from toiletries to our seasonal breakfast offering has been carefully considered.  

“We know how we arrived at the name but feel that just like with poetry sometimes it is best to leave these things open to interpretation.” – Alex Tredez, lead designer, The Lost Poet.

HK: How do the bathrooms inside the property go beyond just being practical spaces

AT: We have put a lot of thought into making sure they are very special, each bathroom is as unique to the room (different finish on the sanitaryware, different wallpapers, different layouts). We have closely considered how guests would get ready and added seating where possible and wall lighting to help elevate this experience, creating a beautiful space where you can still enjoy your daily rituals. We wanted to create that ‘wow’ moment and the special feel you’d expect from a luxury spa with loads of added character to match the feel of the property.  

HK: Who is ‘the lost poet’? 

AT: Notting Hill is said to have had an artistic association since the end of 19 century, we feel it’s still very prominent. You can feel it in the area and we love it and think it is one of the things that makes it so special. We know how we arrived at the name but feel that just like with poetry sometimes it is best to leave these things open to interpretation…  

Main image credit: The Lost Poet

The Brit List Awards judges 2021

The Brit List Awards 2021: Meet the judges

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Brit List Awards 2021: Meet the judges

Now that the free nominations/applications process is open for The Brit List Awards 2021, it’s time to meet this year’s judges. The 2021 panel consists of respected travel journalists and international experts in the design, architecture and hotel development arenas. The judges will gather to select the winners ahead of the awards ceremony on November 3 at PROUD Embankment, London…

The Brit List Awards judges 2021

Right on cue – and continuing tradition – the next step after nominations and applications have opened for The Brit List Awards is for us to announce this year’s judging panel.

This year, as well as continuing our firm relationship with the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) by welcoming both the President and the Past-President as judges, we have also included an award-winning travel journalist and a cluster of respected hospitality and hotel design experts to join this year’s panel.

(Free to apply/nominate) To nominate/apply for The Brit List Awards 2021, click here.

Without further a due, the judges for The Brit List Awards 2021 are:

Lindsey Rendall, President Elect, BIID

Image credit: Rendall & Wright

Lindsey Rendall is the soon-to-be President of the BIID. After graduating Lindsey Rendall worked for Designers Guild, the internationally renowned home furnishing brand before continuing her design career with Cameron Broom, based in south London. During her five years with the company, Rendall became principal designer and designed a wide range of projects including more than 90 domestic properties, five offices, three commissions for The Hurlingham Club and the complete renovation of 28 Portland Place, a beautiful historic building dating from 1775.

Rendall enthusiasm, attention to detail and ability to identify with her clients has ensured repeat business and many recommendations and referrals. In 2010 Lindsey was granted full membership of the British Institute of Interior Design. Lindsey joined forces with Helen to set up Interior Design practice Rendall & Wright in 2006. This dynamic duo, bring together design expertise and seamless project management, providing a personal and professional service.

Lester Bennett, President, BIID

Image credit: BIID

As a registered interior design with more than 30 years’ experience, Lester Bennett will be the Past President of the BIID during the judging process of The Brit List Awards 2021. Joining the panel for a second year, Bennett has covered many areas of design from running his own practice to being Design Director for the residential development company Westcity. He has built up a stunning portfolio of high profile residential developments both in the UK and overseas.

Lisa Grainger, Deputy and Tavel Editor, Times Luxx magazine

Image credit: Twitter (@LisaGrainger4)

Viewing this year’s entries from a different perspective over the likes of design and architecture professionals, Lisa Grainger is an award-winning travel journalist who has worked for The Times – from the arts and news desks to The Times Magazine and LUXX – since 1995. Grainger, who has become a well-known figure on the luxury travel scene and an influential voice which is amplified regularly in her authentic reviews, is a regular contributor to panels on conservation and luxury travel.

Frank M. Pfaller, President, HoteliersGuild

Image credit: Frank M. Pfaller

Image credit: Frank M. Pfaller

Frank M. Pfaller, the Founder and President of Hoteliers Guild joins the panel with his ‘no two people are alike’ attitude. Impressed by the accessibility of The Brit List Awards 2021, Pfaller believes that  while every property must meticulously reach and maintain highest standards of quality and personalised guest services, none should have to bear the dull stamp of conformity. HoteliersGuild was created with this mentality, and has become a private and independent society of active luxury hoteliers with the aim to connect the best of the hospitality community in a place that encourages the exchange of ideas and personal friendships.

 

Dereck & Beverly Joubert, filmmakers and owners, Great Plains

Image credit: Great Plains

Dereck and Beverly Joubert are world-renowned wildlife filmmakers and are the founders of Great Plains, an authentic, unique and iconic leading tourism conservation organisation. The pair will capture this year’s entries through their unique lens to capture, hopefully, the hotel projects that push boundaries in architecture, design and hospitality. Great Plains consists of 16 prestigious owned and partner safari properties in Botswana, Kenya and Zimbabwe – and offers exceptional safari experiences built around bespoke, caring, meaningful and considerate values.

Ngahuia Damerell, Senior Design Project Manager – Premium & Luxury Brands Design Solutions, Design & Technical Services, Accor

Image credit: Accor

Ngahuia Damerell, on the Board of Directors for the NEWH Paris Chapter, will join the panel to assist in the judging for the Rising Star Award, following Accor’s commitment to support young talent with the Accor Design Awards.

Damerell earned a bachelor’s degree in textile design with a focus on interior textiles from Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand. Her professional journey has taken her to Sydney, London, New York and now, Paris, where she works as the Global Senior Design Project Manager for Accor’s Luxury & Premium brands, including Raffles, Sofitel, Pullman and Movenpick.

Hamish Kilburn, Editor, Hotel Designs

Editor Hamish Kilburn headshot

Image credit: Hotel Designs

Completing this year’s panel, Hamish Kilburn, editor of Hotel Designs, will return for a fourth consecutive year to act as head judge for The Brit List Awards.

In his role on the leading online publication, Kilburn sensitively narrates the industry’s development. As well as travelling the globe, to far-flung destinations, in order to review some of the world’s most impressive hotels, he has also interviewed the masterminds behind their creations. “The Brit List Awards has become a valuable tool for the industry to understand who the real leaders and visionaries are among us,” he said. “In our meaningful search, we are looking for people and brands going beyond what is conventional – and in the four years I have held this position, the industry has never disappointed in showing us projects that are, quite simply, incredible.”

Most recently, Kilburn become the host of DESIGN POD, a new podcast for the A&D community and was also part of the team who masterminded Hotel Designs LIVE, a series of virtual online conferences for designers, architects and hoteliers in order to keep the industry connected and the conversation flowing. As a result, he has gained a detailed understanding as to what it takes to be at the forefront of the industry’s development and evolution.

So there you have it, your judges for The Brit List Awards 2021.

You can now purchase your tickets to attend the live awards ceremony, which takes place on November 3 at PROUD Embankment (designers, architects, hoteliers & click here. Suppliers, click here).

If you would like to discuss various sponsorship packages available, please contact Katy Phillips via email, or call 01992 374050.

Headline Partner: Crosswater

VIP arrivals: Hottest hotels opening in June 2021

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
VIP arrivals: Hottest hotels opening in June 2021

From re-imagined landmarks to Portobello boltholes and new hospitality hotspots, here’s your ultimate guide on the hottest, must-visit hotels that are opening in June 2021, just in time for the summer season to start. Editor Hamish Kilburn continues our VIP Arrivals series as international travel and hospitality open up once more…

A few weeks ago, restricted by green, amber and red lists – it’s as if we are at a junction and the traffic lights are broken – we on the editorial desk at Hotel Designs unveiled the best design hotels to visit in Portugal. But, as you know, we are a global platform and have over the last few months been publishing our VIP Arrivals series, which takes a closer look at the latest hotels opening on the hotel design scene.

For the June edition, things are hotting us as the summer season approaches. Although (for the time being, at least) many desirable destinations remain untouchable, we thrown down the metaphorical towels on the sun loungers for you at the new hotels we have recently added to our own travel bucket list. Here’s our editor’s pick of the must-visit hotels opening in June.

Proper Downtown LA

Proper Downtown LA: Hotels opening in June

Proper Downtown LA

The visionary herself, Kelly Wearstler, is preparing to unveil her latest masterpiece. With city lights and vintage brick as backdrop, Proper re-imagines and updates a landmark in the heart of the Fashion District into a 148-key destination hotel. Here, the creative vision of Kelly Wearstler seamlessly blends past and present with compelling design, vintage influence and local art. Essentials include two restaurants led by James Beard Award-winning L.A. chef Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne (Lucques, AOC, Tavern); an intimate lounge, and a city-view rooftop pool and lounge-bar-restaurant. Especially Proper are two singular, one-of-a-kind suites fashioned from the basketball court and indoor pool of the building’s sporting club past.

Moxy Bergen, Norway

Moxy Bergen interior public areas - Hotels opening in June

Image credit: Moxy Hotels

Located in Norway’s striking Bergen, a World Heritage City with picturesque outdoor life, Moxy Bergen’s prime waterfront location offers unbeatable views overlooking Norway’s famed fjords. Moxy is an energetic alternative to the typical hotel experience in Bergen, proving that choosing affordability doesn’t mean sacrificing style and comfort. The hotel’s playful design is inspired by its destination; the exterior is coated with rails in a pattern mimicking the surrounding waves, and inside there is a focus on natural elements with wooden furniture and installations. Fun hunters can soak up local scenery throughout their stay with each of the hotel’s 199 guestrooms providing Instagram-worthy fjord or mountain views. Down in the lobby guests will find quirky creations by local artists, including a Norwegian folklore figure from the forests of Norway. The Now Lounge has pulled the hotel’s harbour setting inside with anchor ball lamps and rope decorations, telling the story of local life. Moxy Bergen also holds leading sustainability certificates, a perfect match for the eco-conscious traveller.

Kuda Villingili, the Maldives

Arival jetty Kuda Villingili – Hotels opening in June

Image credit: Kuda Villingili

Recently published on Hotel Designs as one of the most highly anticipated hotels opening in June, Kuda Villingili is a Maldivian jewel. Conceived with nature in mind by the Maldivian architectural firm GX Associates in collaboration with the Singapore-based interior design company URBNarc, Kuda Villingili boasts 95 luxury villas – 36 overwater and 59 beachside. All are inspired by the sprawling nature of the Maldives and offer panoramic views of the pristine ocean, allowing for the natural sounds of the sea to awaken the senses.

The resort’s interiors authentically reflect the natural beauty that surrounds the island. Traditional Maldivian art pieces and textiles are dotted throughout, and the expert use of natural materials enhance the harmony between water, light and wind. Inspired by the ocean and local fauna, interiors feature custom, eco-friendly furniture and fittings (including carpets manufactured from recycled plastic bottles). This mixed-use resort development also offers a variety of accommodation types to meet the needs of all – groups, couples, solo travellers and families.

The Lost Poet, London 

The Lost Poet - Hotels opening in June

Image credit: The Lost Poet

Deeply rooted in its surrounding area, The Lost Poet comes from the team at Cubic Studios – a local property design studio, born and bred in Notting Hill. The townhouse, located at Number 6, Portobello Road in London’s quaint Notting Hill neighbourhood, is a poetic love letter to the area, celebrating its creativity and dynamism through four individually designed bedrooms. The design harnesses the colour and playful curiosity of Portobello Road and takes inspiration from the market, mixing the old with the new. Guests will find modern art, bold wallpapers and bespoke furniture sitting in juxtaposition with antique trinkets and reclaimed wood panelling created from old school science labs.

Accessible to guests arriving at any time of day or night, the concept offers the independence of rental property with the design, housekeeping and concierge elements synonymous with a luxury boutique hotel. 

OMMA Santorini

White room inside OMMA Santorini

Image credit: OMMA Santorini

Epoque Collection, a new luxury boutique hotel management company, is opening the brand’s first meticulously selected five-star property, the beautiful and breathtaking OMMA Santorini. After a soft opening in 2019, the much-anticipated stunning and secluded hilltop hotel with no surrounding properties in sight, is set to officially open in June. From the outside architecture to the interior design, OMMA Santorini offers a journey of discovery through all the senses. With just 25 intimate rooms and suites and five villas, organised amphitheatrically around the element of water, OMMA Santorini provides an intimate hideaway for couples and families alike. Each of the five beautiful villas is blessed with a private swimming pool and sprawling sea views overlooking the Aegean Sea. The contemporary and timeless style throughout the hotel balances crisp white walls and clean-cut spaces against charcoal sun loungers and furniture to create a design that oozes luxury and elegance. Cycladic white buildings surround the extraordinary double infinity pool which is set across two levels and is amongst the largest pools in Santorini. For that reason, it makes our top picks of hotels opening in June.

Hotel Lou Pinet

A yellow stripped vibrant public area

Image credit: Hotel Lou Pinet/Mr Tripper

Just like its sibling hotel, Le Cou Cou in Meribel, Hotel Lou Pinet is a piece of art, if you like, painstakingly designed to celebrate something different on the hospitality scene in Europe. And although it’s not new – the hotel first opened in 2019 – its style is as fresh today as it was then. Taking design cues from the rich Mediteranian gardens, the hotel, which re-emerges in June from its forced closure, is a peaceful abode away from hustle and bustle of Saint-Tropez. While its design remains timeless – and flawless, if we do say so ourselves – Lou Pinet has introduced a new offerings and treatments in the spa, as service and design work in harmony in what is a modern treasure. Lou Pinet is an intimate hideaway echoing the vintage Saint-Tropez spirit of the 60’s and 70’ where loved-up couples will dance the night away in the magical gardens, as the live music transports them to this vintage era.

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Main image credit: OMMA Santorini

Hotel Designs: round up 27 may

Weekly briefing: Maldives opening, bathroom trends & IDAS line-up

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: Maldives opening, bathroom trends & IDAS line-up

Editor Hamish Kilburn here – right on cue – to round off your week with a low-down of the most-read hotel design stories from the past few days. This week’s edition of the Weekly Briefing includes our sneak peek inside the Maldives’ latest design-led hotel about to open, a video panel discussion on bathroom trends and our in conversation with the wonderful Noami Heaton, CEO of The Other House…

Hotel Designs: round up 27 may

Where do we start? The challenge this week, now that UK hospitality is on the mend, following a rather bleak coma, has been sifting through press releases to select the most interesting and impactful stories for the international hotel design scene. In addition, of course, we have published a handful of our own crafted features and interviews that we believe answer questions regarding new challenges for the future of hotel design landscape.

So, before the weekend – a long weekend if you are based in the UK – can official start, here are our top stories from the week.

Island life: Kuda Villingili in the Maldives prepares to open

Arival jetty Kuda Villingili

Image credit: Kuda Villingili

In just a few days time, luxury travellers will be able to check in to Kuda Villingili, a much-anticipated luxury island retreat in the Maldivian archipelago. The remarkable five-star property located in the North Male Atoll, Kuda Villingili is the Maldives redefined; a unique, experience-driven concept, home to an impressive line-up of gourmet dining options, an idyllic beachfront spa, and an azure, spacious 150-metre pool, encircled by stylish sunbeds, cabanas and bars – take it from us, it’s stunning! 

Read more.

(in video) Hotel Designs LIVE: Bathrooms beyond practical spaces

Following the opening seminar on ‘a new era of lifestyle‘, which was no doubt the session that set the tone for the rest of the day’s panel discussions, session two of Hotel Designs LIVE was sponsored by bathroom manufacturer Grohe. For this chapter of the one-day conference, Hotel Designs decided to focus the lens on an area of the hotel that has been at the centre of the wellness conversation over the last year.

Welcoming leading designers and architects to join him on the virtual sofa, the panel looked at all five senses to understand how bathroom design and wellness areas are evolving in order to cater to new demands from modern travellers. Understanding bathroom spaces in all colours, shapes and sizes, the panel started to ultimately establish trends and major talking points for wellness spaces in 2021 and beyond.

Read more. 

In Conversation With: Naomi Heaton, CEO, The Other House

Naomi_Heaton_CEO_TheOtherHouse

Image credit: The Other House

Having just unveiled The Other House, a new lifestyle hospitality brand that is said to ‘revolutionise hospitality’, Naomi Heaton’s two new hotels that are planned to open in the next few years are expected to make unapologetic and bold statements on the hotel scene in London. But what else has Heaton got planned? We caught up with the visionary herself to find out more.

Read more…

Interior Design & Architecture Summit: Speakership line up finalised

Speakers for IDAS and projects they have worked on

There is still time for designers and architects to sign up to attend the Interior Design & Architecture Summit (IDAS) on June 30 at Hilton Canary Wharf, London. The one-day event, which launched in 2019, is designed to dynamically bridge the gap between senior designers, architects and key-industry suppliers.

The Summit includes pre-arranged face-to-face meetings, a networking lunch. In addition, Hotel Designs has curated a captivating seminar programme that will run throughout the day, inviting leading industry figures to discuss a range of relevant and thought-provoking topics.

Here’s what to look forward to…

Read more.

What we know about Britain’s largest cruise ship, designed by Jestico + Whiles

Britain’s largest and most environmentally-friendly cruise ship is named in a record-breaking virtual ceremony. Britain’s largest and most environmentally-friendly cruise ship, P&O Cruises Iona, has been officially named in a very contemporary ceremony with a record-breaking virtual audience. Iona, powered by liquefied natural gas, ground-breaking for the UK cruise industry and one of the cleanest fuels in the world, arrived for the first time into her home port of Southampton this morning ahead of tonight’s official naming ceremony. The ship was officially named tonight by Dame Irene Hays, chair of Hays Travel, Britain’s largest independent travel agency, in a glittering quayside ceremony by the bow of the ship. The event, held at sunset, was hosted by Jo Whiley and broadcast to a “virtual” audience of over 25,000 guests. The highlight of the show was a rousing set from Iona’s music director Gary Barlow performing two iconic Take That hits “Greatest Day and “Rule the World” against the backdrop of a spectacular laser show. A specially produced Nebuchadnezzar (equivalent to 20x 750ml bottles) of Alex James’s Britpop cider smashed against the hull of the ship in spectacular style to bring it good fortune in the future. There was also a special performance by The Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir and Mica Paris singing Believe, a song which was composed by Simon Haw MBE and was dedicated to Her Majesty The Queen, head of the Commonwealth, for its 70th anniversary in 2019. Picture date Sunday 16th May, 2021. Picture by Christopher Ison. Contact +447544 044177 chris@christopherison.com For further press information please contact: Michele Andjel, michele.andjel@carnivalukgroup.com 023 8065 6653 / 07730 732 072 Laura Tattam, laura.tattam@pocruises.com 02380 656651 / 07771 283 845 Jenny Hadley, jenny.hadley@pocruises.com 023 8065 6650 / 07825 120 088

Image credit: P&O Cruises

Britain’s largest and most environmentally friendly ship, powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) will accommodate up to 5,200 guests. Iona was named in a spectacular ceremony broadcast to a virtual audience on Sunday May 16 and the ship’s maiden voyage will be on August 7, sailing the UK coast and up to her namesake island.

The award-winning interior design and architecture studio, Jestico + Whiles, which recently took part in a panel discussion on the new era of lifestyle at Hotel Designs LIVE, has designed most of the food and beverage spaces throughout the ship and the most spectacular space of all, the soaring triple-height Grand Atrium which captures unprecedented panoramic views across the ever-changing seascape, as far as the horizon.

Read more.

The role of wellness in the new era of ‘lifestyle hospitality’

Image credit: The Cottonmill Spat at Sopwell House

Image credit: The Cottonmill Spat at Sopwell House

Following on from the virtual roundtable: ‘Raising the floor in lifestyle’ and our Hotel Designs LIVE session entitled: ‘A new era of lifestyle’, it’s safe to say that we are putting a lot of emphasis on understanding lifestyle hospitality in 2021 and beyond. To continue the theme, we asked Beverley Bayes, Creative Director at Sparcstudio, to look at the role that spa and wellness has to play in the new chapter of hotel design.

