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blue and white bedroom with seaview in tel aviv hotel David Kempinski

The David Kempinski Tel Aviv to arrive in February 2022

730 565 Pauline Brettell
The David Kempinski Tel Aviv to arrive in February 2022

Kempinski Hotels has announced the long-anticipated opening of The David Kempinski Tel Aviv, the luxury hospitality brand’s 80th global opening and its first property in Israel. Let’s a take a look inside… 

blue and white bedroom with seaview in tel aviv hotel David Kempinski

In 2022, Kempinski Hotels is set to bring 125 years of five-star European hospitality to Tel Aviv. Housed in the latest skyscraper (built by Feigin Architects) to appear on the city’s Mediterranean Sea promenade, the 250-key property is set to open to guests as soon as February, following quickly on from the opening of Israel’s international borders to tourism. Centrally located across the street from the seaside boardwalk and promenade – and within walking distance to the city’s wonderful outdoor food markets and dynamic urban centre – The David Kempinski Tel Aviv stretches over 34 stories, with interior design spearheaded by Ara Design.

seaview bedroom at the david kempinski tel aviv

Image credit: The David Kempinski Tel Aviv

Unique for an urban resort, each of the 250 guestrooms and suites at The David Kempinski Tel Aviv features views of the Mediterranean Sea, with sliding glass doors that allow guests to soak up the sunshine. One of the highlights of the hotel is the property’s triplex-penthouse suite, the largest of its kind in Tel Aviv, spanning more than 370 square metres, and including a 100 square metre rooftop terrace with an infinity pool melting into the coastline. Guests of the hotel’s top 14 suites will have exclusive access to the 34th floor outdoor lounge that is open during the warm spring, summer and autumn months, and boasts a private rooftop pool, relaxation area with sunbeds and cabanas, and a fully-serviced lounge restaurant and bar. At night, the 34th floor lounge will also transform to Cloud51, a buzzy nightlife experience with cocktails and tapas. Adding to the city’s legendary gastronomic scene, the hotel will feature five dining venues spread across multiple floors of the property, each with their own unique atmosphere and decor. Executive Chef Mor Cohen, a World Luxury Restaurants Award-winner specializing in gourmet Kosher cuisine, will helm the property’s F&B program, including Sereia Restaurant & Lounge, a high-end Kosher fish restaurant with an outstanding selection.

Set in the heart of the “tayelet” (as Tel Aviv’s boardwalk is locally referred to in Hebrew), The David Kempinski Tel Aviv is steps away from the outdoor sport and water activities the city offers, from paddle boarding and surf lessons, to bike and scooter rentals and rooftop yoga curated by the hotel.

“Our goal is to create a warm community and become a home base in Tel Aviv for families visiting Israel,” said Guy Klaiman, General Manager, The David Kempinski Tel Aviv. “The David Kempinski Tel Aviv is the new central hub along the beach, combining the finest of a beach vacation and cultural urban experience.”

marble and wood hotel bathroom in tel aviv David Kempinski

Image credit: The David Kempinski Tel Aviv

In addition to the entertainment and culinary offerings, the hotel includes a full-service spa with 11 treatment rooms, a fully-equipped gym, a sauna and a relaxation area. Manicure, pedicure and hair salon appointments can be arranged in-house with the hotel’s team of seasoned professional stylists. The David Kempinski Tel Aviv tower features a state-of-the-art meeting and banquet space that can accommodate up to 500 guests, creating a new venue for destination weddings, large conferences, business meetings, and holiday celebrations.

Main image credit: The David Kempinski Tel Aviv

miami roof terrrace with pool at the standard

Standard Residences set to launch in Miami

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Standard Residences set to launch in Miami

The Standard and Rosso Development have announced the launch of the brands first residential project which aims to deliver a connected living experience with flexible residences…

miami roof terrrace with pool at the standard

To date, The Standard’s ‘anything but Standard’ distinctive lifestyle has only been available at its hotels, but this is all set to change, with Standard International and Rosso Development announcing the launch of The Standard Residences, Midtown Miami. The property is set to be the first of its kind, as it proposes flexible residences that blend culture, community and style with the world class design, amenities and service for which The Standard is known.

Set to break ground in 2022 with expected completion by mid-2023, the 12-story building will be located in the heart of Midtown, Miami’s most vibrant, walkable neighbourhood, centrally positioned between The Design District and Wynwood. It will feature 228 pied-à-terre-style residences ranging from studios to two bedrooms, all designed and finished with The Standard’s distinctive touch. In true “anything but Standard” fashion, the building will be the first property in the area to recognize the emerging Flexible Living movement, allowing owners to lease out their units for terms as short as one month.

“For more than twenty years The Standard has tapped into our community’s desire for vibrant social experiences,” said Amar Lalvani, Executive Chairman of Standard International. “Now we are giving our loyal guests, and fans of what we do from around the world, the opportunity to live The Standard in a way that recognizes how the next generation wants to live. There is no better place to launch The Standard Residences than Miami, which has emerged as one of the most dynamic cities in the world, and just a place we love.”

The Standard Residences, Midtown Miami has tapped into the industry’s best talent for this debut. The building will be crafted by distinguished architects and designers, including award-winning Arquitectonica and Urban Robot. The building’s façade draws inspiration from the urban enclave’s storied past while connecting with the new energy of the neighbourhood.

drawing of the facade for The Standard Residences, Midtown Miami

Image credit: The Standard

Residences will express the ethos for which The Standard is known, with meticulously designed interiors that provide that balance of style and functionality. Finishes include light wood plank tile flooring, gourmet kitchens with custom Italian cabinetry and Bosch appliances, while oversized bathrooms showcase stone vanities and double-suite rain showers.

“We endeavoured to curate a distinctive residential experience, infused with the hospitality The Standard brand is known for,” said Giancarlo Pietri, Principal of Urban Robot Associates. “The vibe of the residences is tranquil in tone and texture— meant to evoke a sense of calm and comfort; While the public spaces nestled within are spirited and full of personality.”

Pale wood and white surfaces in The Standard Residences, Midtown Miami

Image credit: The Standard

In step with other Standard properties, residents will enjoy thoughtfully designed social spaces and amenities spanning over 3000 square metres across five floors. The expansive lobby will inspire residents to connect, work and play, with lounge areas and a Café. A lushly landscaped rooftop will create an elevated outdoor experience with a resort-style sunset pool, and signature rooftop restaurant and bar reminiscent of the vibe The Standard has pioneered from LA to New York to London.

Wellness offerings include a state-of-the-art sweat room and fitness centre, an infrared sauna, an indoor pickleball court, and yoga and stretch studios. A social floor features a karaoke bar and screening room, while co-working spaces include a private boardroom and zoom rooms. A pet spa rounds out The Standard Residences’ anything but standard amenity package. In addition, the ground floor of the property will showcase 1000 square metres of retail boutiques selected by The Standard’s in-house team.

A dedicated Standard concierge will be available around the clock to assist owners and direct cultural and community programming. Residents will also gain access to The Standard’s “Friends with Benefits” program, which earns them preferred pricing at all The Standard hotel properties around the world.

> Since you’re here, why not check out our review of The Standard London?

Main image credit: The Standard

sleek grohtherm shower thermostat control by grohe

The new Grohtherm 500 thermostat: The easy upgrade for every bathroom project

730 565 Pauline Brettell
The new Grohtherm 500 thermostat: The easy upgrade for every bathroom project

With statistics showing that temperature fluctuations are one of the most frustrating factors in a shower, the dynamic in-house design team at GROHE came up with a solution. Introducing the Grohtherm 500 thermostat…

sleek grohtherm shower thermostat control by grohe

A thermostat is a must-have for every well-planned bathroom upgrade. A recently conducted survey into showering behaviour from leading supplier of bathroom solutions, GROHE, and German research institution Explorare, found that 37percent of respondents listed temperature fluctuations as one of the most frustrating factors when showering. With the new Grohtherm 500 thermostat acting as the intelligent heart of the shower, complaints like these can now be a thing of the past as this  latest product by GROHE provides steady temperatures, personal settings, and optimal convenience.

shower controls for grohtherm500

Image credit: GROHE

Thermostats are not a new invention to the shower market – professionals have been working with them for a long time and have witnessed the evolution of the intelligent showering technology and know how it works. One of the key benefits to a thermostat upgrade is safety: thermostats are safe mixers, especially for children and the elderly, as the SafeStop button limits the water temperature and prevents scalding. Additionally, the thermostat comes with a temperature limiter which can be activated during installation, limiting the temperature to 43°C, thereby preventing children or those with additional needs or visual impairments from turning up the temperature accidentally and scalding themselves. This is a huge benefit for multi-generational households and hotels which need to cater to many different user needs and requirements.

Now that the bathroom is increasingly turning into an oasis of wellbeing, consumers are also looking for solutions that enhance comfort. Thermostatic technology is an ideal solution. Even when multiple water sources are running simultaneously, the thermostat allows users to be in control of the temperature as it balances temperature peaks and prevents cold or hot temperature fluctuations whilst showering. This is one of the major benefits thermostats can offer especially as they continue to be such a pain point for consumers.