Read more.

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

 

3.1_Kaldewei_Classic_Duo_Oval

Bi-colour trend: Kaldewei uses stylish contrasts for Classic Duo Oval free-standing bathtubs

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Bi-colour trend: Kaldewei uses stylish contrasts for Classic Duo Oval free-standing bathtubs

The Classic Duo Oval demonstrates Kaldewei’s flair for trend setting, the free-standing bathtubs in the series are now available in a variety of modern bi-colour options…

The Classic Duo Oval is also available in an extensive range of single colours from their Coordinated Colours Collection, immersing the luxurious steel enamel in tones of warm grey, soft beige and elegant black.

3.1_Kaldewei_Classic_Duo_Oval

Bi-colour bathtubs are the new must-have statement piece for the modern bathroom and the most sought after are the free-standing models. The visual impact is powerful drawing the eye instantly and creating a focal point for the bathroom.

The Classic Duo Oval series, from Kaldewei is the perfect bath for the bi-colour trend, with its simple oval shape, two identical backrests and a central waste it guarantees a pleasant and comfortable bathing experience. The elegant panelling that surrounds the bathtub enables free-standing placement in the bathroom, whilst highlighting the superior design standards of the steel enamel bathtub.

The pure and simple elegance that characterises the Classic Duo Oval can now be incorporated into a unique interior design with Kaldewei’s colour combination options. The variety of strong enamel colours create a harmonious overall picture or an exciting contrast to the bath panelling, which is available in alpine white, alpine white matt, black gloss and lava black matt. The carefully considered and well- thought-out range of colours enables a multitude of combinations and sets new standards in terms of colour harmony and value.

In addition to the Centro Duo Oval, the free-standing Conoduo and Ellipso Duo Oval models are also available with coloured panelling.

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

Main image credit: Kaldewei

Image credit: RAK Ceramics

Hotel lobbies: “Let there be light,” says RAK Ceramics

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel lobbies: “Let there be light,” says RAK Ceramics

Hotel lobbies are the first sight that greet a guest when they arrive for their stay, so striking the right chord and creating that all important good first impression is vital here, explains Ben Bryden, Sales and Marketing Director at RAK Ceramics UK

Image credit: RAK Ceramics

Creating a good first impression, even when floor space may be at a premium, is crucial and whatever design and embellishments are chosen also needs to be in line with the hotel’s brand values, which from lobby to guest rooms will echo throughout the building no doubt.

Surfaces offer the ideal solution in this regard, being in and of themselves already highly visible.

Proving itself to be a stunning centrepiece for any hotel design concept, Luce by RAK Ceramics simply amaze when enhanced with backlighting technology, creating a striking effect that makes the right impression not only in hotel lobbies, but bar and restaurant areas too.

Image caption: Luce features a stunning marble-effect to make areas of the hotel such as bars and lobbies really stand out.

Image caption: Luce features a stunning marble-effect to make areas of the hotel such as bars and lobbies really stand out.

The new Maximus Translucent extra-large format slabs are a novelty that inspire creativity, with the range including seven different graphics and colours in marble and onyx effect, that replicate the natural ability of the stones to filter the light. The translucent body of Luce is made with a very high purity of raw materials containing special and high-quality clays and minerals. When illuminated, Luce’s special body gives a soft glow and really transforms the design from a plain tile to a soft natural marble. This of course taps into trends for nature-inspired designs, creates a real feeling of luxury and plays with light in an incredibly creative way.

Image caption: When illuminated, Luce’s special body gives a soft glow and really transforms the design from a plain tile to a soft natural marble, perfect for gently lighting up public spaces within the hotel after dark.

Image caption: When illuminated, Luce’s special body gives a soft glow and really transforms the design from a plain tile to a soft natural marble, perfect for gently lighting up public spaces within the hotel after dark.

In 6mm thick slabs measuring 120 x 260cm, Luce can be chosen in Onyx White, Onyx Harlequin, Onyx Ivory, Onyx Arco Red, Onyx Green Jade, Marble White and Bahia Azul.

Such solutions can be used by designers to enhance the guest experience, giving a good first impression and creating spaces that are beautiful with quality products.

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

Main image credit: RAK Ceramics

Island life: Kuda Villingili in the Maldives prepares to open

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Island life: Kuda Villingili in the Maldives prepares to open

Located in the North Malé Atoll, in the Maldives, Kuda Villingili is preparing its international entrance with what we are told an impressive line-up of gourmet dining options – including a take on the famous Singaporean Hawkers street food market – an idyllic beachfront spa, and world-class facilities for those with a penchant for an adrenaline rush. As demand for hotel development in the region soars, let’s take a look…

In just a few days time, luxury travellers will be able to check in to Kuda Villingili, a much-anticipated luxury island retreat in the Maldivian archipelago. The remarkable five-star property located in the North Male Atoll, Kuda Villingili is the Maldives redefined; a unique, experience-driven concept, home to an impressive line-up of gourmet dining options, an idyllic beachfront spa, and an azure, spacious 150-metre pool, encircled by stylish sunbeds, cabanas and bars – take it from us, it’s stunning! 

Conceived with nature in mind by the Maldivian architectural firm GX Associates in collaboration with the Singapore-based interior design company URBNarc, the resort boasts 95 luxury villas – 36 overwater and 59 beachside. All are inspired by the sprawling nature of the Maldives and offer panoramic views of the pristine ocean, allowing for the natural sounds of the sea to awaken the senses.

The resort’s interiors authentically reflect the natural beauty that surrounds the island. Traditional Maldivian art pieces and textiles are dotted throughout, and the expert use of natural materials enhance the harmony between water, light and wind. Inspired by the ocean and local fauna, interiors feature custom, eco-friendly furniture and fittings (including carpets manufactured from recycled plastic bottles). This mixed-use resort development also offers a variety of accommodation types to meet the needs of all – groups, couples, solo travellers and families.

Gastronomy

The diversity of cultural expression is celebrated throughout the resort’s gourmet offerings. With views of the idyllic beachfront, the resort’s signature dining establishment – The Restaurant – serves the freshest, handcrafted food for breakfast and offers three menus at dinner: Fire, Earth and Ocean. Inspired by the traditional American Steak House experience, Fire explores the art of grilling meats to perfection. Earth is an Asian-inspired concept that celebrates organic ingredients to enhance classic dishes like noodles and dim sum creations, and Ocean is a fine-dining experience championing seafood specialties, prepared with a European sensibility.

Arival jetty Kuda Villingili

Image credit: Kuda Villingili

Relaxed, flavoursome and social, The Hawkers is an upscale three-stall street food market that sits poolside and serves up soulful, sharing style options. The open kitchen dishes up Indian-Arabic inspired flame-grilled kebabs, charcoaled tandoor, and mouth-watering shawarma, along with Thai-Japanese delicacies such as robatayaki grill and sushi, and Italian-Mediterranean favourites like savoury wood-fired pizza.

A South American take on the classic lunch beach menu is available at The Beach Club, together with daily live DJ sets and an extended list of refreshing frozen cocktails and rosé wines. The resort’s two bars, the Main Bar and the Poolside bar, both offer classic cocktails, mocktails and hand-crafted beers. And overlooking the lagoon, the resort’s cosy Cigar Lounge offers the finest international whiskies and cognacs and a wide selection of premium cigars in a warm, sophisticated and sumptuously leather-decorated ambience.

Over in the spa

Featuring oversized stone baths, organic and plant-based products by VOYA, the spa at Kuda Villingili is rooted in self-love, self-discovery and wellness. Boasting eight self-contained oceanfront spa villas, each promises a holistic journey to reclaim self-connection, self-care and balance through an array of therapeutic and mindful practices.

Image credit: Kuda Villingili

Restorative leisure pursuits include an elevated yoga pavilion, Technogym and a recreation centre with table tennis, billiards, karaoke & table games. There are two state-of-the-art tennis courts, beach volleyball and island excursions that range from surfing, scuba and stargazing to wildlife encounters, sandbank dining and big game fishing.

The hotel opens on June 6. As the Maldives continues to be on the ‘amber list’ for UK travellers, the opening has given modern travellers something to look forward to when non-restricted travel opens once more.

Main image: Kuda Villingili

Naomi_Heaton_CEO_TheOtherHouse

In Conversation With: Naomi Heaton, CEO, The Other House

760 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Naomi Heaton, CEO, The Other House

Having just unveiled The Other House, a new lifestyle hospitality brand that is said to ‘revolutionise hospitality’, Naomi Heaton’s two new hotels that are planned to open in the next few years are expected to make unapologetic and bold statements on the hotel scene in London. But what else has Heaton got planned? Editor Hamish Kilburn caught up with the visionary herself to find out more…

Naomi_Heaton_CEO_TheOtherHouse

In a place like London, where quintessentially British tradition seems (on the surface, at least) to take precedence, anything new and disruptive to what convention on the hospitality scene needs to arrive fully packed with substance if it is to survive, let alone thrive. For Naomi Heaton and her team, there was no other place in the world to set the scene of a new brand that has been brewing for what, I am told, has been seven years in the making.

Heaton, who recently joined me in a panel discussion at Hotel Designs LIVE to debate the topic of a new era of lifestyle, is now ready to share the details of her new brand, which is expected to “blur the lines” that pre-exist in hospitality, in order to instead create a cutting-edge type of new accommodation. The Other House – ‘your home for as long as you’re in town’ – will disrupt the traditional sectors of hotels, serviced apartments and private rentals, effortlessly and elegantly combining home comforts with hotel style facilities, whatever the length of stay.

The plot thickens, as Heaton and her team recently shared that The Other House will launch with the bold opening of two hotels that will be sheltered in two very different but equally majestic buildings in London – one in Kensington (opening in 2022) and other in Covent Garden (opening in 2023).

“Our aim was to create a second home for our residents for as long as they were in town – quite simply to be their other house.” – Naomi Heaton, CEO, The Other House.

To understand more about how The Other House was born, and what we can expect next, I caught up with Heaton…

Hamish Kilburn: We love the new branding – can you tell us a bit more about the creative journey to finalise the name?

Naomi Heaton: We have been on an amazing journey which started many years ago when we first recognised the need for a whole new approach to hospitality. This all started to become a reality when we teamed up with our joint venture partners APG, the Dutch pension provider and acquired our first asset in South Kensington in December 2019. One of our early appointments was the award-winning branding agency Design Studio who we had enormous fun with, working out exactly who our target audience was, what their aspirations and convictions are and the kind of environment they wanted to live in.

The core plank was to provide a sense of place that was in tune with our guests needs coupled with an ability for them to access hotel style services 24/7 but only as and when they wanted. We came up with literally hundreds of possible names but the answer was very simple. Our aim was to create a second home for our residents for as long as they were in town – quite simply to be their other house. It was just a short step from there to arrive at the The Other House!

Image caption: The exterior image of the Wellington property, which will shelter The Other House's Covent Garden hospitality offering.

Image caption: Prime location. The Wellington property, located in Covent Garden, will shelter The Other House’s second hotel, expected to open in 2023.

HK: Covent Garden and South Kensington shelter very different vibes. Why did you choose these locations for the first two properties?

NH: As a company we have always specialised in central London generally acquiring assets which are in need of refurbishment and reorganisation. This way we can create exactly what we want as well as minimising the environmental impact.  We also love the heritage architecture and the relative scarcity of such buildings. It is probably a harder task than building new but the end result is something unique with embedded history.

Central London is made up of many ‘villages’ with distinct personalities and as you say vibes. They are all convenient but different people want to be in different locations and have different requirements. Covent Garden and South Kensington are poles apart but equally attractive and exciting and we have managed to acquire beautiful properties in both locations. Our intention is now to fill in the ‘gaps’ between them in equally exciting places such as Mayfair, Sloane Square, Notting Hill and Marylebone. We are always on the lookout for opportunities but have set a high bar.

“We have approached The Other House through a residential lens rather than a conventional hotel perspective.” – Naomi Heaton, CEO, The Other House.

HK: You recently joined our panel on ‘the new era of lifestyle’ at Hotel Designs LIVE. How does The Other House open the door for a new era of lifestyle?

NH: The Other House aims to disrupt the traditional sectors of hotels, serviced apartments and private rentals, combining home comforts with hotel style facilities, whatever the length of stay – from a day to a year (or even longer).

We recognised that the needs of travellers in these sectors are merging. Our background is private rentals (the PRS). We could see they were all looking for a real sense of place and space that this sector provides combined with the services offered by traditional hotels but only as and when they want them.  Technology will play an important role in delivering this but making a positive social and environmental impact and ensuring health and wellbeing will be at the core of the offer as well.

We have approached The Other House through a residential lens rather than a conventional hotel perspective. The brand will be a ‘second home’ for its guests – their other house – and they can live like a resident, for as long as they are in town. As a new hospitality concept, we are creating a new sector of Residents Clubs.

It will be a club of likeminded people who know what they want, seeking style, positive social impact and experiences to remember, without a hefty price tag. One of our principal design requirements is to provide micro apartments throughout – club flats not bedrooms – and private areas for residents to enjoy a quiet glass of whisky or relax in their favourite chair – as well as public destination areas. It is a club which is inclusive, that everyone is a member of, for as long as they are staying.

Our guests also want to be in control of their stay and limit touch points. The brand connects guests with on-demand services through an exciting bespoke tech platform and App from the moment they book and check in to when they check out and pay.

HK: How important is tech in this new era and how will The Other House properties use it meaningfully?

NH: Extremely important. In many ways the pandemic has served to accelerate the move towards technology that was happening anyway, albeit at a slower pace. Guests are increasingly seeking to be in control through technology with a seamless journey from booking, checking in to managing their stay with limited touch points and human interaction.

Our bespoke app which is in development will enable guests to manage their entire stay and experience, from booking, checking in, room entry, room cleaning, laundry, messaging, booking and paying at any of our restaurants, bars and other amenities.

The good use of technology will enable many of the mundane interactions to be kept to a minimum. This means however that the human touch has to be much more nuanced and sensitive, recognising guests are independent and discerning rather than just visitors or tourists. We are giving residents the tools and the space to  organise and manage life their way.

Tech is important too in expanding the sense of community far beyond the stay itself, by creating a platform which shares common interests, news and views about what is going on at the Other House and beyond, so people can always feel like a local.

HK: Can you give us an indication on the interior design schemes for both properties?

NH: Design studio Bergman Interiors, winners of course of your eponymous The Brit List Awards 2020, have been appointed and will showcase the best in British design at both properties. Bergman is creating iconic designs cleverly combining a sense of home with stand-out exciting spaces in our club flats and in the public and private residents’ areas. There will be bold interiors, with a contemporary twist and rich colours and textures combined with carefully designed lighting. Spaces will be original but relaxing and individual.

Image caption: The property that started it all. This building, Harrington Hall, will shelter The Other House’s debut hospitality offering, and is slated to open in Spring of 2022.

HK: What will The Other House offer that isn’t already available in lifestyle hospitality? 

NH: The residents’ clubs will combine the strengths of hotel offerings with the sense of place and place-making residents get from the private rented sector. It is a far more embracing offering than serviced apartments, hotels or the private rental sector as they exist today.

As well as an entirely new concept, where you can stay for as long as you want, there will be seamless technology through our bespoke app, which means guests are in control, an integral part of the new way of living we have all adopted.

The Other House takes a sustainable approach to renovating existing buildings and is committed to making a positive impact on the community, our employees and the environment. Our residents will be a part of our environmental journey so they can make a measurable personal difference.  There will be a focus on health and wellbeing at all the guest touchpoints and we will be using, for example,  recyclable packaging, healthy, sustainably produced food and British made furniture.

HK: Where are you in the design stage at the moment?

NH: We have had a fantastic journey with architects Falconer Chester Hall and Bergman Interiors creating exactly the right product for our guests. It has been a real period of learning as we rethink the use and look of the space to complement our offering.  Works in the South Kensington property are well underway – having been completely stripped out behind the historic façade and the reconfiguration now taking place, with a planned opening late Q1 2022.

The Wellington block, an island site close to Covent Garden’s famous piazza is now fully designed architecturally and at planning stage. We have started working on the interior design concepts for all the spaces, inspired by Covent Garden’s rich and vibrant history. We intend to start work towards the end of 2021, opening in 2023. The story will of course continue with further acquisitions in central London and then internationally. Watch this space!

Main image credit: The Other House

image of clean minimalist room with white mosaic tiles on wall

Adding personality in public areas with surfaces from Mosaico+

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Adding personality in public areas with surfaces from Mosaico+

Following its pitch at Hotel Designs LIVE to encourage designers, architects and hoteliers to look beyond hygiene when specifying surfaces, Mosaico+ shares how its products can help the A&D community add personality back into public areas…

image of clean minimalist room with white mosaic tiles on wall

“Mosaic is, foremost, broken matter, reduced to small elements but creating seamless surfaces by incorporating the joint, to bind the components rather than divide.” The grout can play a powerful part to illuminate the pattern or to tone and extend in a seamless way depending on the effect you are looking to create. This is a powerful element that Mosaico+ aims to develop.

Having undergone a significant re-branding exercise over the last three years, the brand has moved from that of a traditional mosaic company to one creating quite unique surfaces whilst maintaining the concept of mosaic. We are developing our offer to sit more strongly in A&D.

What does Mosiaco+ do?

Mosaico+ offers a bespoke design service being able to master any image, decoration, signage or special branding to customise any area. The brand also handcrafts its products, employing artisanal techniques and cutting individual pieces to construct any given design. And then, its recent stand-alone additions are where the brand diversifies, having collaborated with key design partners to inspire individual themes and giving the portfolio greater depth. Mosaico+ is introducing different materials, collections of new designs, not necessarily perceived as mosaic, but that tell their own story and can be used in a variety of situations and combinations – hence Mosacio ‘Plus’!

The brand covers the regular areas where mosaic has always been used but are also able to crossover creating limitless opportunities to be included in different situations as original features, pieces of art and tailored versions to highlight any given aspect and interpreting many design ideas.

Surfaces are a key theme for interior and architectural environments, and the team at Mosaico+ know interior designers focus on atmosphere/feeling/usage and forming relationships between them all.

Moodboard of different tiles

Image credit: Mosaico+

So either from within the team’s offer or utilising their design capabilities, the brand can achieve any style, modern, minimal, industrial; create any mood, soft, subtle and sophisticated, quirky, romantic, and enhance or accentuate any overall feeling you may be looking to affect.

It’s an exciting time to see the innovation and new way forward in progress. Mosaico+ is no longer solely a mosaic company, we are continuing to evolve our product offer to incorporate small, individual component parts as you would expect, but in different ways, new concepts that can be chosen to work within many environments, contrasting or complimenting, and able to create something that bonds with other factors within a scheme, building that design relationship.

Mosaico+ was a Product Watch Pitch partner at Hotel Designs LIVE, which took place on May 11, 2021. The next Hotel Designs LIVE will take place on August 10, 2021

Main image credit: Mosaico+

Hotel Designs LIVE - session 2

(in video) Hotel Designs LIVE: Bathrooms beyond practical spaces

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
(in video) Hotel Designs LIVE: Bathrooms beyond practical spaces

In the second session of Hotel Designs LIVE on May 11, 2021, the editorial lens focused in on the hotel bathroom. In an exclusive panel discussion, editor Hamish Kilburn welcomed Nick Hickson, Co-Founder and Creative/Technical Director, THDP; Gabriele Chiave, Creative Director, Marcel Wanders Studio and Christos Passas, Director, Zaha Hadid Architects, to explore bathrooms beyond practical spaces (scroll down to watch full video)…

Hotel Designs LIVE - session 2

Following the opening seminar on ‘a new era of lifestyle‘, which was no doubt the session that set the tone for the rest of the day’s panel discussions, session two of Hotel Designs LIVE was sponsored by bathroom manufacturer Grohe. For this chapter of the one-day conference, editor Hamish Kilburn decided to focus the lens on an area of the hotel that has been at the centre of the wellness conversation over the last year.

Welcoming leading designers and architects to join him on the virtual sofa, the panel looked at all five senses to understand how bathroom design and wellness areas are evolving in order to cater to new demands from modern travellers. Understanding bathroom spaces in all colours, shapes and sizes, the panel started to ultimately establish trends and major talking points for wellness spaces in 2021 and beyond.

On the panel: 

Here’s the full video of the panel discussion (on demand), produced by CUBE, which includes Product Watch pitches from Grohe, Christopher Hyde, Crosswater, Schlüter Systems, Laufen and Villeroy & Boch.

We have also published the full recording of session one from Hotel Designs LIVE. The full recordings of the other two sessions (‘Art outside the frame’ and ‘Workspace design trends’) will be available on-demand shortly.

SAVE THE DATE: Hotel Designs LIVE will return for a fourth edition on August 10, 2021. The topics explored will include surfaces, sleep, senses and social and speakers will be announced shortly. Once these have been announced, tickets for Hotel Designs LIVE will be available. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss sponsorship opportunities, focused Product Watch pitches or the concept of Hotel Designs LIVE, please contact Katy Phillips or call +44 (0) 1992 374050.

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Weekly round-up of the latest stories on Hotel Designs

Weekly briefing: Portugal’s finest, London unveils & going Gaga for DESIGN POD

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: Portugal’s finest, London unveils & going Gaga for DESIGN POD

Editor Hamish Kilburn here, rounding off your week with a throwback to the hottest stories published over the last few days. In this edition of the Weekly Briefing, we amplify Portugal’s best design-led hotels, go Gaga for episode 4 of DESIGN POD, tease you with the latest London unveils and share the full recording of our panel discussion on ‘a new era of lifestyle’ that was filmed at Hotel Designs LIVE. Enjoy…

Weekly round-up of the latest stories on Hotel Designs

What a week – we’ve product news from the likes of hansgrohe, Ideal Standard, Atlas Concorde and Bette as well as keeping our ears to the ground on the latest news in the hotel development arena. In addition, we dropped episode 4 of DESIGN POD which welcomes Jack Irving as our special guest. In fact, why not read this round-up while listening to that episode, to here myself and Irving discuss fashion highlights, collaboration goals with Lady Gaga, Paris Hilton and The Spice Girls and the result of his debut interior design project.

Here are your top stories of the week: 

“Shoreditch’s hottest unveil of 2021.” What we know about Mondrian Shoreditch

Mondrian Shoreditch Bar view_Daytime - Credit_ Goddard Littlefair (1) copy

Image caption: A render of the bar sheltered inside Mondrian Shoreditch London. | Image credit: Goddard Littlefair/FRAMED Visualisation

Considering the building’s reputation for sheltering a vibrant, modern and contemporary hospitality space, the pressure was on for interior design firm Goddard Littelfair when they were asked by Accor to completely redesign the hotel for when it reopened as the Mondrian Shoreditch. But as always, following the deep design narrative that was unveiled in their latest project, The Mayfair Townhouse, the design firm has delivered and we are excited to share with you our sneak peek inside what we are calling Shoreditch’s hottest unveil of 2021.

Read more.

(In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: A new era of lifestyle

To kickstart Hotel Designs LIVE on May 11, editor Hamish Kilburn invited James Dilley, Director, Jestico + Whiles; Naomi Heaton, CEO, The Other House and David Mason, Head of Hospitality at Scott Brownrigg for a panel discussion entitled: A new era of lifestyle.

Read more.

A new level of wellness: The Spa at 45 Park Lane

Image of the pool and relaxation area at The Spa at 45 Park Lane

Image credit: Dorchester Collection

Leaping into a new era, the hotel has launched The Spa at 45 Park Lane as part of guests’ hotel experience. And unlike other London hotels that’s spas are the size of oversized shoeboxes, the new wellness facility inside the 45-key boutique hotel is, by all accounts, expansive compared to some of its London neighbours. The 10,000 sq. ft. spa features Park Lane’s longest pool at 20 metres, as well as a personal training room and spacious state-of-the-art gym.

Read more.

An expert’s guide on the science of a good nights’ sleep

A modern and minimalist room

Image credit: Silentnight Group

With 75 per cent of Brits admitting to not having a good nights’ sleep and 30 per cent of people rating their sleep as “bad”, chances are you know what a bad nights’ sleep feels like. We’ve all had one, and most of us will have had at least one nights’ bad sleep in a hotel, but why? Sleep experts from Silentnight Group Hospitality, Hannah Shore and Angela Moran, explores your ultimate sleep guide.

Read more.

Miniview: Inside The Carlton Tower Jumeirah – now open!

Contemporary lobby inside The Carlton Tower Jumeirah

Image credit: Jumeirah Group

We have waited an agonising 18 months, but we can finally celebrate the opening of The Carlton Tower Jumeirah, a masterpiece the international design studio 1508 London that has allowed what was a tired and worn down hotel to prosper in London’s Knightsbridge neighbourhood. We have been following the story since day dot.

Read more.

And finally… the best design hotels to visit in Portugal

Rooftop bar in Portugal

Image credit: Lumiares, Lisbon

With Portugal being on the ‘green list’ when it comes to travel from the UK – for now, at least – Hotel Designs shares some hotel gems, from Lisbon to Porto and everything in between, that you may or may not be familiar of.

Read more.

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

The Carlton Tower Jumeirah lounge

Miniview: Inside The Carlton Tower Jumeirah – now open!

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Miniview: Inside The Carlton Tower Jumeirah – now open!

We have waited an agonising 18 months, but we can finally celebrate the opening of The Carlton Tower Jumeirah, a masterpiece the international design studio 1508 London that has allowed what was a tired and worn down hotel to prosper in London’s Knightsbridge neighbourhood. Editor Hamish Kilburn has followed the story since day dot

The Carlton Tower Jumeirah lounge

For a hotel group that shelters the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, which is a internationally recognised jewel of luxury, the challenges that are associated with designing other hotels in the portfolio are some what obvious. Operating a luxury hotel in London, however, is a different task altogether that requires a sensitive and dynamic approach from concept right through until completion.

For whatever reason, despite Jumeirah being one of the world’s most reputable luxury brands globally, its portfolio in Europe and the UK is somewhat lacking. In 2015, I was invited to one of the group’s press days, which started with meetings with GMs from hotels around the globe in the contemporary atrium of the brand’s Grosvenor House Suites. Disappointingly, though, the day ended with drinks at The Carlton Tower Jumeriah. I say ‘disappointingly’ because the hotel was, unlike the brand’s reputation, tired and was in desperate need of a makeover!

Cue the arrival of 1508 London, the design studio that saved the day. Following an 18-month closure for refurbishment, the hotel has undergone the most extensive – not to mention, most timely – transformation in its history, at a cost of more than £100 million.

Every nook of the 17-storey building, that sits majestically in the Knightsbridge neighbourhood, has been redesigned, creating a new foyer and reception, 186 new guestrooms and suites (reduced from 216 to offer larger accommodations), a fresh health club and spa with London’s largest naturally lit swimming pool, a restaurant, lobby bar and lounge, ballroom and meeting rooms.

The term ‘modern classic’ springs to mind when entering the building that was originally designed by Henry End, also responsible for the interiors of the Plaza Hotel in New York. The design team have drawn on the hotel’s glamorous heritage and location to create a modern classic with a timeless, refined interior and sense of grandeur.

Contemporary lobby inside The Carlton Tower Jumeirah

Respectful of the building’s original, clean modernist style, 1508 London has layered the eclectic mix of the architecture of the surrounding mansion blocks and homes, adding soft curved edges, pops of bright colour and organic inspired forms throughout.  The hotel’s enviable position overlooking Cadogan Gardens, the private gardens designed in 1804, is further reflected throughout the hotel, reminding guests of their unique access to this covetable green space and tennis courts, normally only open to residents.

Heralding its arrival and marking the hotel’s position as an important modernist building in London at its opening was the commissioning of a large external sculpture by Dame Elisabeth Frink (1930-1993), a sculptor at the beginning of her career in 1961 and now acknowledged as one of the most important English artists of her era. This sculpture has been retained and restored, a highlight of the ‘porte cochere’ entranceway that continues to the redesigned turntable glass doors. Through these doors the design echoes a classical British grand hall with the creation of a striking double-height space.  Within it is suspended a bespoke fluted chandelier which incorporates an abstract interpretation of a chrysanthemum, inspired by Cadogan Gardens’ history as a botanical garden.  Accessed from the lobby is ‘The Chinoiserie’, the hotel’s much-loved all-day dining area, now transformed with an elegant and light design. With the innovative Cake-o’clock concept serving patisserie all day, as well as a wide range of international favourites and an extensive beverage list, this lounge will reclaim its rightful place in Knightsbridge’s social scene. Additionally, a newly created lobby bar offers a refined experience in glamorous surrounds.

The 186 beautifully appointed guestrooms have all been renovated to the highest standard, designed to offer a sense of tranquillity with an emphasis on light and space. Almost 50% of the keys at The Carlton Tower are suites, reflecting the hotel patrons’ historical preference for increased space and longer stays.

87 of the rooms and suites have the fantastic benefit of a balcony, taking advantage of the stunning views across London. Combining a modernist aesthetic with minimal style, the accommodations feature textured wall panelling, furnishings in softer forms and accents in a warm colour palette influenced by British heritage hues in deep blue, green and maroon as well as floor to ceiling marble bathrooms with toiletries by Grown Alchemist. Newly created is the Royal Suite, the hotel’s most exclusive residence featuring three bedrooms with the option to privatise the entire floor for the utmost in security and discretion.

The hotel’s destination restaurant ‘Al Mare’ offers a sophisticated, welcoming dining experience imbued with all the charms of Italian cuisine, both familiar and luxurious.

Restaurant that is stylishly designed by 1508 London at The Carlton Tower Jumeirah

Image credit: Jumeirah Group

The restaurant allows a convivial, gastronomic experience, taking guests on a journey through Italy and features a theatre kitchen, private dining room and al fresco dining. The hotel’s Executive Chef and Al Mare’s Head Chef is Italian native Marco Calenzo, who joined the hotel from Zuma where he was Executive Chef. Prior to this Marco worked for Four Seasons Hotels internationally as well as the Lanesborough in London.

Elsewhere, the hotel’s famous health club ‘The Peak Fitness Club & Spa’ is uncommonly enormous compared to other wellness scenes in other London hotels. Set across three floors, the whole areas has been completely redesigned. New treatment rooms have been created at the Talise Spa on the second floor and the swimming pool area revitalised. The pool is London’s largest in a hotel with natural daylight and its bright interior is complemented by views through its double height glass ceiling, lined with poolside cabanas for relaxation.  

Large pool inaside the Jumeirah hotel in London

Image credit: Jumeirah Group

Additionally, The Peak offers studio classes, and a gym featuring bespoke ‘Technogym’ equipment on the ninth floor which overlooks The Peak’s light-filled cafe with breath-taking panoramic views across the capital.  With its new design and features as well as a strictly limited membership, The Peak looks set to retake its position at the forefront of London’s luxury wellness world. 

Welcome back to London, The Carlton Tower Jumeirah – you look fantastic!

Since you’re here, why not read our interview with 1508 London’s Hamish Brown?

Main image credit: Jumeirah Group

(In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: A new era of lifestyle

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
(In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: A new era of lifestyle

To kickstart Hotel Designs LIVE on May 11, editor Hamish Kilburn invited James Dilley, Director, Jestico + Whiles; Naomi Heaton, CEO, The Other House and David Mason, Head of Hospitality at Scott Brownrigg for a panel discussion entitled: A new era of lifestyle (scroll down for full video of the discussion)…

On May 11 – while UK hospitality took a long stretch and awakened from its forced hibernation – designers, architects, hoteliers and developers from around the globe tuned in to watch the latest edition of Hotel Designs LIVE. The event, which first launched in June 2020 to keep the industry connected while keeping the conversation flowing, took place virtually and included four engaging panel discussions with world-renowned hospitality and design experts on the following topics:

  • A new era of lifestyle
  • Bathrooms beyond practical spaces
  • Art outside the frame
  • How workspace trends will impact hotel design

The first session of the day was designed to look beneath the surface of a topic that has sparked much debate recently in the hotel design and hospitality arenas. “Backed up by a recent roundtable, it is conclusive that lifestyle in hospitality is mutating, partly as a result of the pandemic but more accurately in order to meet ever-evolving demands of modern travellers.” explained editor Hamish Kilburn who hosted the session entitled ‘A new era of lifestyle’. “With brands merging into one, boundaries in design and architecture being stretched further than ever before and modern traveller demands now meaning that experience is key, the lane for lifestyle in hospitality worldwide has widened. But what does that new era look like, and just what are tomorrow’s modern traveller demands? That’s exactly what we are going to explore in this session.”

On the panel: 

  • James Dilley, Director, Jestico + Whiles
  • Naomi Heaton, CEO, The Other House
  • David Mason, Head of Hospitality, Scott Brownrigg

The conversation began with Kilburn asking the panel to explain when it become desirable for travellers to use the term lifestyle. “I think it’s all aligned with the concept around experience,” James Dilley said. “It’s when hospitality providers were looking beyond simply beds and showers… we are hunters and collectors of our experience now (we upload them onto our Instagram channels) and it [the hotel stay] becomes the thrill of discovery and memorable experiences.”

To do the topic justice, it was important to look beyond how the recent pandemic has impacted hotel design and hospitality, and instead cast back to what was happening before Covid-19. “Pre-pandemic we were looking at urban resorts and the activation of city centres,” added David Mason. “A lot of the hotels we were working with were making their guests part of the experience where you could become part of the story.”

Perhaps one of the biggest unveil of the session came from Naomi Heaton, who used the platform to unveil the new brand, The Other House, which will shelter two new hotels in London, with hints that more properties will join the portfolio at a later date. The two new hotels, one inside Harrington Hall in Kensington and the other inside the Wellington block at Covent Garden, will open with the aim to disrupt hospitality and conventional luxury/lifestyle, drawing on her experience in the private residential sector launch something totally new. “What we see is a convergence between the tradition hotel offering, the serviced apartment offering and the high-end residential,” she said when explaining the DNA of the new brand. “What we want to do is bring them all together to create a completely new category in the market. We want our guests to feel like residents so that they feel local and part of the community.”

In addition to exploring the depths of ‘experience’ in the lifestyle sector, the panel also debated thoughtful hospitality, authentic design solutions for the luxury/lifestyle sector, safety as the industry emerges from the pandemic and the demand for meaningful social interaction in what is the new era of lifestyle.

Here’s the full video of the panel discussion (on demand), produced by CUBE, which includes Product Watch pitches from Hamilton Litestat, Atlas Concorde, Bette, Mosaico+ and hansgrohe.

The full recordings of the other three sessions (‘Bathrooms beyond practical spaces, Art outside the frame and Workspace design trends’) will be available on-demand shortly.

SAVE THE DATE: Hotel Designs LIVE will return for a fourth edition on August 10, 2021. The topics explored will include surfaces, sleep, senses and social and speakers will be announced shortly. Once these have been announced, tickets for Hotel Designs LIVE will be available. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss sponsorship opportunities, focused Product Watch pitches or the concept of Hotel Designs LIVE, please contact Katy Phillips or call +44 (0) 1992 374050.

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Biophilia in design at Hotel Indigo Venice - Sant'Elena, an IHG Hotel

NEWH La Pause: A panel discussion on Biophillia in design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
NEWH La Pause: A panel discussion on Biophillia in design

Following Hotel Designs becoming an official media partner for NEWH, editor Hamish Kilburn was asked to moderate the UK Chapter’s next webinar in the La Pause series, which discussed biophilic design solutions. Rita Bancroft shares her highlights…

Biophilia in design at Hotel Indigo Venice - Sant'Elena, an IHG Hotel

The popular La Pause webinar series developed by the UK, Paris and Milan chapters of NEWH have given us all precious moments to stop and reflect on key issues affecting the hospitality industry. As an international non-profit hospitality networking group, NEWH raises money to provide scholarships to students entering the hospitality sector. Sharing knowledge and stimulating design conversation is a vital part of this, and February’s webinar on Biophilia in Design had particular resonance as it discussed how our connections with nature are influencing hospitality design.

With each specially-selected panellist providing a unique and valuable perspective on biophilia in design, we heard from a leading boutique and lifestyle hotel brand, a renowned architect, and an educator specialising in sustainability.

Meet the panel: 

The session was moderated by Hamish Kilburn, lifestyle journalist, traveller, content curator, podcast host, and editor of Hotel Designs. A strong advocate of biophilia in design, Kilburn was able to shine a spotlight on some of the panel’s projects. The panel was clear that biophilic design is not just about incorporating plants, it is about taking a holistic approach to the entire project from build and interior design to the food and beverage served.

Henry Reeve explained how IHG’s QO is a different kind of lifestyle hotel born from a commitment to the world around us. As one of the most sustainable hotels in Europe, it has a rooftop greenhouse illuminated in pink to help the plants grow in order to supply the kitchen. The ingenious solution to introduce living plants in each guest room is delightful. Each coffee plant grows in a specially-designed glass cloche that creates its own eco-system and therefore requires no water or maintenance. This practical incorporation of biophilic design is what makes it truly sustainable.

Given that our ability to connect with nature is more important than ever, Manuela Mannino explained how the pandemic has acted as an accelerator to what was already there. She talked about her holistic approach and that, in addition to incorporating plants, THDP injects a sense of place by connecting places through colour palettes and design. An example of this is IHG’s award-winning Hotel indigo in Venice where the connection between the garden and the open lobby and bar was made through plants and a cohesive colour palette.

Coming into the conversation from a slightly different angle, Johanna Wagner, was able to discuss the integral topic from the perspective of hotel asset management. As co-founder of La Belle EDuC, Wagner is helping lay the groundwork for higher education programs to achieve state-of-the-art sustainability integration in their curricula and empower students in their choice of studies. The EDuC is the first sustainability label for higher education programs focusing on teaching materials and the student learning experience. The EDuC label was developed in partnership with AFNOR, the French national organisation for standardisation and the representative member of ISO in France.

The La Pause series continues with ’Spa & Wellness’ on May 20; and a spotlight on ’Hotel Diffusi – Scattered Hotels’ on June 17. If you would like to attend, register via the website.

Image credit: Hotel Indigo Venice – Sant’Elena, an IHG Hotel

Hansgrohe pulsify

Product watch: hansgrohe Pulsify, a contemporary & accessible shower solution

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: hansgrohe Pulsify, a contemporary & accessible shower solution

Following a sharp pitch at Hotel Designs LIVE, bathroom manufacturer hansgrohe introduces its latest shower innovation, Pulsify, a contemporary shower range that aims to connect people, space and water; making it accessible to bathrooms of all shapes and sizes…

Hansgrohe pulsify

Available in Chrome, Matt Black and Matt White, the striking Pulsify range of hand and overhead showers marries modern design with unparalleled functionality.

With a unique nozzle ring formation, the sleek and slim showerheads are all equipped with hansgrohe’s innovative microfine PowderRain, Massage and IntenseRain spray modes, to deliver luxurious spa-like moments with water. The 26cm spray disc with an adjustable inclination angle of 10-30°, makes for an easier and more comfortable showering experience. Select buttons allow for e asy transitions between hand and overhead shower, whilst water and temperature controls are integrated into the ShowerTablet thermostat – this 40cm shelf also serves as practical storage space for shower essentials.