What many consumers do not know is that a shower equipped with a thermostat can also save water. The GROHE Grohtherm thermostats all come with the EcoButton, which is an easy-to-use and effective feature that works to reduce consumption. The EcoButton reduces the water flow, saving up to 50 per cent of water without a noticeable difference for users. Additionally, the thermostat cartridge makes it easy to find the desired temperature. Even if a user likes to turn the water off and on while showering, there is no need to find the right lever position again. With the water temperature remaining at a constant level, the Grohtherm offers water and energy saving in everyday life, which can offer cost savings over the product’s lifecycle.

The GROHE product portfolio remains as diverse as the customers’ projects are individual, as the brand believes that the key in product development is to provide retailers and installers with the right solutions for all customers. The GROHE product portfolio is designed to meet different requirements regarding both functionality but also budget. While the Grohtherm 500 is the perfect entry-level product in the GROHE thermostat range, the portfolio also includes the sophisticated Grohtherm 1000 Performance which has two additional key features. Integrated with the CoolTouch technology, the thermostat’s body never exceeds the shower temperature, keeping the thermostat exterior cool to touch – again a particularly important feature for multi-generational households or family homes with young children. As water conservation is also playing an increasingly important role for customers in bathroom planning, the Grohtherm 1000 series also features an AquaDimmer with an EcoButton for controlling the hand shower in the bathtub.

The Grohtherm 500, developed with the well known GROHE brand quality, is the perfect alternative to single-lever mixers, and allows users to try out the benefits of features such as the EcoButton, the SafeStop and the SafeStop Plus features.

GROHE 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: GROHE

Hamish Kilburn, Tina Norden, Balkaran Bassan and Vince Stroop on stage at HIX

HIX panel discussion: Designing hospitality for the ‘WFHotel’ generation

730 565 Pauline Brettell
HIX panel discussion: Designing hospitality for the ‘WFHotel’ generation

One of the stand-out moments from HIX 2021 was undoubtedly the installations that were displayed in the Hotel Tomorrow gallery. Designed collaboratively by Conran and Partner, Areen Design and stroop design, the aim was to reflect the coming together of co-working spaces and hotels. Editor Hamish Kilburn, who spent six months following the designers, moderated the panel discussion on the HIX Talks stage that explored every corner of the concept in detail. Pauline Brettell writes…

Hamish Kilburn, Tina Norden, Balkaran Bassan and Vince Stroop on stage at HIX

HIX 2021 has been two years in the making – like the entire hospitality industry, the event was subjected to Covid-19 cancellations and delays – but finally, last week saw the experiential trade show in the spotlight at London’s Business Design Centre. True to its manifesto and guiding principles, HIX presented us with not only new products and practical design solutions to marvel over, but it also opened discussion and debate around issues of direction, design and, of course, sustainability.

The spaces in which this spirit of debate and conversation were most visible, were the two installations, along with the discussions that were taken to the HIX Talks stage as a result.

The first of these immersive settings was the WFHotel installation, which presented designers with the challenge of re-looking at the hotel as a “new productive, fluid and well workplace”, and all that that means. It was a collaborative installation by the design studios of Areen Design, Conran & Partners, and stroop design. The three hand-selected studios worked together to present us with emerging possibilities. The designers representing the studios,  Balkaran Bassan, Tina Norden and Vince Stoop joined forces with editor Hamish Kilburn on the HIX Talks stage to explain the process and discuss the thoughts and ideas that resulted in the set, and just how the conversation developed into one that hopefully initiated debate and discussion rather than coming up with a formulaic answer or response. “The access we had into these studios was unprecedented,” said Kilburn. “It allowed us to follow the process from concept through to completion, to understand how each area of the installation evolved and mutate over time. “For me, though, the most inspiring element of this project was how it changed from being a competition between three studios to a purposeful collaboration, which really helped enforce this year’s theme of HIX: ‘all together now’.”

Although the project was a collaborate effort, each designer was able to create their own section within the overall installation. While there is clearly a need to overlap and integrate, the installations and the conversation that followed could be broadly divided into community and function, comfort and cocooning and wellness and nature. “It was inspiring to see how each design studio approached the brief differently,” Kilburn explained. “Conran and Partners injected the energy of community when they decided to launch workshops on their pod on the hour so that the space would transform in time. Meanwhlile, Areen Design created an art installation-style safe cocoon nest that brought down the heart rate. stroop design, very much inspired by its own situation of launching recently with no physical base, was inspired by nature – and unveiled its co-working pod as a walk-in-the-park experience. Outside these three areas, the studios worked together to help set the scene, using visuals and sound as tools for transformation from one area of the show to another.”