Image to show flexibility of hansgrohe product

Image credit: hansgrohe

True to hansgrohe’s commitment to eco solutions, Pulsify is designed with low water consumption, thanks to its EcoSmart technology. With the single-spray hand-held shower in the “green version”, the hansgrohe shower has a maximum consumption of only six litres per minute.

An intelligent flow of water inside the thermostat also ensures enhanced safety. hansgrohe’s CoolContact technology means the shower casing does not get heated up by the warm water inside, reducing painful contact with hot surfaces.

handshower next to body wash in contemporary bathroom

Image credit: hansgrohe

Both the showerhead and hand-held shower feature the well-known hansgrohe QuickClean function, meaning lime and calcium deposits can be easily removed by running fingers over the spray surface after showering. The overhead shower can also be completely removed, which means the strainer can be taken out and rinsed. The overhead shower even has a draining function, which reduces the necessary yet annoying dripping after showering, leading to a drier, more hygienic shower.

hansgrohe Pulsify can be combined with complementary products for the sink and bath, especially the hansgrohe Vivenis tap ranges. If more storage space is needed, hansgrohe also offers the new AddStoris accessory line, which comprises complementary products in a modern, minimalist design.

As well as being a Recommended Supplier, hansgrohe was a Product Watch Pitch partner at Hotel Designs LIVE, which took place on May 11, 2021. The next Hotel Designs LIVE will take place on August 10, 2021

Main image credit: hansgrohe

The swimming pool at The Spa at 45 Park Lane

A new level of wellness: The Spa at 45 Park Lane

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
A new level of wellness: The Spa at 45 Park Lane

Designed by Jouin Manku with the aim to shelter an elevated sense of wellbeing and luxury, The Spa at 45 Park Lane has opened and features the longest pool (20 metres) on Park Lane. Editor Hamish Kilburn has the story…

The swimming pool at The Spa at 45 Park Lane

Park Lane has long been regarded London’s ultimate address for unparalleled luxury. Among the quintessentially British hotels that sit on the fridge of Hyde Park, The Dorchester, which recently celebrated its 90th anniversary, is arguably the most famous, with its classic English residential design stylishly seeing it through many decades. The 250-key hotel may be London’s ‘Mother’ of hospitality, but it is the younger sibling in the Dorchester Collection portfolio, which incidentally is situated just a few doors down from The Dorchester, that has raised eyebrows recently on the hotel design scene.

45 Park Lane, which opened 10 years ago, radiates a different kind of style to that of its older family member. Throughout the intimate-sized hotel, luxurious and contemporary interiors by New York based designer, Thierry Despont, provide a club-like feel offering all guests – international and locals alike –  a smart, central environment from which to enjoy London.

Leaping into a new era, the hotel has launched The Spa at 45 Park Lane as part of guests’ hotel experience. And unlike other London hotels that’s spas are the size of oversized shoeboxes, the new wellness facility inside the 45-key boutique hotel is, by all accounts, expansive compared to some of its London neighbours. The 10,000 sq. ft. spa features Park Lane’s longest pool at 20 metres, as well as a personal training room and spacious state-of-the-art gym.

“The wellness space has been specifically created to bring a sense of the outside in.”

Image of the pool and relaxation area at The Spa at 45 Park Lane

Image credit: Dorchester Collection

The wellness space is part of Mayfair Park Residences, the recently completed development delivered by ultra-prime developers Clivedale London located next door to, and serviced by, 45 Park Lane. Guests of the hotel have full use of the facilities as part of their stay experience, which include separate sauna and steam rooms, a hydrotherapy pool and private changing and shower rooms.

Designed by Jouin Manku, the wellness space has been specifically created to bring a sense of the outside in, referencing artistic flora using traditional Roman style mosaics from Venetian artisans. Taking design cues from the rest of the hotel, natural timbers and light coloured stone bring a sense of calm and tranquillity; while timber slatted ceilings have been integrated to create better acoustics within the pool, gym and relaxation lounge. The entire space has been generously arranged to maximise the sense of spaciousness.

Timber changing room at The Spa at 45 Park lane

Image credit: Dorchester Collection

With the hotel’s strong tie to the world of art that goes beyond its four walls, 45 Park Lane’s art curator Lily Ackerman has selected works by American fine art photographer Jin-Woo Prensena and British sculptor Jill Berelowitz to adorn the space.

The relaxation lounge connected to the pool allows guests to unwind before or after a work-out, spa treatment or swim. Within the lounge is an open fireplace with a menu of healthy dishes by 45 Park Lane’s Executive Chef Jamie Shears.

Tailored personal training programmes can be created for guests, with both one-to-one and family group sessions available to book in advance. The expansive gym features the latest Technogym equipment with dedicated ‘cardiovascular’ and ‘strength’ areas.

John Scanlon, General Manager of 45 Park Lane who was recently profiled in The Brit List, comments: “For almost a decade, 45 Park Lane has stood amongst the best hotels in London. As we look towards our next chapter we are thrilled to be introducing luxury wellness into the guest experience to create one of the finest spa facilities in the capital.”

Christopher Cowdray, Chief Executive Officer of Dorchester Collection, adds: “Marking our first venture into private residences, the completion of Mayfair Park Residences is a pivotal moment in our company’s history. Our heritage focuses on the best of design in prime locations, making Clivedale London a natural partner with shared values. These new residences will benefit from the services of  The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane, while the proximity of Park Lane and Hyde Park further elevate the location to one of the best real-estate sites in the world. We look forward to offering Dorchester Collection’s treasured way of life to the new residents.”

With the addition of the hotel’s new spa and wellness facilities, 45 Park Lane continues to stand as a vibrant, luxurious and welcoming ‘club-like’ hotel that is the London home of an international crowd.

Main image credit: Dorchester Collection

Pool and outdoor terrace overlooking Portugal's River Douro

Best design hotels to visit in Portugal

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Best design hotels to visit in Portugal

With Portugal being on the ‘green list’ when it comes to travel from the UK – for now, at least – editor Hamish Kilburn shares some hotel gems, from Lisbon to Porto and everything in between, that you may or may not be familiar of… 

The floodgates into Portugal have opened (kind of). International travel is no longer a wanderlust dream and we are able to unlock hotel design wonders, in person, once more.

Pool and outdoor terrace overlooking Portugal's River Douro

With few countries on the ‘green list’ considered ‘travel hotspots’, Portugal is among the few places UK travellers are allowed to visit to without having to isolate upon their return – it’s also, without question, the most popular place to visit since travel restrictions were slightly lifted.

To mark this moment as a small celebration, we thought we would share with you a handful of our favourite hotels in Portugal, from boutique boltholes in Lisbon to something new in the Algarve, and not forgetting the one-off travel experiences in other towns and cities in between.

Six Senses Douro Valley

From its postcard-perfect setting in the UNESCO World Heritage listed Douro Valley, to the elegant and innovative decor within, Six Senses Douro Valley has a lot of untamed charm. Surrounded by ancient vineyards (this area of Portugal is the oldest demarcated wine region in the world), the hotel’s contemporary personality is camouflaged by its location. From the beautiful chandeliers made of wine bottles to the unique Wine Library & Terrace; this is the place to sample some of the world’s most rare and entrancing vintages. Throughout all guestrooms, suites and villas decor is chic and modern with large windows to take in the most of the spectacular views on every side. This contemporary elegance continues throughout the hotel, which has a unique character and feel.

As you’d expect from a Six Sense property, the spa is a statement feature, which includes an expansive indoor pool and 10 treatment rooms.

Throughout the hotel, the decor is chic and modern and there is an emphasis on sustainable luxury. Innovative use of cork flooring and beautiful chandeliers made from wine bottles lend a sense of place, whilst also ‘upcycling’ in an environmentally conscious style. This attention to detail characterises what is a truly special Portuguese hotel.

Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon

A smart and well-designed room inside Four Season Ritz Lisbon

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon has recently unveiled a new renovation to its guestrooms, suite, as well as unveiling a new outdoor swimming pool and an outdoor bar and terrace. Portuguese architecture studio OITOEMPONTO was appointed in 2019 to breathe new life into the guest rooms and suites at the iconic Hotel. Design duo Artur Miranda and Jacques Bec were reticent to ‘modernise’ the classic Hotel, so set about re-imagining the past for the present, to evolve the Hotel’s roots in style, aesthetics and ambience. 

The room and suite redesign follows the launch of new restaurant CURA (opened September 2020), where Chef and head culinary curator Pedro Pena Bastos meticulously selects ingredients, drawing from Lisbon’s rich regional palette to create seasonal, artisanal dishes such as squid with hazelnut, bergamot, roasted seaweed butter and Ossetra caviar. 

Pestana Palácio do Freixo

The last time I visited Pestana Palácio do Freixo was in 2014, and I bet since then nothing has changed – at least I hope that’s the case. Located just 3 km west from Porto’s city centre, the Palácio do Freixo, classified in 1910 as a National Monument, is a unique example of Baroque architecture, with about 10,000 square metres of gardens and green spaces offering breathtaking views of the River Douro.

The setting of a stunning example of an Urban Resort, it is a member of the exclusive consortium The Leading Hotels of the World and provides guests with an unparalleled experience that marries traditional values with contemporary comfort. The Pestana Palácio do Freixo is characterised by its sumptuous eighteenth century architecture. It was built by Nicolau Nasoni, one of the most important architects that helped Porto become a World Heritage Site.

Lumiares, Lisbon

The Lumiares, Lisbon is a five-star boutique bombshell, where the style is personal, not “corporate”, relaxed not “stuffy”, gives an authentic nod to Lisbon’s colour, culture and patterns.

The fully renovated hotel, which is housed in a former XVII century Palace in the heart of the city, has all the key amenities and facilities for business and leisure travellers who want to feel at home when away from home.

The Lumiares’ philosophy is to highlight the authenticity and personality of Lisbon by collaborating with local Portuguese businesses to showcase ‘the best of Portugal’. Almost every item of furniture, artwork, textiles and room accessories has been conceived, designed and manufactured in Portugal, some within 500m from the hotel, which transcends a new take on ‘living like a local’.

The starting place for design and artwork within the 47-key hotel was the location. Perched on the central edge of Bairro Alto, the hotel is situated in a Lisbon quarter home to a bohemian mish-mash of everyday residents, artists and merchants’ studios, restaurants, quirky shops, lively bars and cafes; a warren of asymmetrical buildings with mismatched facades of varying heights and hues, its narrow streets and pavements cobbled in Lisbon’s iconic square paving stones.

Douro41 Hotel & Spa

Douro41 Hotel & Spa, which has just been accepted into Virtuoso’s exclusive portfolio of luxury travel partners, is located on the bank of the Douro River, and as such frames unparalleled views of the natural landscape. With 61 rooms and suites, the hotel that underwent renovations between 2018 to 2019 features modern, minimalist lines, while celebrating the comfort and elegance of a true luxury property.

The location and the architectural characteristics of the building enhance the connection to the surrounding landscape and the sense of an escape from reality: built in schist and glass on a terraced hillside stretching down almost to the water’s edge, the Douro41 had, at the heart of its foundation, various environmental concerns and the desire that the hotel should be coherent with its surroundings.

The hotel’s design is simple and it’s clear that human construction is unobtrusive, merging harmoniously with the river and the mountains surrounding it – a prime example of this are the two outdoor swimming pools, both infinite, where guests almost feel part of the landscape.

W Algarve 

Guestroom concept inside W Algarve

W Algarve, which is expected to arrive onto the European hotel design scene this summer is the first resort commission for design studio AB Concept outside of Asia which has been working closely with Divercity Architects to introduce something new to the Portugal’s bustling Algarve.

The new lifestyle hotel shelters 134 guestrooms and 83 residences – ranging from one-bedroom apartments to a four-bedroom penthouse. Ab Concept, led by Ed Ng and Terence Ngan, has taken the region’s rugged coastlines, green meadows and vineyards as inspiration for the interior design scheme, using sandy neutrals, greens and blues throughout the hotel.

“We worked closely with landscape designers Scape and interior designers AB Concept to develop a strong narrative theme and eye-catching aesthetics for the resort,” Divercity Archtiects explains on its website. “Exploring the local landscape, culture, and cuisine, we identified the arch as a common thread, evident in the Algarve’s sea caves, the arcades and archways of traditional Portuguese architecture, and the fish scales in the fishing communities along this dramatic coastline.”

The new W resort on the Algarve coast is tipped to become Portugal’s new ‘it’ destination – watch this space, Portugal!

Main image credit: Douro41 Hotel & Spa

Editor checks in: Tomorrow’s themes in hotel design and hospitality

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor checks in: Tomorrow’s themes in hotel design and hospitality

In his latest editor’s letter, Hamish Kilburn addresses the four S words that will help us when exploring and understand tomorrow’s hotel design and hospitality landscape – and in the process, he unexpectedly comes up with the themes that will be put under the spotlight in four engaging panel discussions at Hotel Designs LIVE

As I write this, I am on a train for the first time this year. It’s May. The sun is struggling to flex through the clouds and, to be honest with you, I would rather be working from home. My mandatory mask is fogging up my glasses, so what I am thinking and what is appearing on the screen could be two completely separate things entirely.

I’m on my way into London, having just pressed the green light to launch The Brit List Awards 2021 application process. I’m heading to Shoreditch, home of some rather interesting hotel development projects, to record our next episode of DESIGN POD – it’s a big moment for the brand as it’s the first time we are recording the podcast in person as opposed to over Zoom with a struggling Wifi connection.

“If anything, we gained access into new studios and made new long-lasting relationships with brands.”

We could have waited until now to launch our podcast but I feel it would have taken an entirely different lane if we did. There was something organic and exciting about launching a new brand in the middle of a pandemic – while we were all locked up in our houses and the idea-generating process was incubated.

Since you’re here, why not read the rest of this article while listening to our latest episode of DESIGN POD, which welcomes designer Jack Irving as our special guest?

We can look at the current situations in both positive and negative ways. Yes, it has been frustrating not boarding a plane to actually review the projects we have followed for years. But it didn’t stop us. In this time, we utilised our contacts around the world and still reviewed hotels in person. If anything, we gained access into new studios and made new long-lasting relationships with brands. Our viewpoint over the industry became more meaningful and by zooming out (see what I did there) we are able to establish which topics are the most impactful.

Following now four successful Hotel Designs LIVE virtual conferences, it brings me great delight to share with you our next four topics that we will explore at Hotel Designs LIVE in August.

These themes are:

  • Senses
  • Surfaces
  • Sleep
  • Social

Senses

Following our successful session at Hotel Designs LIVE (in February) on sound’s role in hotel design and after reading a mountain of press releases recently that all reference sound, touch and even smell to evoke a deeper meaning of wellness and wellbeing, it feels fitting to position the editorial spotlight on the sensory experience for our next event. It also comes as the industry, albeit slowly, is starting to reopen and reconnect.

Sleep

For those of you who have joined us on this journey, you will know that we have already hosting a panel discussion on sleep performance at our inaugural event. But we feel as if, given the role of sleep in any hotel experience, we have only just scratched the surface of this topic. With new innovations and technology taking bold leaps as each day passes, we will explore the science behind getting the best nights’ sleep.

Surfaces

More than ever, as a direct result of the Covid-19 crisis, surfaces have come under question in the debate around hygiene. But, in our exclusive panel discussion, we will go beyond the clinical to explore interesting and vibrant surfaces that we hope will give all areas of the hotel more personality and meaning.

Social

It took a while and a few thesaurus searches before we eventually found our fourth and final panel discussion title. Following several failed brainstorm attempts, an email pinged into my inbox from our publisher Katy Phillips with the subject line ‘found it’. The email was just one word, ‘Social’. With all the noise around ‘social distancing’ and regulations against human interaction, we and many of the industry’s leaders believe that tomorrow’s hotel scene will be a celebration of human connection. While we are at the T-junction on the road out of Covid-19 lockdowns, we will invite world-renowned designers, architects, hoteliers and developers to understand challenges and considerations to bear in mind as we move to open the doors of hospitality, to be social, once more.

Like many of the decisions we make on the editorial desk at Hotel Designs, we have found that these sessions work not only as individual sessions but also as a cluster of talking points – with sessions on senses, sleep, surfaces and social – that together really challenge conventional thoughts around hospitality and will, we hope, clearly define once more the definition of international hotel design.

SAVE THE DATE: Hotel Designs LIVE will return for a fourth edition on August 10, 2021. The topics explored will include surfaces, sleep, senses and social and speakers will be announced shortly. Once these have been announced, tickets for Hotel Designs LIVE will be available. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss sponsorship opportunities, focused Product Watch pitches or the concept of Hotel Designs LIVE, please contact Katy Phillips or call +44 (0) 1992 374050.

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Lobby-Bar crop Hyatt House Tampa

In pictures: Inside Hyatt House/Hyatt Place Tampa Downtown

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In pictures: Inside Hyatt House/Hyatt Place Tampa Downtown

Tampa in Florida welcomes a new dual-branded development, which shelters Hyatt Place and Hyatt House, to its thriving hospitality scene. Editor Hamish Kilburn takes a look inside both hotels that were designed and recently unveiled by Stonehill Taylor

Lobby-Bar crop Hyatt House Tampa

In the heart of Tampa, directly across the street from its historic City Hall sits the new  dual branded hospitality development that features the 230-key Hyatt Place and the 115-key Hyatt House. In addition, the complex encompasses 3,200 square feet of ground-floor retail space and 4,000 square feet of meeting space. All public space is shared by the guests of the two brands, and guestrooms are integrated throughout the new 17-story building.

Leading architecture and interior design firm, Stonehill Taylor, which recently took part in Hotel Designs‘ latest roundtable, was charged with the design of the guestrooms and public spaces. Using a complementary colour scheme of jewel tones and citrus shades, the hotel features bright, sun-kissed spaces, and high-contrast patterns that create an ambiance that is uniquely Tampa. The design pillars explore concepts of indulgence; exoticism; and majesty—believed to capture the city’s longstanding allure to travellers looking for a tropical, yet culturally diverse escape.

Since you’re here, why not read Stonehill Taylor’s thoughts on the new era of lifestyle?

As soon as guests enter the lobby, they are greeted by an oversized gold textured piece depicting an abstract scene with birds and leaves. Panels line the wall behind the reception desk and feature tropical leaf-infused patterned artwork, while the reception desk is decorated in tropical leaf tiles.

Image of lobby in Tampa Florida Hyatt House/Hyatt Place

Image credit: Taggart Sorenson

Adjacent to the reception area is a bar and lounge complete with a mix of citrus colours and blue tones. The bar’s backsplash features an array of bohemian tiles. The surrounding dining areas have tables with metal detailing and a range of seating from banquettes to freestanding chairs. A series of vintage Cuban movie posters grace the space.

The ground floor also includes a business centre with a gallery and pre-function space, and several meeting rooms. The art throughout this area includes a wall sculpture made with rattan circles in varied sizes and a series of embroidered vintage postcards from Florida.

The business centre has pendant lighting and eclectic inset floor patterns and partitions the space using screens. The adjacent gallery space, meanwhile, has plush love seats, side chairs with ottomans that double as tables and acoustical ceiling panels. The carpet in the meeting rooms depicts leaf patterns—a theme also echoed by the leaf patterned walls with wainscoting. Custom geometric pendant lighting illuminates these ballroom-like spaces.

At the elevator lobby is a custom artwork featuring cubed versions of Florida maps mounted on a linen background and framed in a shadowbox frame. The elevators further provide an artful moment with bold black-and-white tiled flooring, blackened steel door frames, as well as a back-lit ceiling concept. Guestroom corridors have carpets with hidden tropical elements, such as bees and panthers. A graphic printed map of Tampa covers the walls familiarising guests with the city’s focal points. Hidden elements also surprise in the Hyatt House guestrooms. When lit, these rooms show a violet-hued wall with tone-on-tone patterns. Furnishings are all custom and feature two-colour finishes and extra trim to elevate their aesthetic. A kitchenette with decorative tiles accentuates the layout of these rooms.