Discussing the question of community and function, Conran & Partners developed an interactive and community based focus to the design question. As explained by Tina Norden, while hotels have clearly always had to design for people, this concept took it a step further, encouraging the people using the space to define it and refine it, according to function and needs. Rather than over designing a space, the circular workspace was stripped back to allow for flexibility – flexibility of space and design being a key them throughout the discussion – to allow the people using the space to use it according to their needs in that moment.

The theme of wellness was explored by stroop design. Identifying the ‘work from wherever’ fluidity that has emerged out of the pandemic, and combining it with the importance of nature, especially in the urban built environment, was the focus. Stroop spoke about the need to maximise the ‘pockets of nature’ presented to us, along with the importance of nature in our wellbeing and therefore the importance of integrating that into the workplace and in so doing, ensuring a work, wellness balance.

Becoming a lot more introspective, and really championing the ‘circle of life’ motif that ran through all three installations, Areen Design created a soft and fluid quiet space, a space to cocoon. It was a place for thought, which provided an important counterbalance to the busy communality of the other spaces. Heightened by soft surfaces and lack of colour interference, this space gave a heightened sense of calm, and was a design devoid of unnecessary distraction.

“Not long after being presented with the brief and exploring initial ideas, the conversation soon developed from one of competition into one of collaboration – and this ethos was a positive note that sounded throughout the discussion.”

Having identified the differences, it was soon clear in discussion that the overall installation was all about collaboration and commonality. It was a process that, as mentioned by Kilburn, started out as a competition; a call to arms for three design studios to compete and establish who could come up with the best workplace solution. However, not long after being presented with the brief and exploring initial ideas, the conversation soon developed from one of competition into one of teamwork – and this ethos was a positive note that sounded throughout the discussion.

There was, as already mentioned, a clear theme or key word which emerged out of this discussion; flexibility. The need for flexible spaces and flexible design, to accommodate flexible purpose and mood. Coming out of the pandemic, lines and boundaries have been blurred as our personal spaces have had to be more multi-functional. We are now projecting those experiences onto what we want from public and hospitality spaces, specifically when it comes to design requirements around our co-working space. All three designers discussed at length the need for the need for that concept of flexibility to be applied to the design process as much as to the design itself. People have had to find the ‘space’ at home for work, play and wellness, and now expect hotels to deliver the same. A successful co-working space is about more than providing a socket to charge your phone, people are demanding a place that allows them to be creative, to work, to be responsive.

Tina Norden, Balkaran Bassan and Vince Stroop on stage at HIX

Image caption: Balkaran Bassan, Tina Norden and Vince Stroop were on the HIX Talks stage last week, explaining how their WFHotel concepts developed. Image credit: HIX

Another key theme of this discussion was that, along with the spirit of partnership, there developed an understanding of what we have in common rather than differences, so while on the surface the studios offered three very different design solutions, there was, as discussed by Tina Norden, Conran and Partners, “the red thread that ran through the designs”. The points the installations had in common were as important as their differences, and in fact ideally, aspects of all were required for a successful WFHotel space. The singularity of purpose, that red thread, strengthened the individual designs as they all presented us with different aspects of that flexible new space.

All three designs brought something different into the mix and highlighted the different elements that are required when we are looking critically at hotel design for tomorrow, a tomorrow which is rapidly becoming today. As with a lot of subjects, the questions around co-working spaces and design requirements where already happening before society got locked down, but Covid-19 and the ensuing shifts in society have accelerated this discussion. The WFHotels installation can therefore be seen as a starting point, and possibly even a challenge to start thinking more critically. As Bassan, succinctly put it, these installations should be seen as “conceptual thought bubbles,” that float into other conversations rather than a prescriptive solution.

The entire installation was described by stroop design as a “palette cleanser” from the main exhibition hall – it was a place to decompress after the hard sell of the main event where people where visually vying for space. In this space it was palpably quieter, and a lot calmer. There was a sense of community and common purpose, yet within that there remained space for so many different threads to be followed and discussions to be had.

If it was about creating an experience, then the circle of life swathed in fabric by Areen Design certainly did that, and as you walked into and quietly took time to explore the folds of fabric, you were confronted with the words of Haruki Murakami; “you won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm is all about”

The storm isn’t over, and the world is certainly not the same, but the conversation about what that means for the industry is certainly taking place as we try and work out exactly what the storm is all about. Hopefully, we are able to take back the narrative, and ensure that with some conscious and considered design we can somehow  charge the conversation with an increased positivity and energy.

And the suppliers…

The designers have expressed their sincere gratitude to the companies that and people who helped them throughout this process (and in some instances at very last minute) to achieve each their visual goals. Below is a nod to those brands; the often forgotten or at the very least, under-amplified, manufacturers that are vital part of the puzzle.

Conran and Partners: (We have requested a suppliers list and will update this article shortly).
Areen Design: Alt Collective, Table Place Chairs, The Romo Group, Villa Nova, Latham Timber
stroop design: Technogym London, Elite Wallcovering by Article, Leaflike, Gubi, Ligne Roset, Astro Lighting, Romo Fabrics, Solid Surfaces, The Alt Collective, The Sunbeam Group

Main image credit: HIX

Ocean Drive Madrid hotel with pool and roof terrace in the heart of madrid

OD Hotels set to open its first hotel in Madrid

730 565 Pauline Brettell
OD Hotels set to open its first hotel in Madrid

Ocean Drive Madrid, a new design led boutique hotel under the OD Hotels brand, will be opening right in the heart of Spains capital city in February 2022, allowing guests to truly connect to the location. Pauline Brettell steps off the Plaza, and into the lobby to have a closer look…

Ocean Drive Madrid hotel with pool and roof terrace in the heart of madrid

Ocean Drive Madrid, like its sister hotels under the OD Hotels brand in Ibiza, Mallorca, and Barcelona, strives to truly connect its guests to the location they are staying in. Situated in Plaza de Isabel II, in front of the Opera Palace, and only a few steps from the Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol and Gran Vía, means guests are in the heart of the action in Spain’s capital city, and just a short walk from the well-known neighbourhoods of La Latina, Huertas, Los Austrias, Malasaña or Chueca.

mediterranean colours with blue accents in hotel lobby at Ocean Drive Madrid

Image credit: OD Hotels

Contemporary design, elegant architecture and a Mediterranean colour palette are present throughout the hotel’s 72 guestrooms. This style continues in the airy and bright reception area, the lobby bar, and the lively restaurant with its garden terrace, where natural materials and design-focused furniture bring the social space, for both guests and locals, to life. Each OD Hotel has its own OD Sky Bar, and Madrid is no exception, with a swimming pool and terrace where guests can sip cocktails and admire the city views.

roof terrace with pool at ocean drive madrid

Image credit: OD Hotels

The hotel’s sensitive design has been created by the architectural studio of Victor Rahola and interior designer Mayte Matutes. This design is also complemented by the most advanced and sustainable technology drawing on bioclimatic measures to achieve the maximum reduction in energy demand. As a result of this combination of design and technology, the hotel was recognised in the Re-Think 2019 awards as the best project in sustainability and hotel rehabilitation in Spain.

Guests will love retreating from the city to the contemporary bedrooms, which feature full-height windows, Bower & Wilkins speakers, design classics like the Eames LCW chair, a desk, and some have their own balconies. A selection of rooms also have unique features like a record player with vinyl records, a photo printer, and a beer tap. Those choosing a corner Deluxe room, will also delight in the in-suite Taschen library for design and culture-inspired reading.

A knowledgeable concierge team will ensure the best experience in the city, connecting guests with the top places to eat, drink, shop and discover. The city is also brought into the hotel with OD’s own events, which are popular with locals and guests alike, and make it a vibrant place to be all year round. Choices like Burger Meets Gin, is a regular afterwork event with delicious burgers, premium Gin & Tonics and music from DJs or live performances; Hello Sundays! with its vinyl market and workshops; or Painting & Wine, which sees painting courses with local artists accompanied by a glass of wine. Ocean Drive Madrid will also offer spaces for co-working for guests and locals.

Drawing on their experience of hosting their own events, Ocean Drive Madrid is well equipped to arrange a wide range of private events, from large corporate launches to intimate dinners. The combination of multipurpose spaces, personalised service, technology and an ethos of always saying ‘Yes’ makes for a very successful private event.

Ocean Drive Madrid is part of the OD Hotels group, which owns six hotels in the most significant and attractive areas in the Mediterranean – Ibiza (Ocean Drive Ibiza, Ocean Drive Talamanca and Can Jaume by Ocean Drive), Mallorca (Ocean Drive Port Portals) and Barcelona (Ocean Drive Barcelona); Madrid (Ocean Drive Madrid), and an international opening is planned soon for the French Côte d’Azur (Saint Tropez).