Close up of bed and floral artwork in guestroom

Image credit: Taggart Sorenson

In the Hyatt Place rooms, there are exuberant green tones. Similar to the Hyatt House rooms, there is a tone-on- tone wall covering, this time featuring light leaf patterns. The carpeting similarly plays with the fun colours of Tampa.

Pool at Hyatt House in Tampa

Image credit: Taggart Sorenson

On the fifth floor is the outdoor pool with tangerine and lime-coloured furnishings and neutral tiling—the pool deck is framed by a painted mural. A fitness centre, located on the fourth floor, has a playful custom mural featuring bold, brightly coloured patterns with a motivational text component that forms of a centrepiece of the room.

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels/Taggart Sorenson

DESIGN POD EP4 with Jack Irving

LISTEN NOW: Episode 4 of DESIGN POD explores fashion & design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
LISTEN NOW: Episode 4 of DESIGN POD explores fashion & design

Episode 4 of DESIGN POD is now live! In the this episode, in association with Bathroom Brands Group, editor Hamish Kilburn and co-host Harriet Forde welcome designer Jack Irving as the show’s special guest. Having created outfits for the likes of Lady Gaga, Paris Hilton, The Spice Girls and more, Irving discusses fashion highlight, collaboration goals and the result of his debut interior design project. This is what happens when fashion and design meet…

DESIGN POD EP4 with Jack Irving

Often interior designers and architects admit that they are inspired by the energy and buzz that radiates from the fashion industry. The quick conveyer-belt of collections – blink and you will miss this season’s frocks and colours– naturally allows boundaries to be stretched and incubated creativity to explode onto the runway. And yet, it is rare (not unheard of, though) for the two industries to work in harmony.

In episode 4 of DESIGN POD, editor Hamish Kilburn and co-host Harriet Forde meet a designer who, for many reasons, is an inspiration in both arenas. Jack Irving was just 21-years-old, a student still at Saint Martins College of Art and Design, when his dream collaboration came true. The iconic ‘Mother Monster’ herself, Lady Gaga, had seen his otherworldly designs and asked him to create an outfit that she would wear on the final night of her Art Pop world tour in Paris. Rising the occasion, Irving created the Sea Urchin Showgirl inflatable dress.

Since then, Lady Gaga as well as other celebrities such as Paris Hilton, The Spice Girls have worn many of his pieces. In order not the limit himself – nor draw attention away to the visionary fashion designers – Irving does not consider himself a fashion designer. Instead, following his studies in performance design, we prefer to use the terms ‘storyteller’ and ‘fantasist’. “Whatever term used, it would be remise of anyone to not consider Jack a visionary in both worlds of fashion and design,” said Editor Hamish Kilburn who first interviewed Irving in 2019. “As impressive as his fashion portfolio is, it is Jack’s entry into interior design that inspired the title of this episode – and indeed Hotel Designs closely following his journey.”

To amplify a guestroom renovation inside W London, the hotel teamed up with Irving to create a limited-edition pillow collection. Taking inspiration straight from the catwalk and remixing it with the bold attitude of W London, the spiked pillows, available in every guestroom of the hotel, appear muted to the naked eye until they are brought to life through the click of a camera flash. Through the lens, the smart fabric transforms into an iridescent masterpiece. And it was this fashion-forward, daring and raw talent that the DESIGN POD producers wanted to capture in this episode.

Listen to the full episode here:

The next DESIGN POD episode, which will drop next month, will invite the design duo at Carden Cunietti to explore the theme of creativity crafted.

A modern and minimalist room

An expert’s guide on the science of a good nights’ sleep

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
An expert’s guide on the science of a good nights’ sleep

With 75 per cent of Brits admitting to not having a good nights’ sleep and 30 per cent of people rating their sleep as “bad”, chances are you know what a bad nights’ sleep feels like. We’ve all had one, and most of us will have had at least one nights’ bad sleep in a hotel, but why? Sleep experts from Silentnight Group Hospitality, Hannah Shore and Angela Moran, explores your ultimate sleep guide…

A modern and minimalist room

Many people just accept a bad nights’ sleep in a hotel room and put it down to the fact they don’t have their home comforts with them. However, with a single night of bad sleep impairing your concentration, reaction time and memory function should we really just accept this? Is there something that hotels can do to ensure that everyone gets that important good nights’ sleep?

The answer simply is yes. Although we all have different sleeping habits, ensuring our sleeping environment has a little ‘TLC’ will provide the optimum sleeping conditions for everyone.

TLC relates to the three main areas we need to consider when looking into a sleeping environment. Temperature. Light. Comfort.

Temperature

Overheating effects 50 per cent of people. Temperature plays a key role in falling asleep, our core body temperature needs to drop one to two degrees in order for us to fall asleep. We also need to keep cool throughout the night in order to have a restful nights’ sleep. You may think that opening a window or using air-conditioning is the best way to combat this however, these come with a downside of often being noisy and disrupting sleep further.

A simple solution to a cooler nights’ sleep is to ensure you are using the right materials both on top of, and inside your mattresses. Whilst asleep we create our own microclimate underneath the duvet, this is normally around 37 degrees and approximately 75 per cent humidity. This heat and humidity is applied directly to the mattress and can actually decrease the lifespan of a mattress by around 30 per cent. When looking at the mattress, the use of fibres such as polyester and wool create a very breathable mattress. This means air can easily circulate, keeping the sleeper cooler and drying out the mattress.

Wool also has natural thermoregulatory properties, meaning it naturally helps to control your body temperature, it is why it is used in hiking clothes etc. Unfortunately, one down side to fibres in a mattress is that they are prone to settlement issues. However, at Silentnight we have worked with our external partners and developed testing methods to ensure all the fibres we use stand up to our enhanced durability tests, proving that our mattresses will withstand the test of time. When it does come to renewing your mattress, ensure that you choose a manufacturing partner that can take away and recycle the product at end of life.

To ensure you get the full benefits of the mattress, it should be paired with a protector that compliments it (a thin cover which protects the mattress from spillages). For example having a mattress which draws heat and moisture away from the body, such as the Eco Comfort FibresTM, but then putting a thick waterproof mattress protector on top of it which doesn’t allow water to pass through it, would inhibit the benefits of the mattress. Instead you would need a protector developed specifically for use with the product like the Silentnight Anti-Allergy Mattress Protector, which allows water vapour (humidity) through but not spillages. Similarly adding a topper (an extra comfort layer often used to soften the mattress) with non-breathable materials in it would cause the same issue.

Top the bed off with a duvet that completes the feel of the room and you have the perfect temperature controlled sleeping environment without the use of noisy air-condition units.

Light

Light is another important factor to consider when you are falling asleep. At night we should be exposed to dark rich orange/red light, this signals our bodies to start making melatonin, a hormone which helps us sleep. In a morning, as the sun rises, we should be exposed to bright blue light which suppresses the production of melatonin making us wide awake and ready for the day ahead. As we move into summer and the sun rises earlier, this light will prompt you to wake earlier, sometimes earlier than needed leaving you feeling tired and unrested.

Black out blinds or curtains are the best way to control the light within a hotel room. They ensure that no matter how light it is outside it is still dark enough in the room to get a good nights’ sleep. Cutting down on the tech within the hotel room is also a good way of ensuring a good nights’ sleep. A lot of technology has screens or stand-by lights which emit blue light. Exposing ourselves to blue light in an evening can suppress the melatonin production meaning we do not feel tired and struggle falling asleep.

Comfort

Comfort is a very subjective thing. We all need to be comfortable to fall asleep but what I may find comfortable you may not. So how do we make sure that a hotel room caters for each individuals comfort? The answer is to define comfort objectively. If we wake up in the morning with aches and pains chances are it is because the mattress has not supported you correctly throughout the night, therefore, creating an uncomfortable nights’ sleep. A movement as basic as standing puts four times as much pressure through the spine compared to lying down. If we add in bad posture, carrying heavy bags or sporting activities, it becomes clear why we need good posture during sleep. Throughout the night we have no control over our posture, therefore the mattress should be able to support our spine and keep it in the neutral position in order for it to recover from the daily stresses. This will ensure we wake up pain free. However, a higher spring count does not always mean better support. With around 45 per cent of your body weight around your hips, a zoned mattress is a more important factor to consider than overall spring count. All Silentnight mattresses are zoned for this reason.

Twisting and turning throughout the night is another reason we can wake up feeling tired and unrefreshed. The main reason we have restless sleep is due to pressure building up in our tissues, reducing blood flow and then we get the urge to move which can disrupt our sleep. Using foam as a filling will help reduce the pressure build up. All foams are great at pressure relieving however, some foams can restrict movement as you sink into them. The Serta Performance Gel mattress, by Silentnight Group Hospitality, alleviates pressure without restricting movement for a more refreshing nights’ sleep.

Another positive to foam is that it is very durable. Durable products are key for hospitality simply due to the nature of the industry. A common misconception in the hospitality industry is that a single sided mattress is not as good as a double sided one. However, if you use the correct, durable, high quality fillings and rotate your mattress as per the guidelines, a single sided mattress can last as long as its double sided equivalent. Foam is however viewed as being non-ecofriendly however, foam can be recycled into carpet underlay or used in energy production. Choosing the right manufacturing partner that will take your product away at end of life will ensure your old mattresses are dealt with in the most sustainable way.

Another big issue in hotels is space. A hotel room is used as a multipurpose room, people need to work from there, relax and sleep. Often the bed is reduced in size to ensure there is space for this. However, if two adults are sharing a standard double bed (135x190cm), that gives each person less room than a child’s cot to sleep in. With partner disturbance been a key factor in why people don’t sleep, the bigger the bed the better! However, if a room is small and you cannot fit a bigger bed in then look for edge support and parallel designed springs. These will guarantee you make the most of the sleep space by providing the same support on the edge of the mattress as you would find in the middle.

I think we can agree that creating a hotel room which enhances sleep will only help to increase the reputation of the hotel and also generate positive reviews from customers. At the heart of the sleeping environment is the bed which needs more thought than people first assume. After all, TripAdvisor reviews are commonly all about sleep and the sleeping environment! Having a bed that is suitable for all sleepers ensures that no matter which guest walks through the door next, they are guaranteed a good nights’ sleep.

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

Main image credit: Silentnight Group

Weekly briefing: A lesson in lifestyle, wellness trends and a new disruptive brand

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: A lesson in lifestyle, wellness trends and a new disruptive brand

Editor Hamish Kilburn here with your fast-tracked round-up of this week’s hotel design headlines. In this edition of the weekly briefing, we’re sharing our latest roundtable, exploring a new brand that is said to ‘revolutionise hospitality’ and we have just opened nominations for The Brit List Awards 2021…

In the same week Hotel Designs broadcasted its fourth edition of Hotel Designs LIVE to a sea of designers, architects, hoteliers and developers from across the globe, a handful of important headlines dropped into the inbox of the editorial desk and soon become published articles in our Industry News section of the website.

Just in case you missed this week’s most-read news stories and features, here is your weekly briefing…

Virtual roundtable: Raising the floor in lifestyle

Image caption: A suite inside Ace Brooklyn, designed by Stonehill Taylor

Image caption: A suite inside Ace Brooklyn, designed by Stonehill Taylor

As we enter what is no doubt going to be considered as ‘a new era of lifestyle’, Hotel Designs, in association with flooring brand Milliken, welcomes world-leading designers from around the globe to explore how the lane for lifestyle in hotel design and hospitality is widening.

With the aim to understand more about the future of this growing sector hospitality, we gathered a handful of the industry’s finest to explore how we can indeed raise the floor in lifestyle.

Meet the panel: 

Read more.

Hotel spas – what tomorrow’s travellers expect

Tierra Chiloé Spa & Wellness Resort: Chile

Image credit: Tierra Chiloé Spa & Wellness Resort: Chile

In her second article with Hotel Designs – the first looking at public areas post-pandemic – Emma Cook explores how the cultural shift that we have experienced over the last year will impact modern traveller demands in hotel spas and wellness areas.

Read more.

The Other House: The new luxury/lifestyle brand ‘revolutionising hospitality’

The Other House in Covent Garden

Image credit: The Other House

Naomi Heaton, CEO of The Portfolio Club, dropped the name of the company’s new lifestyle brand and residents’ clubs during a panel discussion at Hotel Designs LIVEThe Other House will launch in the Spring of 2022 with a stunning property in South Kensington. Then, in 2023, London’s famed Covent Garden neighbourhood will welcome the brand’s next hotel.

The Brit List Awards 2021: Nominations now open (and free)!

The free nomination/application process for The Brit List Awards 2021 is now officially open, as Hotel Designs’ nationwide search to identify the true leaders operating in the hotel design and hospitality arena in Britain begins. The awards, which has become a major campaign to support diversity and raw talent that stretches across the British design, architecture and hospitality landscape, is expected to be bigger than ever before – climaxing with a live awards ceremony that will take place on November 3 at Proud Embankment, London.

Read more.

In the HIX seat: Introducing HIX Works

Profile image of Joel Butler, Co-founder of HIX

Joel Butler, Co-founder of HIX Event and our monthly columnist, explains all the exclusive details around HIX Works that will launch in November 2021.

Read more.

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Main image credit: Renaissance New York Chelsea

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

Product watch: HygieneFlush by Duravit

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: HygieneFlush by Duravit

The new ‘HygieneFlush’ flushing system from Duravit provides ‘perfect flushing performance’ and maximum antibacterial protection. Twice the hygiene, HygieneFlush flushing system plus HygieneGlaze antibacterial ceramic glaze are ideal for a post-pandemic hospitality world…

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

With its maximum antibacterial protection and perfect performance Duravit’s new ‘HygieneFlush’ flushing system is set to revolutionise the toilet market. By combining the new flushing system with Duravit’s antibacterial ceramic glaze, HygieneGlaze, it delivers double protection in any washroom or bathroom.

The unique feature that makes the HygieneFlush so effective is the extremely powerful force of the flush which flows simultaneously from two carefully positioned openings.  Independent tests show that this new flushing technique cleans the entire inner surface of the toilet most effectively.  Keeping water usage to a minimum – only 4.5 l is used per flush – the flow is perfectly attuned to create a vortex and it is this that guarantees the ideal flushing action every time.

This new technology ingeniously combines the concept of a rotational flush with Duravit’s Rimless flushing technology whilst deploying two parallel flushing actions.  In addition to this the openings have been repositioned ensuring that the area at the front of the toilet is cleaned flawlessly every time, whilst avoiding unwanted splashes.

Cleanliness and excellent sanitation is further guaranteed as all new HygieneFlush toilets come with Duravit’s HygieneGlaze ceramic glaze as standard. HygieneGlaze eliminates bacterial growth; six hours after use, 90 per cent of bacteria (e.g. coli bacteria) are eliminated, with 99.9 per cent eliminated after 24 hours.

The antibacterial glaze is baked into the inner bowl of the toilet during firing; this makes it particularly effective in areas that are highly susceptible to the accumulation of bacteria. The combined action of these unique Duravit features – HygieneFlush and HygieneGlaze – provides maximum protection in terms of hygiene and cleanliness in the bathroom.

The ME by Starck wall hung WC range is available with the HygieneFlush flushing technology and the highly effective antibacterial HygieneGlaze ceramic glaze there is also a SensoWash® shower-toilet option available with HygieneGlaze available as standard.

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

Main image credit: Duravit

Virtual roundtable: Raising the floor in lifestyle

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Virtual roundtable: Raising the floor in lifestyle

As we enter what is no doubt going to be considered as ‘a new era of lifestyle’, Hotel Designs, in association with flooring brand Milliken, welcomes world-leading designers from around the globe to explore how the lane for lifestyle in hotel design and hospitality is widening. Editor Hamish Kilburn chairs the discussion…

As hospitality plans to emerge from its forced hibernation, Covid-19 is not the only factor that is evolving the hotel design and hospitality landscape. Long before the pandemic was declared, hotel groups globally were launching new ‘lifestyle’ brands that would, we were told, be designed for the modern traveller – the emphasis on ‘experience’ was greater and with this the public areas were given the starring role in the overall hotel production.

But recently, following the cultural shift of the Covid-19 crisis – with public areas coming under scrutiny, specifically in lifestyle hotels, as to whether or not they can shelter social distancing – where we go next in the hotel design chapter of ‘lifestyle hotels’ is somewhat unclear.

With the aim to understand more about the future of this growing sector hospitality, we gathered a handful of the industry’s finest to explore how we can indeed raise the floor in lifestyle.

Meet the panel: 

HK: What was happening in the lifestyle hospitality arena pre-pandemic? 

Damien Perrot: Lifestyle before Covid-19 started in the year 2,000 when lots of new businesses appeared. We can see in the hospitality sector new brands that addressed the evolution of society and how people lived. Since then, a variety of brands have been created which, I must say, are in line with the evolution of technology.

More recently, For Accor, for example, development increased by 22 properties from 2017 to 2020. There is a big demand for lifestyle hospitality!

Igne Moore: The lines between three-star to five-star hospitality have become blurred. I see that as a positive, because now design is just so important. Social media has really made design accessible, and dare I say it ‘fashionable’.

John Paul Pederson: We have clients who ask us where is the Instagram moment is in the design scheme. As we all sit here in our homes, that’s how we are currently connecting to the rest of the world. It would be wrong to ignore social media and its influence when designing lifestyle hotels.

IM: That’s the challenge, to make something stand out without making it feel curated. So many of these words and terms – timeless, effortless, of place – are used by all the other brands.

“I completely believe that this lifestyle hospitality that was emerging pre-pandemic will return after Covid in a stronger capacity.” – Geraldine Dohogne, Founder, Beyond Design.

Sara Duffy: One thing that’s really interesting is that pre-Covid we were seeing the micro room becoming popular. And with Covid that completely changed, because the micro room concept is that you are spending very little time in your room and instead experiencing the public areas. That quickly reversed as Covid-19 entered the world. That was interesting. We never had more work than in 2020. The younger traveller can’t afford to check in to The Ritz, for example, but they do not want their experienced compromised. What’s interesting to me is understanding what luxury means to them, which could be beautiful design, a great interaction with the receptionist.

Image caption: A suite inside Hyatt Regency Houston, designed by Stonehill Taylor

Image caption: A suite inside Hyatt Regency Houston, designed by Stonehill Taylor

“The modern consumer wants to be able to use technology to curate their own experience.” – Rajiv Parekh, Founding Partner, reD Architects

Rajiv Parekh: The spaces that are designed centric are definitely getting more attention and the consumer is certainly now wanting a different experience. The modern consumer wants to be able to use technology to curate their own experience, especially when demands are becoming more specific.

Geraldine Dohogne: Things in the UK are starting to opening up and what I’m noticing is that we want to partake in these hospitality experiences together. I completely believe that this lifestyle hospitality that was emerging pre-pandemic will return after Covid in a stronger capacity.

DP: Even throughout the Covid-19 period, the most successful hospitality brands are the lifestyle hotels, because despite hygiene being more of a focus than ever among consumers’, people just don’t want to be alone.

Wild and funky public areas, full of character and colour

Image caption: A render of Mama Shelter in Rome by Accor

HK: Branding has become savvier than simply slapping a logo across a hotel entrance… How are lifestyle hotels cleverly portraying their brand identity?

GD: As you were saying, branding is an identity and not a logo. It goes more into feeling and the senses. Design has to be linked to scent, atmosphere and the people that bring it all together. We can have the most beautiful building with a powerful brand but if the staff don’t follow then it can all crumble.

John Paul Pederson: In so many ways, brands are becoming ‘anti brands’. With the projects we have worked on, it is becoming less about the brand and more about the service. From Four Seasons to Mandarin Oriental and Moxy Hotels, all of them have brand standards but what we are seeing is that the ‘brand’ is becoming less important – and it is more about the unique, crafted experiences the hotel is able to offer. Therefore, it’s the unique, little touches that we find end up identifying the brand. 

Image caption: Hotel 50 Bowery, designed by Wimberly Interiors

Image caption: Hotel 50 Bowery, designed by Wimberly Interiors

HK: Just how involved do you get to decisions outside of what would be considered ‘design’?

JPP: For us, it’s tricky and depends on the project. We have worked on projects where it is down to the fork, the napkin and the staff’s uniform. For other projects, we are less involved. What we really strive to do as a studio is set the tone at the beginning. When you do this as a designer, it’s then not just about interior design.

SD: We also try to help come up with these experiences. We will set up these strong concepts but also really help the client carry them through in other areas. One project that is a great example of this is the Marriott Renaissance Chelsea here in New York. The hotel had a ‘secret garden’ concept, so we actually incorporated bunnies in the design detail throughout the hotel, either engraved at the bottom of the reception desk or hidden somewhere in the rooms. Those are the projects we all love because then we are engaged in the project from the beginning and can carry it through in the interior design decisions.

HK: Where is the line between luxury and lifestyle?

GD: I do wonder whether lifestyle is not the new luxury, because I believe that the ‘lifestyle/luxury’ consumer checking is younger in 2021 than he/she was 10 years ago. Modern travellers have experienced the world and what they have not seen in person they have seen on social media. Previously, luxury was defined by the price of a room. Now I would qualify luxury as lifestyle and an experience.

SD: I recently stayed in a small hotel in Charlottesville in West Virginia with my family. It was beautiful and not typical ‘luxury’ but everything had been touched. The people were fabulous and the way you moved through the hotel was an experience. Most importantly, we felt it had been paid attention to. It’s that design and service working together which is so important.

“I also want the hotel to have the ability to phase out of Covid.” – Sara Duffy, Principal, Stonehill Taylor.

HK: Sara, you mentioned micro rooms earlier, and how public areas were impacted as a direct result of the pandemic. What do designers need to think about in order to sensitively design zoned areas and create boundaries in public areas?

 SD: I think it’s incredibly difficult because I don’t want to design a lobby with two seats in it, and I also want the hotel to have the ability to phase out of Covid. The key right now is flexibility, and the ability to make these various socially distant solutions work for brands now. We have also tried to create intimate spaces within these wider areas, which is I think the new challenge we are facing this year.

IM: If nothing else, we have learned that you want to be part of a group. You want to be there but also be safe. Furniture layout has become more important than ever before.

“In terms of design, do not change the way in which we design a hotel. I am sure that designing a lifestyle ‘Covid-friendly’ hotel will not work!” – Damien Perrot, Global Senior Vice President Design, Accor.

DP: You will never go to a restaurant to stare at four plastic walls – you would rather stay at home. Let’s just design the hotel and the public areas. Covid-19 is terrible but the best thing to do is something that is protocol-based that feels operational because that, fundamentally, can be lifted easily. In terms of design, do not change the way in which we design a hotel. I am sure that designing a lifestyle ‘covid-friendly’ hotel will not work!

With that said, I would say that designing boundaries and using flooring and lighting to do this is something that we should certainly be looking at. On top of that, creating a specific atmosphere in a space that has no walls is a challenge and what the team at Milliken is doing could really help to support the way we are designing these spaces in the lifestyle sector.

A rose pink carpet with wooden furniture

Image credit: Milliken

“The approach from Milliken around branding is wellbeing.” – Karen Burt, EMEA Strategic Accounts Director, Milliken.

HK: And actually, regardless of Covid-19, it is a clever way to channel the guest through their journeys using these methods. Karen and Kate, can you talk us through this technology that the Milliken brand shelters?

 Karen Burt: Obviously, we would like to be part of that Instagram moment that you were discussing and I think the approach from Milliken around branding is wellbeing. We have taken the ideas from bioiphilic design and nature but also, in terms of our custom capabilities, we can produce custom design on a very small scale which is a result of the patterning techniques that we have. We have been seeing a real uptake in creative flooring – take the 25hours brand for example. We are able to support those hotels having a very bold design in some spaces together with a very tonal scheme in other areas of the hotel.

An empty room with carpet and industrial chairs

Image credit: Milliken

Kate Collier: In terms of wellness, the acoustics comes to play as well. We personally feel as we fit really nicely into this new era of lifestyle because of the flexibility and the global nature of our brand. In the US, we are now seeing our hospitality team introducing more modular design in public areas. We’re also able to be more creative in our ‘vision lab’ so that designers can use our tools to establish the right look for the right project.

HK: Many would argue that technology will have a new role post-pandemic. Will the ‘human touch’ be lost in lifestyle hospitality? 

 DP: There is a lot to say, but I just want to share one example. For me, technology has a role in lifestyle hospitality when technology helps to remove all the transactional aspects and helps to enhance the human contact. Technology can allow hospitality to be much more human.

SD: I also think we’re going to see the opposite. In New York, like the UK, outdoor dining is allowed and I can’t stand having to view the menu on my phone. I miss that human connection of someone handing me a menu! The backlash of all this is that people are going to want to have that connection once more. I admit that ‘checking in’ and ‘checking out’ is not necessary, but it’s a mistake not to have someone welcome guests in and out of the hotel.

IM: If you remove the conventional ‘check in’ desks, it gives us designers more space to design these lifestyle experiences.

RP: I think technology is a huge asset. Technology can remove a lot of the clerical tasks. I regularly check into some hotels where the staff know me and recognise my face from previous visits. Someone will always be there with a personal welcome. A project I am working on called Kings Mansion in Goe will have the lobby areas as a welcoming space, not be fussy in its design where service will set the tone for guests’ experience in the hotel. That to me is the blurring of lifestyle and luxury.

Image caption: A render of Kings Mansion in Goa, which is being designed by rED Architects

Image caption: A render of Kings Mansion in Goa, which is being designed by rED Architects

“We live in a global world. I think taking the best of two difficult cultures and mixing things together has a particular place in the lifestyle sector.” – Inge Moore, Founder, Muza Lab

HK: Will the lifestyle hotels of tomorrow shelter a fusion of cultures instead of a heavy sense of place that we see in traditional hotels in the luxury sector?

IM: We live in a global world. I think taking the best of two difficult cultures and mixing things together has a particular place in the lifestyle sector. We want to design spaces that complement the cultures and experiences.

DP: The mix in lifestyle is key. When this first started to appear in lifestyle hospitality, it was met with feelings of rejection. But soon it became apparent that this was a new style that worked well with what hospitality brands were trying to achieve in their look and feel.

JPP: We try to look at these things as a ‘collection’, which we are always adding to. If you were in your home you would not want it to feel purely Moroccan or Peruvian. Instead, you want there to be memories and special moments. That’s really important and I couldn’t agree more with Inge about hospitality design today being a global perspective.

HK: What pitfalls should designers avoid when creating lifestyle hospitality experiences?

DP: There are no rules in lifestyle – everything can work. It’s actually more about how you mix things together and how you create that tension. By opening possibilities, you will surprise everyone.

IM: You cannot be all things to all people. That’s how design is often diluted, but I think it’s important to appreciate that people can actually adapt to spaces.

GD: It’s maybe not giving too much, but not to overwhelm the consumer with too much information. We’ve all checked in to hotels where there are so many different colours, textures, trends all going on at once. It’s too much. Stay in your lane as a designer and remember who the target audience is you are coherently designing for.

HK: What would you say are the most common demands from modern travellers in 2021? 

IM: To feel and be part of a group. I also feel, largely because of the newly found flexibility around work, people will travel slower, which will allow you to go deeper into the culture you are visiting.

GD: I also think sustainability will be an important point – as has become already. But it will be deeper in its meaning and bringing old spaces back to life in a sustainable way.

RP: In India, people are also looking for better quality, locally sourced food. When your target audience is a global traveler, its critical you cater to these aspects. The 2021 and 2022 consumer will be looking for authentic hospitality housed in well-designed spaces. Gone are the days of the cookie-cutter approach in the lifestyle sector. I also believe that the emphasis will be on smaller curated experiences.

JPP: To travel! For us, more and more what we are finding is that guests are looking for special experiences. In the next five years, I believe there will be a lot of emphasis on new tourism destinations.

This virtual roundtable was held ahead of Hotel Designs LIVE (May 11, 2021), which also focused the editorial lens towards lifestyle. The full recording of the session entitled ‘A new era of lifestyle’ will be available on demand shortly..

Tierra Chiloé Spa & Wellness Resort: Chile

Hotel spas – what tomorrow’s travellers expect

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel spas – what tomorrow’s travellers expect

In her second article with Hotel Designs – the first looking at public areas post-pandemic – Emma Cook explores how the cultural shift that we have experienced over the last year will impact modern traveller demands in hotel spas and wellness areas…

Tierra Chiloé Spa & Wellness Resort: Chile

As well as hotel spas being a relaxing experience for guests, let’s not forget that they are also a healthy source of revenue for the hotel industry. The title of ‘Hotel & Spa’ sits higher and mightier than ‘Hotel’ with visitors feeling like they’re getting a deeper VIP experience. Gyms appear to be a norm in non-budget hotels so charging more for this service doesn’t allow for competitive industry pricing. Spas, however, have a slightly more executive feel and therefore hotels with this facility are able to bring in more revenue. However, in a more health-aware society, the ‘VIP-feel’ isn’t the only reason people choose hotels with spas over those without. The ability to wind down, in an ever-increasingly busy world, is unparalleled and pre-Covid, this would have been high up on the list of requirements from a lot of travellers.

The romans built public baths with the initial use of treating wounds but soon came to realise that these areas could be utilised so that people could enjoy them socially. In the 21st Century, spas have become more of a place to escape society rather than indulge in it.

The hotel spa at The Gainsborough Hotel & Spa

Image credit: The Gainsborough Hotel & Spa

More and more, we are looking to escape need technology – social media, emails and other commitments – to unwind and forget about everyday life, and a spa break away offers the perfect place to do this. What will become of this social distraction after a dynamic and emotional year of no contact? Will it extinguish in a post-pandemic world where people’s enjoyment in civilisation is renewed or will it prosper as the realisation of the importance of self-love is increased?

A luxury pool with white washed buildings

Image credit: 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa

“It seems as though lockdown has provided a lifetime of stress that we just need to ‘sweat out’.”

How many of us, over the last year, have said we need a serious spa day? It seems as though lockdown has provided a lifetime of stress that we just need to ‘sweat out’. Lockdown has certainly taken its toll on our personal versions of ‘pampering’ too; with many of what were interactive experiences moving to online, the need for pampering has been somewhat missing, until now.

Anantara Kihavah Two-bedroom Over Water Pool Residence Spa Treatment Room View

Image credit: Anantara Kihavah

‘SPA’ is an abbreviation for ‘Sanus Per Aquam’ which translates to ‘health through water’. Water is such a staple part of the spa experience: bathing, steam, mud, ice, etc., and should be an important part of the design too. Our bodies are made up of 70 per cent water, so it makes sense that we are most relaxed when returning to this natural state. The sounds of trickling water and waves is something that many people use to relax, and this is often incorporated into the experience of spas. Water is an incredibly immersive experience. When you submerge underwater, your vision, hearing and movement are all impacted. The muffled sound of the tides that flow past, the tunnel of light filtering in from a nearby window and the ripples of water that escape from your movements. There is no where you can escape the outside world more than you can in water. Incidentally, many design and architecture studios, such as Zaha Hadid Architects, use the flow of water as a source of inspiration for many of their boundary-breaking projects – especially in areas, such as Dubai, where sense of place is not easy to define in a design language.

During this hospitality coma – I’m referencing the sting of the pandemic – a number of us have found comfort in other activities such as running, cycling and yoga. This has become apparent since the first lockdown, where it soon became impossible to get hold of any home-gym/cycling equipment from brands so many took fitness into their own hands.

It doesn’t take much scrolling on social media to see someone hiking up a mountain for sunset, jumping off a cliff and plunging into deep water or surfing some big waves. It seems that even before lockdown, we were discovering the wellbeing benefits of taking new challenges, having new experiences and pushing themselves out of their comfort zone. When normality reigns again, I wonder whether people will begin to choose more adventurous breaks away (perhaps travel further and expect unexpected and non-curated moments on their journey) or will spas regain their high demand as people go back to seeking comfort from relaxing over getting outdoors and moving.

“Trending now are the lifestyle orientated concepts such as yoga retreats and alpine wellness breaks, which successfully address the healthy blend of comfort and experience.”

Wellness is a term derived from wellbeing and fitness, so generating a good balance between relaxing and being active would seem the key to being a hotel which provides a high wellbeing experience. The two can work together cohesively. Trending now are the lifestyle orientated concepts such as yoga retreats and alpine wellness breaks, which successfully address the healthy blend of comfort and experience. These breaks also have sustainable connotations, whether they are sustainable or not is another question, but younger people in-particular recognise this which is even more enticing.

Hotels with gardens will have an upper hand at combining wellbeing and fitness – nothing says wellness like a yoga session in a beautifully landscaped garden. There are lots of things in life that can determine our mood, and the environment we are in is one of them. Hence, design playing such a crucial role in the future of wellness. Nature is proven to boost our mood, potentially by its extreme contentedness despite being witness to everyone else’s daily troubles.

Exterior shot of The Spa at South Lodge Spa

Image credit: The Spa at South Lodge Spa

No matter who we are, we look up to nature in utter awe. The outdoors can be just as much of a relaxing experience as an indoor spa can be. And since the pandemic was declared, we have seen more people enjoying the outdoors even to the point where many have moved out of the city and to the countryside.

It will most likely remain the case that hotels with spa and pool facilities will prosper again when normality returns. Keeping in mind that there is a new trend in the market for sustainable and active retreats also, those without the spa facilities can cater in these ways in order to tend to the much desired ‘wellness break’. In short, wellness facilities, no matter what form (spas, pools or adventure), are likely to be very popular post-lockdown.

Main image credit: Tierra Chiloé Spa & Wellness Resort: Chile

Profile image of Joel Butler, Co-founder of HIX

In the HIX seat: Introducing HIX Works

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In the HIX seat: Introducing HIX Works

As you know, we love an exclusive at Hotel Designs. Joel Butler, Co-founder of HIX Event and our monthly columnist, explains all the exclusive details around HIX Works that will launch in November 2021…

Profile image of Joel Butler, Co-founder of HIX

As already established in this editorial series, HIX Event 2021 is all about understanding what your guests have just experienced in order to design your guest experience.

When it comes to our relationship with work, the ‘how, where and when? (and indeed for many  of us, the ‘why?’)’ have been irreversibly redefined. The HIX Event will jump into these questions, mind wide-open, exploring how hotels can be our workplace solutions and destinations. 

Following her recent involvement in Hotel Designs LIVE, Tina Norden of Conran and Partners, one of our four ‘HIX Works’ participating studios, muses that we’ve all had to design our own multi-use offices within our homes and have therefore become become designers by default, ‘Are we all now workplace experts, at least in our own little bubbles?’. And as we venture back to our ‘proper’ offices, Norden reflects on the ideals of a homely aesthetic, ‘having worked from home for so long, do we still want our office to be more like home?’

The HIX Team can directly relate to these questions. The event itself was conceived in a hotel lobby, we sold our first stand in an East End hotel bar (we lost the floor plan that evening but that’s another story), and our pre-pandemic honeymoon days were spent working in either Citizen M or the Hoxton, starting the day with carrot juice and finishing with beer, if we felt that we deserved it.  A year later, the Waldorf Hilton and Herman Miller have partnered to create a luxury work package within the iconic Edwardian hotel destination, complete with ergonomic furniture design, state-of-the-art meeting facilities and a record player. As people now bravely step out of their living rooms, sheds and kitchens to re-negotiate the way that they work there will likely be many more hospitality workplace options to fulfil our varying needs and desires. 

HIX will continue to focus on this topic as our conceptual deep-dive culminates in our ‘WFHotel’ session at HIX in November, hosted by Hotel Designs. We’ll explore four concepts, each presented by a leading hospitality or workplace design studio. These four big ideas will manifest as a series of seamlessly connected installations called HIX Works. To compliment this disruptive thinking, our exhibitors allow these design visions to become practical reality, with our edit of furniture, lighting, fabrics and technologies.

So for now, please do get back to work and we’ll announce the HIX Works studio line-up over the coming weeks, sharing our findings along the way. Whatever those findings might be, it’s clear that this work and hospitality opportunity will provoke consideration, creativity and opportunity amongst hotel operators and designers alike.

Head over to the website if you want to know more information about what other experiences will be sheltered at HIX Event. 

Main image credit: HIX Event

3_Kaldewei_Waschtisch-Schale_Ming

Bathroom brand Kaldewei receives the iF Design Award 2021

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Bathroom brand Kaldewei receives the iF Design Award 2021

The judging panel appreciated the filigree design of the MING washbowl by Kaldewei, made of elegant steel enamel…

The MING washbowl made from Kaldewei steel enamel impresses with its filigree silhouette and a flawless glazed surface. Kaldewei has been awarded the renowned iF Design Award 2021 for the trend-setting and high-quality design of this new model.

3_Kaldewei_Waschtisch-Schale_Ming

The premium manufacturer Kaldewei won over the iF Design Award judging panel at the iF Design Awards recently with its unmistakable product profile; uniquely combining tradition and modernity with absolute quality in sustainable steel enamel.

1_Kaldewei_Waschtisch-Schale_MingThe traditional contours of this exquisite MING bowl from Kaldewei are inspired by Chinese Ming vases. The washbowl is made from durable steel enamel; with its elegant lines, large interior depth and a delicate, filigree edge it is 100 per cent recyclable and offers a sustainable option.

Whether located a classic bathroom or in a more creative setting – the elegant MING with its convex curved silhouette creates a image that helps turn the bathroom into a sensual retreat. An easy-to-clean finish, the Kaldewei Pearl Effect, is standard on all MING bowls, it is also available in lava black matt, black, alpine white glossy and alpine white matt.

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

Main image credit: Kaldewei

The Brit List complilation

The Brit List Awards 2021: Nominations now open (and free)!

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Brit List Awards 2021: Nominations now open (and free)!

FREE TO APPLY: Hotel Designs’ The Brit List Awards is back, and bigger than ever, as the nationwide search to find Britain’s best designers, architects, hoteliers and brands introduces two new individual awards to this year’s campaign…

The Brit List complilation

The free nomination/application process for The Brit List Awards 2021 is now officially open, as Hotel Designs’ nationwide search to identify the true leaders operating in the hotel design and hospitality arena in Britain begins. The awards, which has become a major campaign to support diversity and raw talent that stretches across the British design, architecture and hospitality landscape, is expected to be bigger than ever before – climaxing with a live awards ceremony that will take place on November 3 at Proud Embankment, London.

FREE TO ENTER: Simply click here to apply/nominate for The Brit List Awards 2020.

To remain Britain’s most meaningful design and hospitality awards ceremony, this year’s campaign will debut two new awards, The Rising Star Award and the International Award, which editor Hamish Kilburn says will elevate and diversify this year’s awards. “It’s been a challenging year for everyone operating in the industry we love to serve, and I am delighted that these two new awards position our editorial lens on young talented individuals who are fiercely climbing the ranks as well as making a nod to international superstars who are pivoting the international hotel design into a new era,” Kilburn, who will host the awards ceremony on November 3 in London, said. “And yes, following our successful virtual awards ceremony in 2020, we are doing everything we can in order to make sure our awards ceremony, which will be sheltered inside Proud Galleries in London, is the biggest and best yet.”

This year’s individual categories are:

  • Interior Designer of the Year 
  • Architect of the Year
  • Hotelier of the Year
  • Best in Tech
  • The Eco Award 
  • Best in British Product Design
  • The Rising Star Award 
  • International Award
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry

In addition to the individual awards up for grabs, the top 25 entries in the interior design, architecture and hospitality categories will be profiled in the prestigious The Brit List, Hotel Designs’ annual publication that references the top 75 most influential individuals in British design, architecture and hospitality.