Main image credit: OD Hotels

rooftop bar in manhatten at the hard rock hotel

Hard Rock Hotel New York prepares to take centre stage

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Hard Rock Hotel New York prepares to take centre stage

The highly anticipated Hard Rock New York is going up in the heart of Midtown Manhatten, and is on track to debut in April 2022 – we thought we would take a closer look at what is set to be this iconic brand’s new flagship…

rooftop bar in manhatten at the hard rock hotel

Gracing the iconic skyline of 159 West 48th Street, just steps from Times Square, Broadway, Rockefeller Centre, Bryant Park and Fifth Avenue shopping, Hard Rock Hotel New York is nearing completion. With its official debut set for April 2022, the ‘entertainment destination’ aims to honour the legacy of Music Row as the iconic brand’s new flagship hotel.

hard rock hotel new york lobby with blue and yellow chairs

Image credit: Hard Rock Hotels

“This is a monumental moment for Hard Rock International and a true milestone in our journey to elevate our lifestyle hotels portfolio,” said Dale Hipsh, Senior Vice President of Hotels, Hard Rock International. “New York City is the culture capital of the world, and as a brand, we have been eagerly anticipating the right opportunity to bring our entertainment-infused hospitality experience to this market. Hard Rock Hotel New York creates the perfect home base for exploring the city’s most exciting attractions, but what’s more, are the curated experiences for guests and locals that only we can offer through one-of-a-kind partnerships and collaborations with legendary artists, performers and musicians.”

The hotel will feature 446 exquisitely designed guestrooms and specialty suites offering floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase the city’s vibrant energy. Sitting on the 34th floor is the jewel of the hotel, the Rock Star Suite, a bi-level glass-enclosed penthouse with expansive city views, original contemporary artwork, bespoke music memorabilia, and one of the largest terraces for entertaining in New York City.

To spearhead the property’s interior design, Hard Rock Hotels enlisted the services of award-winning design firm Jeffrey Beers International to bring a music-infused vision to life, accented by legendary memorabilia honouring musicians from and inspired by New York City. Notable displays will include a classic leather motorcycle jacket owned and worn by Joey Ramone; a pair of silver patent leather boots worn by Lady Gaga; a record player with built-in microphone and cutting lathe for making direct-to-disc recordings from Les Paul; and handwritten lyrics for John Lennon’s 1972 ode to his adopted home, ‘New York City’.

hard rock hotel new york lobby contemporary design with blue accents and music memorabilia

Image credit: Hard Rock Hotels

Uniquely situated between the Theatre District and Radio City Music Hall, Hard Rock Hotel New York will offer a backstage pass to the city’s historic Music Row. Paying homage to the mecca of recording studios and music stores that once lined 48th Street, the hotel will have live music across all public spaces with a dynamic and engaging approach to entertainment programming. The RT60 Rooftop bar will deliver masterfully crafted cocktails and shareable bites, all in an effortlessly stylish scene with a chance to soak in the city from above. This will be a true entertainment destination with world-renowned DJs along with emerging local talent.

From day to night, the brand’s signature Sessions Restaurant & Bar will represent the soundtrack of New York. Located on the main level and accessible by a grand staircase from the street, this light-filled three-story atrium and open-air terrace will offer live, unplugged musical performances that embody the vitality and ingenuity of the city. The hotel’s show-stopping feature will be The Venue on Music Row, a flexible entertainment space with capacity for up to 400 guests. The Venue will play host to A-list performances as well as fashion shows, after-parties, and gala dinners for some of the city’s most sought-after moments.

Beyond the public spaces, Hard Rock Hotel New York plans to weave the kinetic force of music into its health and wellness offerings. The hotel will feature the brand’s signature Rock Om programme, fusing the practice of yoga with the rhythm of a custom DJ-curated soundtrack for on-demand in-room sessions. Building on the existing offering, Hard Rock Hotel New York will introduce a series of transformative experiences including rooftop moonlight yoga sessions. In true Hard Rock style, the hotel will offer an array of signature brand experiences and amenities exclusive to Hard Rock Hotels. Amenities include the Sound of Your Stay, which allows guests to listen to Tracks curated playlists by artists and musicians, Crosley record players available upon request with Wax, or play a Fender guitar with Picks in the privacy of their room. Roxity programming will bring to life family attractions and entertainment while the Unleashed pet programme will welcome four-legged friends. Guests are also invited to exchange the traditional city map for Soundtracks, interactive area guides which are curated by Hard Rock and musical artists to showcase the best of each destination.

The announcement of Hard Rock Hotel New York comes as Hard Rock International commemorates 50 years as one of the world’s most recognisable brands for entertainment, hospitality, gaming, and leisure, and this new flagship hotel promises to continue the tradition of providing guests with show stopping entertainment venues and immersive experiences.

> Since you’re here, why not read about Hard Rock Hotel Madrid?

Main image credit: Hard Rock Hotels 

the-hythe-lobby

The Luxury Collection makes debut in Rocky Mountains

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Luxury Collection makes debut in Rocky Mountains

The Luxury Collection Heralds a new beacon of sophistication and vibrancy in the Rocky Mountains with the Debut of The Hythe, a Luxury Collection Resort, Vail…

the-hythe-lobby

The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary hotel brands, today announced the opening of The Hythe, a Luxury Collection Resort, Vail. Owned by DiamondRock Hospitality Company, the brand-new luxury resort concept in the heart of the Rocky Mountains debuts after undergoing a $40 million transformation, including an entirely revamped arrival and lobby experience, reinvigorated outdoor spaces and four brand-new culinary concepts. The resort marks Marriott International’s only Luxury Collection alpine resort in North America.