“We have made the decision to postpone all of our other networking events this year until 2022 in order to pour all of our attention into The Brit List Awards Ceremony which will welcome this year’s shortlisted finalists – AKA, the best in British product design, architecture and hospitality – under one roof for a party unlike any other,” said Katy Phillips, Publisher at Hotel Designs. “As a brand, Hotel Designs has confronted the challenges of Covid-19 by being a safe space that incubates new discussions – whether that’s publishing thought-provoking articles, hosting conversations like no other in our Hotel Designs LIVE events, amplifying innovative people on our podcast platform DESIGN POD or by championing the pioneers who are taking our industry forward via The Brit List Awards.”

For the third consecutive year, Crosswater, which is sheltered under the parent company Bathroom Brands Group, has been confirmed as the Headline Partner for The Brit List Awards. In addition, Hamilton Litestat and Duravit return as Event Partners while Schlüter Systems returns as Showcase Partner. Also returning to this year’s awards, the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) will once again be an Industry Partner for the awards ceremony and its upcoming President, Lindsey Rendall, will join this year’s judging panel alongside Lester Bennet, who is the institute’s current president. In addition, NEWH has also been confirmed an Industry Partner for the event.

If you would like to discuss various sponsorship packages available, please contact Katy Phillips via email, or call 01992 374050. Tickets to the live awards ceremony at Proud Embankment, London on November 3 will be available to secure shortly. 

Debba_Comfort-height_Rimless_Close-coupled WC

Product watch: New comfort height & rimless WCs from Roca

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: New comfort height & rimless WCs from Roca

Bathroom manufacturer Roca has added three new WCs to its extensive portfolio, offering even more choice of design options and functionality…

A new addition to the popular Debba range is the Rimless Comfort Height WC available as both back-to-wall and close-coupled back-to-wall, with a 4.5/3litre flush and soft-close seat and cover.

Debba_Comfort-height_Rimless_Close-coupled WC

Due to the complementary design of both WCs, they can be easily paired with other products in the collection, as well as several others to provide a full bathroom specification. The Debba collection has a wide range of solutions that, combined with its soft, square design, fit seamlessly into any bathroom space.

Also new to the Roca portfolio, is The Gap Rimless Comfort Height close-coupled back-to-wall WC, with a 4.5/3litre flush and soft close seat and cover. The Gap collection delivers both a compact and functional style. Its wide range, including the new Rimless Comfort Height WC enables full optimisation of any bathroom space, while its sleek, modern and stylish lines make it an ideal solution for any contemporary bathroom design.

The rimless aspect of the WCs adds another level of hygiene, simplifying and easing the cleaning process altogether. With no rim, the smoother inner walls eliminate areas for bacteria to thrive and therefore prevent a build-up of dirt. When flushed, the improved design not only prevents splashing, but also distributes the water around the entire bowl, reaching higher and cleaning the entire surface, acceding EU standards.

The added benefit of comfort height helps to future-proof the bathroom, ensuring those with mobility issues can use the WCs comfortably.

Since you’re here, why not read more about how Roca helped create the innovative bathrooms inside Scotland’s first YOTEL property?

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

Main image credit: Roca

Four Seasons Mallorca

Four Seasons to expand portfolio in Spain with project in Mallorca

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Four Seasons to expand portfolio in Spain with project in Mallorca

Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts is to expand its portfolio in Spain with a seaside resort on the Mediterranean, which is said to focus on sustainable development and preserving natural environment. Here’s what we know…

Four Seasons Mallorca

Following its arrival in Spain in 2020, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts has announced that it is working with private equity investment company Emin Capital to open a 110-key hotel in Mallorca.

Originally opened in 1929, the existing hotel will undergo extensive renovations before it is unveiled as a Four Seasons experience in 2023. The property is located on a 3,000 acre plot of the Formentor Peninsula, offering access to a pristine beach, as well as a functioning vineyard a short five minute drive away.

“We are very excited to continue this momentum and expand our presence in this important market with a resort in Mallorca, offering guests a unique Four Seasons experience in a top European destination,” explained John Davison, President and CEO, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “It is a privilege to work alongside Emin Capital to create a new vision for this exceptional property and we look forward to a successful partnership for many years to come.”

Formentor is a landmark of Mallorca in a key and unique setting in the Mediterranean,” added Jordi Badia, Chairman and CEO of Emin Capital. “For Emin Capital, the goal of our investment was to protect both, and to reinvigorate the resort with a great luxury brand such as Four Seasons. We are committed to implementing sustainable and green initiatives in our revitalisation of this property, while maintaining an exceptional design, facilities and renowned service.”

Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, can be accessed via ferry or a short flight from Barcelona, with additional direct flights from many European cities. Mallorca’s natural beauty and easy accessibility long established the island as a top tourist destination for European and international travellers. Mallorca’s turquoise waters, limestone cliffs and lush greenery make the picturesque island one of the world’s most sought-after destinations.

All of the 110 rooms and suites will offer balconies with sea and forest views, allowing guests to soak in their beautiful surroundings. The renovations will be overseen by architects Estudio Lamela and SCT Estudio de Arquitectura, with interior designs by Gilles & Boissier.

At the vineyard a short five-minute drive from the resort, guests can enjoy exclusive programming, including farm-to-table activities. The resort will also include an indoor restaurant, beachfront restaurant and café, and a poolside bar and grill. Additional onsite activities will include tennis courts and beautiful spa facilities.

The project has been designed to respect and protect its natural surroundings through various environmental initiatives, such as the restoration of native vegetation and planting, reduced water consumption, rainwater harvesting and the use of grey water for landscape irrigation, heat recovery systems, solar power through use of solar panels, and food waste management systems. Other initiatives include the use of electric vehicles and low energy consumption through a very considered design approach.

Four Seasons’ new project in Mallorca will become the second Four Seasons offering in Spain following the recent opening of Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Madrid in September of 2020.

Main image credit: Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

Heathfield & Co welcomes spring and ‘invigorate interiors’

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Heathfield & Co welcomes spring and ‘invigorate interiors’

With days getting longer and the weather getting warmer, the newly arrived spring season brings with it new inspiration and the opportunity to reset and refresh. With their spring curation, Heathfield & Co embraces a sense of optimism and new beginnings…

In a delicate palette of natural blues, earthy greens and off whites, Heathfield’s Spring favourites invigorate interior spaces to create a lighter, brighter aesthetic.

With a softly fluted form, Heathfield’s classic Elenor table lamp (above left) captures the essence of Spring. Its subtle crackled glaze reflects the delicate veins running through petals and leaves. In the same delicate crackle finish, the Camellia table lamp (above right) is a petite rounded base, representing the beauty of the fine details found in nature.

A delicate colour gradient transitions Heathfield’s Laurel table lamp (above left) from a deep moss green at the base to a light spring white at the top. The hexagonal honeycomb structure on the surface features strong lines and deep ridges, mirroring the complex prism shapes seen on the surface of the Laurel leaf. Taking inspiration directly from spring flowering snowdrops, the Nivalis wall light (above right) features glass shades reflecting the classic bell shaped flower and pointed petals. In a beautiful white dappled finish, each glass shade is unique and complemented with considered metalwork in the form of a snowdrop stem.

06. Heathfield & Co Eden Table Lamp

Image credit: Heathfield & Co

Light fabrics, textured surfaces and neutral tones reflect the blossoming outdoors, transitioning interiors in a seasonal update that provides a warm and inviting atmosphere. Organic shapes paired with muted and soft details from Heathfield’s collection create a textural and tonal style; adding paired back simplicity to any interior scheme.

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

Main image credit: Heathfield & Co

VIP arrivals: Hottest hotel openings in May 2021

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
VIP arrivals: Hottest hotel openings in May 2021

From brand debuts to a boutique bombshells and local gems, here’s your ultimate guide on the hottest hotel openings to expect in May 2021. Editor Hamish Kilburn explores…

While unrestricted travel the way we knew it may be somewhat of a hazy dream at the moment, it has not stopped brands and hotels from around the world bookmarking the summer of 2021 as their cue to re-emerge onto the international hospitality stage.

As we prepared to write the fifth article in our year-long editorial series, VIP arrivals, we are reminded of what makes a hotel incredible. And as such, in this chapter of our series, we searched for hotels that are opening that ooze personality, style, character and that will shelter unconventional yet extremely meaningful ways to connect locals and travellers alike with local culture.

Opening with the fierce aim to tease travellers to explore once more, here are some of the most interesting hotel openings that the editorial team at Hotel Designs have identified are set to take place this month.

Villa Igiea in Palermo, Sicily

Hotel openings: The Villia Igia's guestrooms

Image credit: Rocco Forte

If this hotel isn’t already on your radar, it should be! The 72-key boutique gem is situated in stunning Sicily – and is sheltered under the Rocco Forte umbrella. Villa Igiea was acquired by the brand back in 2019, a beginning of a new era for this opulent coastal resort. Rocco Forte Hotels’ Director of Design Olga Polizzi has collaborated Paolo Moschino of Nicholas Haslam Studios to carefully restore this Grade I-listed landmark, preserving its unique heritage features whilst reimagining and updating neglected areas. Polizzi and Moschino have sought to blend period features with a contemporary flair to exquisite effect. Furnished with classic antiques and sumptuous fabrics in serene shades, each of the 72 rooms and 28 suites is fresh, light, and inherently Sicilian. Locally crafted elements pay homage to the villa’s extraordinary setting and the walls are covered with artwork evoking Sicily’s beauty and heritage.

Villa Dagmar, Stockholm

Carefully renovated and rebuilt under the direction of the Tengbom architectural firm, the 70-key Villa Dagmar is located in a well-preserved Art Nouveau property, next to the newly renovated Östermalmshallen (Food Market). The property has been transformed into a beautiful boutique hotel with the modern feeling of an international villa – a city home for personal meetings, with excellent service, exceptional food and drink experiences, and relaxation. The hotel’s interior, which was inspired by European travels, was designed by Anna Cappelen, design architect Per Öberg and interior designer Helena Belfrage. Villa Dagmar is an eclectic home filled with carefully selected details, Scandinavian design elements, international furniture classics as well as exclusively designed furniture by Per Öberg. The interior provides an inspiring experience and conveys the feeling of visiting someone’s unique city villa and a place one longs to return to.

INNSiDE Newcastle

INNSiDE Newcastle

Image credit: INNSiDE/Melia Hotels

Designed by Faulknerbrowns Architects, INNSiDE Newcastle will take architectural inspiration from iconic local landmarks such as the Tyne’s bridges, whilst the hotel’s interior will showcase a light, minimal and versatile space, featuring modern and comfortable furnishings. The 161-room hotel will be located in the heart of the city on the historical Quayside, offering breath-taking views across the River Tyne and an eclectic home-from-home feel for guests to explore Newcastle’s city centre.

Each stay will be enriched with music, art and literature curated by the hotel’s local experts. The Open Living Lounge will act as the beating heart of the hotel, with the open plan lobby offering the ideal transitional space to allow guests skip seamlessly from work to play. The Open Living Lounge will serve food throughout the day with local DJs providing the perfect soundtrack for guests and visitors to relax and unwind over a post-work cocktail.

The Grove, Hertfordshire

A loud lounge with biophilic walls

Image credit: The Gove, Hertfordshire

In just a few days time, on May 17, The Grove, which is a quintessentially British countryside retreat in Hertfordshire, will reopen its doors with a perfectly timed unveil of its most recent renovation to transform what was a tired interior design scheme into a light, bright and playful modern hotel experience. The complete redesign, which was masterminded by interior design studio Martin Hulbert Design, incorporates all three dining spaces – The Glasshouse, The Stables and The Lounges – as well as the lobby area and all 189 West Wing guestrooms.

The Marmorosch Bucharest, Autograph Collection, Romania

Europe, Romania, Bucharest, The Marmorosch

Image credit: Marriott International

Located in the Romanian capital of Bucharest the hotel is set on the site of a former palace and bank built at the end of La Belle Époque, reflecting the era’s dynamic, optimistic and creative edge. This energy and rich heritage is pulled through in its 217 rooms and suites, which will begin welcoming guests in early summer 2021. 

The Apartments by 11 Cadogan Gardens, London

Located just a stone’s throw away from the hotel, the six one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments that are sheltered under the iconic 11 Cadogan Gardens brand have been designed by luxury residential and hospitality design studio, Atellior to become sanctuaries for guests to make their home in this most quintessentially English neighbourhood of central London.

Main image credit: Rocco Forte

Kimpton Hotels inbound for Australia debut

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Kimpton Hotels inbound for Australia debut

As part of IHG’s boutique luxury brand’s rapid global growth, Kimpton Hotels will finally arrive down under this autumn. That’s right, Pro-invest and IHG have announced that they will reopen Primus Sydney as Australia’s first Kimpton Hotel in October 2021…

IHG Hotels & Resorts, which currently has 60 hotels operating under six brands in Australasia, with another 35 in the pipeline, has announced that it will open Austrailia’s first Kimpton Hotel this October as the hotel group and Pro-invest Group beginning planning to convert and reposition Sydney’s Primus Hotel as Kimpton Sydney.

So far, the only image we have of the hotel is one that shows the existing building as it is today. Come October, this tired property will revamped and ready to welcome modern travellers.

Image of brass building on corner of street in Sydney

Image credit: IHG

As the industry pioneer that first introduced the boutique concept in the US in 1981, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is renowned for its signature heartfelt service and creating guest experiences that foster genuine human connections. Today, its playful brand philosophy is celebrated worldwide, delivered through thoughtful perks and amenities, inventive meetings and events, distinctive, design-forward interiors, and lifestyle elements including the nightly Social Hour.

As a heritage-listed 1930s Art Deco revival of inter-war period architecture, and a history as the former Sydney Water Board Building, the Primus Sydney property almost sings with Kimpton personality. Its bold design, iconic red columns and boutique luxury personality will embody the brand perfectly and, once it has completed the revamp of its lobby, guest rooms and F&B, it will be undoubtedly a brand-defining flagship product for the region.

Kimpton Sydney will open this October with 172 unique design led rooms and suites, a rooftop swimming pool, conference and event spaces that are bathed in natural daylight, as well as a range of innovative culinary experiences that are built on Kimpton’s legacy of locally loved restaurants – including a lobby bar, rooftop restaurant and a café.

The brand’s lifestyle programming – part of Kimpton’s DNA – will be delivered through various complimentary experiences that can include: a morning kickstart coffee and tea, yoga lessons, bike rentals, and Kimpton’s iconic Social Hour – where the brand’s vision to enable human connections comes to life as guests mingle with locals over complimentary wines in the evening. Furry, four-legged friends are also welcome, with Kimpton’s pet-friendly approach and dialled-up pet offerings (“If it fits in the elevator, come on in!”)

“I can’t tell you how excited we are to finally bring the Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants brand to Australia,” said Leanne Harwood, IHG’s Managing Director – Australasia, Japan & Pacific. “We are very mindful of how special the Kimpton brand is, and that’s why it’s been so important to us that we only bring it to market with the right owner and when we have the perfect property to bring it to life. The Primus Sydney property oozes Kimpton character, as soon as we saw it, we knew it had to wear the Kimpton badge, and we are so glad Pro-invest agrees and has put its full weight behind the brand.”

“We are so proud to have such a great long-term partnership with Pro-invest that already includes 13 open or pipeline hotels across three IHG brands, and we look forward to continuing that growth together.”

Jan Smits, Co-CEO at Pro-invest, added: “Such a uniquely beautiful and historic hotel called for a brand that would bring the guest experience to life, and as each Kimpton hotel is a hotel-of-one, individually designed to blend the surrounding environment with local culture, offering guests an authentic and playful experience, we knew it was the right choice.”

IHG and Pro-invest have a long partnership that started with Pro-invest opening Australia’s first Holiday Inn Express in Sydney’s Macquarie Park in 2016. Since then, the portfolio has grown to include seven Holiday Inn Express branded hotels and, together, they are expanding the partnership to include new brands, with 6 hotels in the pipeline under the voco, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn Express and now Kimpton brands.

Kimpton sits apart from the stereotypical CBD luxury hotel mould, and the trendy midtown precinct location of the Sydney hotel is the perfect fit for Kimpton’s guest profile – with the State Theatre and Capitol Theatre both a stone’s throw away, along with the heritage-listed QVB retail precinct, performing arts centres and International Convention Centre.

The Kimpton brand has been growing rapidly around the world over recent years, with 73 Kimpton Hotels now open globally and 32 in the pipeline. Australia is the newest market for the brand, continuing the recent growth trajectory with hotels opening around the world.

Main image credit: Pixabay

The Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire

In pictures: The Grove shelters masterful revamp from Martin Hulbert Design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In pictures: The Grove shelters masterful revamp from Martin Hulbert Design

Guests checking in to The Grove in Hertfordshire, England, can expect a ‘transformed and elevated experience’, following a recent renovation to public areas and guestrooms which was led by award-winning design studio Martin Hulbert Design…

The Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire

In just a few days time, on May 17, The Grove, which is a quintessentially British countryside retreat in Hertfordshire, will reopen its doors with a perfectly timed unveil of its most recent renovation to transform what was a tired interior design scheme into a light, bright and playful modern hotel experience. The complete redesign, which was masterminded by interior design studio Martin Hulbert Design, incorporates all three dining spaces – The Glasshouse, The Stables and The Lounges – as well as the lobby area and all 189 West Wing guestrooms.

The refurbishment represents a significant investment for The Grove over the past two years and has been completed during the UK lockdown period. Guests can expect a transformed and elevated experience at The Grove, which will re-emerge from the pandemic as a new hotel in late Spring, rather than a reopening of the property that closed in December 2020.

London-based designers Martin Hulbert and Jay Grierson have worked with The Grove since the hotel’s launch in 2003 in addition to completing a wide variety of residential and hotel projects around the world, including The Grove’s central London sister property The Athenaeum as well as Chewton Glen, Barnsley House and the Dorchester Spa. Martin Hulbert’s work has been published worldwide, consistently earning the studio a spot on House & Garden’s coveted top 100 interior designers. Hulbert and Grierson were charged with updating the property while retaining its signature warmth, character and luxurious modern touches. Whilst the new interiors reflect the evolution of the brand, many of the original furnishings still feature in the designs, albeit with a re-imagined look. This regenerative approach was taken not only to retain some of the hotel’s original character, but also to champion sustainability – a theme which is evident across the property.

The Glasshouse, The Glasshouse Bar & Lobby

The Grove’s signature restaurant, The Glasshouse, has been entirely reimagined with the ultimate vision of bringing the outside in. The striking glasshouse exterior, which overlooks a manicured courtyard and the lush grounds beyond, provides abundant natural light. This complements an interior colour palette of warm, ochre yellow and rich earthy tones to create a sense of eternal sunshine, whatever the weather.

Plush velvets and rich leathers provide a welcoming setting in which guests can enjoy The Glasshouse’s theatrical gourmet dining experience, with seating arranged around the restaurant’s open kitchen and live cooking stations. Bespoke, kinetic sculptures are suspended from the ceiling to create a gentle energy, while light and airy voile drapes provide a sense of intimacy.

Image caption: The Glasshouse overlooks a manicured courtyard and the lush grounds beyond. | Image credit: The Grove, Hertfordshire.

Image caption: The Glasshouse overlooks a manicured courtyard and the lush grounds beyond. | Image credit: The Grove, Hertfordshire.

The theme continues at the neighbouring Glasshouse Bar, which features a brand-new mirrored bar area. The ambient space has been seamlessly incorporated into the hotel’s lobby area through the use of glass walls. This brings warmth to the newly-refreshed lobby and provides an immediate welcome for guests as they check in.