“With over 5,200 acres of world-renowned terrain, Vail, Colorado has become one of the most popular mountain resort communities in North America,” said Philipp Weghmann, Vice President and Global Brand Leader for The Luxury Collection. “The addition of The Hythe, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Vail to this legendary destination is an extension of the unique experiences available in the region. We are proud to announce the opening of the resort as the only Luxury Collection alpine resort in this iconic destination.”

Boasting 344 rooms, inclusive of 22 suites and 16 spacious residences, guests are situated just steps from the base of Vail Mountain where they can explore a plethora of outdoor experiences designed for every season or take in the charming and bustling cobblestone streets of Lionshead Village, which offers countless shops and art galleries. The Hythe serves as a gateway to Vail’s most exciting and desirable experiences, whether guests are looking to partake in exclusive alpine excursions or rejuvenate at the on-site recovery-focused spa. Inspired by the legendary founders of Vail Ski Resort, Pete Seibert and Earl Eaton, The Hythe reimagines the revelry, camaraderie, and hospitality of après ski, infusing the ‘good-time-was-had-by-all’ spirit into all aspects of the guest experience, no matter the time of day or season.

Helmed by Wilson Ishihara Design, the interiors of The Hythe are inspired by the origins of Vail, those who built it in the 1960s, and the beautiful surrounding nature that drove people to the destination. A pioneering spirit, hospitality, and a mutual love of skiing can be felt in each elevated design element. Adorned with elegant custom furniture and art pieces, entering the lobby brings guests into a majestic and serene Rocky Mountain design scheme. Punctuated with glamorous 60’s touches and historic ski references, the space brings guests a sense of unparalleled authenticity. Visitors will be pulled in by thoughtful, clean design details such as local Colorado calacatta marble quarried from the Rocky Mountain, carved wood feature art inspired by the local shepherding tradition of Arborglyphs, marble flooring textured to evoke snow fall on the landscape, carved black stone walls, and Douglas fir siding wood panels inspired by an alpine chalet.

The Hythe’s namesake, ‘haven’, is fully realised in the resort’s 344 guestrooms, which offer elegant and opulent spaces, creating a true respite. With a focus on design elements that invite relaxation and recovery from a day spent on-mountain, picture windows boast the same views of Vail Mountain that inspired the passion of Pete Siebert and Earl Eaton many years ago. Wood, stone, leather, and faux fur bring a welcoming sanctuary to lay one’s head or simply spend the whole day.

> Since you’re here, why not read about W Dubai, which has been signed?

Main image credit: The Hythe, a Luxury Collection Resort, Vail

Minimal white shower with wood accents and GROHE Tempesta 100 shower rail set - C2C Certified

Live from HIX: Grohe launches its cradle to cradle products

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Live from HIX: Grohe launches its cradle to cradle products

Marking the first industry exhibition for GROHE since the onset of the pandemic, HIX is also the first event where the brands newly accredited Cradle to Cradle Certified products are on show. We headed over to stand 7 to learn more…

Minimal white shower with wood accents and GROHE Tempesta 100 shower rail set - C2C Certified

Shortlisted at The Brit List Awards 2021 in The Eco Award category, the Cradle to Cradle (C2C ) concept by GROHE is a design process that can drastically reduce the use of new resources, as a product is designed and manufactured with the intent of using its components in its end-of-life-phase for the creation of new products. To coincide with the showcasing of their C2C products, GROHE is also launching the next module in its series of RIBA approved CPDs: Circularity in the bathroom and kitchen with Cradle-to-Cradle certification. Amongst the first sanitary ware brands globally to achieve C2C certification, GROHE has developed this informative and inspirational session to guide design professionals on how to achieve greener projects that offer C2C credentials. Hoteliers and other professionals can visit the Grohe stand at the show to be amongst the first to register for the new CPD session, hosted by GROHE’s team of experts.

“We are really excited to be a part of the very first HIX design show, a much anticipated event that is long overdue for the industry as we emerge from the pandemic,” said Ebru Bircan, Leader, Marketing Activation UK, LIXIL EMENA and GROHE UK. “Our stand and the innovations we are presenting focus on two very integral aspects of the current hospitality design landscape: wellness and sustainability. We want to continue to work with more and more hotel brands to provide sustainable solutions that offer tangible results in the reduction of water, energy, materials and waste. We’re also continuing to create this immersive narrative within the hotel bathroom around wellness and health through water. We see these two key design considerations to be integral to shaping the future of hotel design.”