The Lounges and The Stables

Also part of the total design overhaul are The Grove’s much-loved Lounges, a series of characterful drawing rooms at the heart of 18th Century Mansion. Here, Hulbert’s team was tasked with creating three unique but cohesive spaces in which guests can relax with a cocktail or enjoy stunning views of the gardens over a traditional afternoon tea.

The first of the three rooms has been brought up to date with jewel-like teal blue hues, contrasting with the light, minimalist interiors of the lobby and providing a warm and inviting feel. Rich, textured fabrics including tweed and velvet have been used for upholstery, drapery and soft furnishings, while handmade Irish linen and eclectic artwork by emerging artists adorns the walls.

The second of the three Lounges, known as the Newspaper Room, enjoys a neutral yet opulent colour palette, where gold combines with gentle creams, browns and blues to create a soothing, sumptuous environment. A brand new mirrored and marble cocktail bar has been installed within an original feature alcove and in a nod to traditional Georgian interior styles, the walls have been decorated in a hand-finished painterly striped fabric.

The Library completes the trio of rooms and invites the verdant garden surrounds of The Grove inside, with a scheme of tonal greens and earthy hues. A hand-painted, bespoke fabric covers the walls of the curved, oval space, complemented with dark panelling and contemporary artwork.

The Grove’s Stables restaurant, currently the setting for Alpine-style pop-up restaurant ‘Jimmy’s Lodge at The Grove’, has also received a complete refresh, with warm tan leather seating and equine artwork as a nod to the late George Stubbs.

West Wing Guestrooms

Perhaps one of the largest projects for the hotel since its opening, all 189 of The Grove’s West Wing bedrooms have been completely remastered. Hulbert has employed a bright and airy scheme of neutral tones in tandem with seasonal green and rich sepia, inspired by the endless English countryside outdoors. Bespoke, handwoven wall hangings sourced from Italy frame king size beds while velvet soft furnishings offer luxurious comfort and the ideal setting in which to unwind after a day spent exploring the grounds.

Image caption: Hulbert has employed a bright and airy scheme of neutral tones in tandem with seasonal green and rich sepia, inspired by the endless English countryside outdoors. | Image credit: The Grove, Hertfordshire

The Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire

The hotel, which is nestled within 300 acres of verdant Hertfordshire countryside, has met the new era of hospitality with a contemporary vision that now shelters a home-from-home for travellers and locals alike who desire a rural escape. With many nods to the hotel’s heritage, which dates back to the 1500s, the hotel’s interiors reflect British style with a few twists.

Main image credit: The Grove, Hertfordshire

The Fashion Stone collection makes a powerful statement with its sheer simplicity. Packed full of sass and contemporary style, this is the ideal tile choice for creating a minimalist look and feel.

Interior design trends to watch – on the tiles

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Interior design trends to watch – on the tiles

There we go again, dropping the ‘t’ word into your morning scroll of interior design. While we’ve got your attention, though, if you were interested to find out what the latest tile trends for hotels, we asked Ben Bryden, Sales and Marketing Director at RAK Ceramics UK, to take a look for us…

The Fashion Stone collection makes a powerful statement with its sheer simplicity. Packed full of sass and contemporary style, this is the ideal tile choice for creating a minimalist look and feel.

Practical, versatile and stylish flooring solutions don’t get much better than porcelain tiles. Strong and durable, this is a material that is suited to all area, from hotel lobby to guest bathrooms. Practical matters first and the key ingredient for such surfaces is durability.

Ease of maintenance and cleaning is another essential element, while an element of slip resistance is also important when specifying flooring. This is what makes tiling, and porcelain tiles in particular, such a popular choice for all sorts of surface applications.

The manufacturing process of porcelain, which uses a finer and denser clay combined with high temperature and high pressure, results in a material that is far stronger than other types of ceramic, which is what makes this a material that is highly suited for flooring. Bathrooms benefit in particular from the properties of porcelain, which because of its density is extremely resistant to humidity and water.

Another major reason for the popularity of porcelain for hotels is the sheer versatility of the material. Colour and style choice is almost endless and finishes are also variable, giving designers a huge amount of creative freedom and enabling the material to be chosen for almost any application. Tiles can be printed or embossed in numerous ways and solid floor tiles can be mixed-and-matched in patterns and colours in any number of ways. They can be chosen to match or contrast with wall tiling and splashbacks for a cohesive look and can be chosen to replicate the look of many hardwoods and natural stones for the ultimate luxe look.

Image caption: Solid, durable and extremely versatile, RAK Ceramics Curton are stone-look porcelain tiles that make a highly attractive visual impact. | Image credit: RAK Ceramics

Image caption: Solid, durable and extremely versatile, RAK Ceramics Curton are stone-look porcelain tiles that make a highly attractive visual impact. | Image credit: RAK Ceramics

Tiles with a subtle or a bold marble-effect pattern work well when teamed with materials such as wood, bringing nature indoors and creating a calming, timeless and high-end look that works well across all areas, from public to more private. Porcelain also offers a wonderful opportunity to introduce pops of colour to the setting, with vibrant colourways offering a brilliant way to catch the eye and turn a specific area into a focal point.

Installation of the tiles themselves is also straightforward, with mega slabs from RAK Ceramics minimising grout lines and creating a luxe look. Such slabs offer endless design possibilities in commercial situations such as bars and restaurant areas, creating a seamless finish.

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

Main image caption: The Fashion Stone collection makes a powerful statement with its sheer simplicity. Packed full of sass and contemporary style, this is the ideal tile choice for creating a minimalist look and feel. | Image credit: RAK Ceramics

UFO hotel suite

Extraordinary hotel design – your weekly briefing has landed

758 565 Hamish Kilburn
Extraordinary hotel design – your weekly briefing has landed

Editor Hamish Kilburn here in the driving seat once again, coming in fast with your weekly briefing. As we round-off the month, and creep closer towards a ‘normal’ hospitality scene, we’re closing April with our favourite and most-read hotel design stories of this week, including news from the likes of Mama Shelter, Lore Group, Studio MK27 and more…

UFO hotel suite

As the sun sets on what has been a rather optimistic April – and before we wrap up warm and head to our local beer garden to celebrate this newly found freedom that is outdoor hospitality – we’re serving you this week’s top stories. From exclusive product launches to engaging features, here are our most-read articles from over the last few days.

19 incredible hotels from around the world 

Kruger Shalati — Kruger National Park, South Africa

Image credit: Kruger Shalati

We started this week with the aim to simply inspire creative thinking by sharing what we believe are the world’s most insane hotels that we will shortly be able to check back in to. From hospitality on the tracks to a UFO-inspired suite and urban jungles in many varieties, we found hotels around the world that will tantalise those travel senses. And to our delight, the story quickly became our most-read article of this week – here’s why…

Read more. 

In pictures: Lyle Washington DC, the second U.S. hotel from Lore Group

Image credit: Lore Group

Lyle Washington DC is now open – a brand new independent property from Lore Group, the international hospitality company behind Sea Containers London, Pulitzer Amsterdam and Riggs Washington DC, which was recently reviewed by Hotel Designs

Read more. 

In Conversation With: Architect Marcio Kogan, founder of Studio MK27

Architect Marcio Kogan is the founder of Studio MK27, leading a team of 30 talented individuals who he encourages to ‘rethink architecture’ and ‘place value on formal simplicity elaborated with extreme care and attention to details and finishings’. With the its breadth of experience in hospitality design, the studio was asked to design a new resort in the Maldives. The brief was to design a shelter for a radical living experience; a temporary home in the exuberant infinite blues, wild life and open skies. “The volumetric answers are extremely delicate, respectful to its surroundings, trying to provide shadows and coziness,” it is explained on the firm’s website.” The aim was to ‘capture and amplify the landscape’s strength.” Xenia zu Hohenlohe, Founding Partner of Considerate Group, caught up with Kogan…

Read more. 

First look: Burlington’s upcoming launch of the Riviera collection

image of mid-tone green bathroom with white and gold basin

Hot off the heels of launching the Bespoke collection, bathroom brand Burlington is preparing the sophisticated and rather elegant arrival of the Riviera collection. Ahead of its official launch this summer, Hotel Designs takes an exclusive sneak peek…

Read more. 

And finally… what’s in the spotlight this May on Hotel Designs?

Image of various landscape architecture projects

This May, Hotel Designs is serving up a plethora of stories that will be dedicated to landscape architecture and pools & spas; two pillars of international hotel design that emerge from the Covid-19 crisis with new roles in hospitality…

Read more. 

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Image of various washbasins in cold industrial setting

Kaldewei completes the Cayono product family with new washbasins

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Kaldewei completes the Cayono product family with new washbasins

Cayono washbasins now join bathtubs and shower surfaces that are also in the collection by Kaldewei. What’s more, everything in the range is made from sustainable Kaldewei steel enamel, particularly easy to care for and 100 per cent recyclable…

Image of various washbasins in cold industrial setting

As if from one piece: Premium bathroom manufacturer Kaldewei does not do things by halves. Kaldewei completes their highly popular Cayono product family with high-quality washbasins – including a trendsetting washbowl, countertop and under counter solution.

The perfectly coordinated design of the bathtub, shower surface and washbasin brings effective harmony to the bathroom and the resulting visual calm underlines the current demand for serenity and relaxation.

Economical bathroom design solution for both the private and corporate sector

With the completion of the Cayono model family, Kaldewei now offers a complete solution for the private sector as well as offices, commercial residential construction and hotels; the under counter washbasin with a mirrored overflow is predestined for use in hotel bathrooms. Cayono is the ideal economical design solution for every bathroom and for anyone looking to combine quality, price and aesthetics in the bathroom.

Image caption: For example, the comfortable Cayono Duo bathtub, the floor-level Cayonoplan shower surface and one of the spacious Cayono washbasins ensure the harmonious perfect match. | Image credit: KaldeweiSpa trio made from sustainable steel enamel

With the introduction of the three new Cayono washbowls, countertop and under counter washbasins, the next bathroom upgrade is bound to be a success: Developed for the layout and design of modern bathrooms, the models stand out with their fine lines and softly curved contours, combining puristic aesthetics with intelligent functionality.

The generous interior depth of the individual washbasins creates a comfortable spaciousness experience for every user. When combined with the comfortable Cayono Duo bathtub with central waste, the floor-level Cayonoplan shower surface the new spacious Cayono washbasin ensures a perfect match.

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

Main image credit: Kaldewei

image of mid-tone green bathroom with white and gold basin

First look: Burlington’s upcoming launch of the Riviera collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
First look: Burlington’s upcoming launch of the Riviera collection

Hot off the heels of launching the Bespoke collection, bathroom brand Burlington is preparing the sophisticated and rather elegant arrival of the Riviera collection. Ahead of its official launch this summer, Hotel Designs takes an exclusive sneak peek…

image of mid-tone green bathroom with white and gold basin

Following hefty demand from modern travellers for the bathroom to become more than a practical space, Burlington has introduced the Riviera collection, which is anything but conventional. Embodying the freedom of design and fashionable nature of 1920s Europe – similar to that of Art Deco range of basins in the brand’s Bespoke collection – the collection moves the traditional bathroom into an era of modernity, mixing form and function with elegance and glitz.

Image of modern bathroom featuring Burlington Riviera collection items

Image credit: Burlington

“Riviera represents a new era in traditional bathrooms, offering a complete collection of stunning furniture, brassware and ceramics; strengthening Burlington’s market leadership,” said Stephen Ewer, CEO of Bathroom Brands Group. “We are incredibly excited to be launching Riviera and inspiring broader design of traditional bathrooms in modern spaces.”

Created in collaboration with renowned designer, Steven Booth of Christian Booth design, the Riviera collection encompasses the 1920s era, taking inspiration from the Art Deco architecture aligning the coast of the French Riviera and the lavish décor and decadent features seen in homes during the decade known in France as ‘les années folles’ (the crazy years). Mirroring elements of traditional styling, whilst remaining truly reminiscent of the glorious bathrooms fitted in the famous architectural residences of the ‘roaring twenties’.

The Riviera collection works beautifully in both modern and traditional homes with iconic features such as clean balanced lines and the refined details that Burlington is known for. The collection includes elegant furniture solutions available in White, Blue and Pink, a full range of WCs and basins that seamlessly add classical beauty to any interior, with showering and bath brassware available in a Gold Finish or Chrome.

Burlington’s Riviera collection will no-doubt drive the leaders in traditional bathrooms into a new and exciting era of modernity, bringing harmony and style to any bathroom.

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

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Main image credit: Burlington

In Conversation With: Architect Marcio Kogan, founder of Studio MK27

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Architect Marcio Kogan, founder of Studio MK27

To understand more about one particular new hotel in the Maldives, Xenia zu Hohenlohe, Founding Partner of Considerate Group, caught up with architect Marcio Kogan, the founder of Studio MK27

Architect Marcio Kogan is the founder of Studio MK27, leading a team of 30 talented individuals who he encourages to ‘rethink architecture’ and ‘place value on formal simplicity elaborated with extreme care and attention to details and finishings’.

With the its breadth of experience in hospitality design, the studio was asked to design a new resort in the Maldives. The brief was to design a shelter for a radical living experience; a temporary home in the exuberant infinite blues, wild life and open skies. “The volumetric answers are extremely delicate, respectful to its surroundings, trying to provide shadows and coziness,” it is explained on the firm’s website.” The aim was to ‘capture and amplify the landscape’s strength.”

Responding to the brief, Kogan decided that the architectural lines of the property must never break the horizon. “They speak low and elegantly,” he explains. “All buildings are visually permeable, melted, dematerialised, putting life and men in the centre of the experience.

And it is this experience that Xenia zu Hohenlohe, Founding Partner of Considerate Group, learned about when meeting the dynamic architect himself to understand more about what sets this hotel aside from other Maldivian hospitality gems.

Xenia zu Hohenlohe: What was your first thought when you were asked to design ‘yet another resort’ in the Maldives?

Marcio Kogan: In our office, we treat each new project as a precious gem, no matter the size. Of course, it needs to be of interest to us, but the main thing is, that the client is nice and we develop a good relationship with empathy.

I have never been to the Maldives before and when we began with the project, My colleague and I visited the islands with our client. We stayed in various resorts there so we had to travel with the sea plane everyday, which was not that much fun.

“My first idea for the project was inspired by a place where I used to go as a child.” – Marcio Kogan, Founder, Studio MK27.

XH: How did your Brazilian up-bringing – the connection you have to nature and your local tropical vegetation – influenced you when approaching the Patina project?

MK: When we visited the Maldives, it felt strange: I slept in rooms that could have also been in New York or in London or in Paris, very cosmopolitan but completely lacking the feeling of being in the tropics. That, however, is something that you always have in Brazil – you create something modern, contemporary, but always with the notion that you are at the beach. All Brazilians used to spend their childhood-vacation at the beach and my first idea for the project was inspired by a place where I used to go as a child. There, buildings are separated from the beach by a bit of woodland, giving the impression of a virgin island. This is the feeling that I wanted to bring to the Maldives.

Establishing shot to show architecture of Image credit: Patina Maldives, Fari Islands

Image credit: Patina Maldives, Fari Islands

“The space is meant to be a joyful experience for the senses.” – Marcio Kogan, Founder, Studio MK27.

XH: Could you describe the main characteristics of biophilic design and what is your fascination with it? And how important is this to guests or how will it make their experience at Patina a different one because of it?

MK: For this hotel we re-created the relationship between humans and nature that has existed for thousand of years. In our architecture, there is no difference between the exterior and the interior. It is like a see-through curtain that dissolves the borders between indoors and outdoors. We also brought nature into the rooms through a commissioned artwork by a Brazilian photographer. The space is meant to be a joyful experience for the senses brought to life by natural materials such as wood, stone and organic fabrics and special light pendants that we designed.

XH: How is the design in keeping with the local vernacular?

MK: It has a lot to do with the hidden architecture. When we first went to Maldives, we not only visited various hotels, but also a local house, which you normally don’t see, as they are rather small and hidden in the middle of the islands. The houses are very simple, coral walls holding a thatched roof, mostly build in the centre of the islands. The houses are very simple, coral walls holding a thatched roof, mostly build in the centre of the islands surrounded by local nature. So for us, it was important to integrate this simplicity and the connection to nature into the project in a sophisticated way.

Inside the Beach House at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands

Image credit: Patina Maldives, Fari Islands

XH: What does the term ‘hidden architecture’ mean to you? 

MK: One of our main goals of our project was to hide it. Everything must be very timid – nature is more important than architecture – like the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer – our master- used to say: ”Architecture is not important, it is our family, our friends, life, the nature – that’s what counts.” The fantastic nature with the most beautiful sky and the impressive sea are the focus and it became our mission not to destroy any of the amazing surroundings.

XH: To what extent did you consider the subject of sleep quality in your design?

MK: First of all, it is very important to know, that all the interiors are customised in order to provide this special experience for the guests – including the bed, which is always the key element of the room. The bed forms the centre of the room, it has the best views and needs to be as comfortable as possible. At Patina, the headboard is soft, almost like a huge cushion that embraces you and the mattress base was designed as if it is almost floating.

In order to create the best possible interior, we set up a mock-up villa in Singapore with all details for the complete experience. It was a very detailed process with more than 200 items on the snagging list to be changed. Something that we never did before, but which proofed extremely important for the overall process.

“To be an architect, you need to know what is going on around you – you can’t be isolated.” – Marcio Kogan, Founder, Studio MK27.

XH: What travels inspired you in this project?

MK: Before the pandemic, I used to travel to Japan every Christmas season. This is not directly connected to the Maldives, but it’s one of the inspirations in my life. Another important place for me is Italy, which is another place that is inside my heart. There, I work with Italian brands and I also teach at Politecnico di Milano.

Everything in our life influences our work to some extent. To be an architect, you need to know what is going on around you – you can’t be isolated. You are a kind of sponge, that soaks up the influences around you, which I like very much. Once I was with a very important Brazilian architect, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, and he said to one of his students: “If you just read architecture magazines, if you only visit websites about architecture, you will never be a good architect. You need to know about everything else, too”.\

XH: The Maldives has a number of new luxury resorts, what makes this Patina stand out?

MK: When I visited the Maldives before starting our project, I had a very strange feeling. I was completely alone there, and it seemed that everyone else was on honeymoon. Therefore, the first idea that came to my mind was to create a village: a place where you have restaurants, shops, a space for children and art installations. A place to see and to be seen, a place where people come together, an experience for the whole family.

“Understandably, in Brazil and the Maldives, this combination of indoor and outdoor is easier to put in place.” – Marcio Kogan, Founder, Studio MK27.

XH: Looking forward, what role can architecture play in bringing nature back into our lives, making people understand that we are part of it and not separate and where can key interactions lie in colder countries where outdoor living is not as easy as in the Maldives or Brazil?

MK: All our projects are having an integrating nature. Sometimes you don’t know where the interior stops and exterior architecture begins. Understandably, in Brazil and the Maldives, this combination of indoor and outdoor is easier to put in place. However, we had a project in Canada, in the mountains, and nobody imagined that we could create something similar there, but we did. We built some sort of glass box with amazing views and inner patios. Ok – it’s easier in Brazil where you can open everything up, but it worked.

Even in our rooms in the Maldives, you can open all the windows and if you are in a sea villa, it feels as if you are floating in the ocean.

Main image credit: Studio MK27

Image of fine dining experience at LYLE Washington

In pictures: Lyle Washington DC, the second U.S. hotel from Lore Group

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In pictures: Lyle Washington DC, the second U.S. hotel from Lore Group

Lyle Washington DC is now open – a brand new independent property from Lore Group, the international hospitality company behind Sea Containers London, Pulitzer Amsterdam and Riggs Washington DC, which was recently reviewed by Hotel Designs

Image of fine dining experience at LYLE Washington