GROHE is inviting guests to immerse themselves in the serene ambience of its spa-inspired room set, as part of a new premium spa and wellness-focused concept currently in development. The space will be created with re-envisioned designs of its popular Allure brassware range.

white ceramic handbasin and minimalist chrome mixer by grohe

Image credit: GROHE

Alongside showcasing its latest innovations designed to support sustainable and premium hotel projects, GROHE is also sponsoring the Meaningful Value keynote speech, presented by leading hospitality consultant, Horwath HTL’s James Chappell. The staged discussion will look at how brands and hoteliers can create hotel experiences that matter in the modern, post-Covid age.

GROHE 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: GROHE

contemporary Roca bathroom fittings in white by roca

Live from HIX: Roca showcases new smart products

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Live from HIX: Roca showcases new smart products

It’s all about smart design and sustainability on stand 4 with Roca – from the fabrication of the stand itself, to the brand’s latest products and projects on display…

Roca, known for design led bathroom products which combine innovation and product knowledge with a respect for the environment, have kept sustainability as its guiding ethos.

contemporary Roca bathroom fittings in white by roca

This is reflected not only through the products on display at HIX, but also in the fabrication of their stand, which has been designed with sustainability at the heart. Materials used include recycled copper, acrylic and plastics. Parts of the stand will also be repurposed for future events, to ensure its longevity.

The hospitality industry has seen an increased emphasis on hygiene with unprecedented demand for non-contact products in hotels and restaurants. Roca’s selection of products on display at HIX highlight the brand’s touchless solutions, such as the EP-1 and EP-2 electronic operating plates which offer touchless flushing capabilities for wall-hung and back-to-wall WC’s. With a stylish, contemporary design and easy installation, they are simply activated by the wave of a hand, providing an extra layer of safety and reassurance within the hotel or restaurant bathroom.

Roca’s range of electronic basin mixers, including the L70 and Loft collections, feature an infrared sensor which activates the water flow when presence is detected and shuts off automatically when the hands are removed, avoiding direct contact. The lack of contact not only improves hygiene, it also prevents the build-up of droplets and fingerprints on its surface, resulting in a cleaner product for longer. Roca’s electronic basin mixers offer a hygienic and effective solution to fight the spread bacteria and to reduce the use of water in hospitality settings.

A modern hotel bathroom not only stands out for its state-of-the-art technology, it also offers functionality, comfort and a stylish design aesthetic. The ground-breaking new In-Wash In-Tank toilet meets all three requirements and provides state-of-the-art technology, without compromising on its main function: bringing a total hygiene experience to the WC.

While coloured ceramics may remain a controversial subject, Roca’s luxurious bathroom collections are the ideal solution to create a harmonious and memorable space. Discover Roca’s Beyond, Inspira and Ruy Ohtake basins, available in unique colours and finishes, and designed with organic lines and a timeless aesthetic in mind. The result: beautifully sculpted exclusive basins, to transform any hotel bathroom into an elegantly completed space.

Roca also continues to innovate with its brassware portfolio thanks to the introduction of two new finishes to its stunning Insignia and Naia ranges. Complete with Everlux finish, the two new additions are now available in stylish rose gold and brushed titanium black. Also on display on Roca’s stand at HIX is the Carelia, Pals and Cala brassware collection in chrome. All these ranges offer unique and stylish design options.

“We’re delighted to be exhibiting at the much anticipated HIX event,” commented David Bromell, Head of Marketing, Roca. “We’ll be showcasing some of our latest products, including our innovative In-Wash In-Tank Smart WC, which combines the personal hygiene functions of In-Wash, with the unique integrated cistern of our In-Tank technology. These innovations sit alongside collections which embrace the latest possibilities in materials and colours, to support the design process through significant customisation options, and include our award-winning basin collection designed by Ruy Ohtake.”

While Roca’s Cratos shower trays manufactured in Senceramic® give us all the benefits of an extra-slim design, it also invites the user to enjoy different natural textures which are warm to the touch. The material Senceramic® is made of a unique mixture of high quality vitreous china and enamel, creating a textured finish in the production process. Not only are these shower trays beautiful to look at, but the textured surface also provides strong anti-slip properties.

Roca’s innovative Smart Shower is another product being showcased on their stand that combines design with technology and sustainability. It uses smart technology to provide a unique showering experience, with easy to use, customisable settings, the Smart Shower is a beneficial addition to any bathroom design.

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

Trip lighting from LEDS C4

Live from HIX: LEDS C4 presents ‘best choice’ of new products

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Live from HIX: LEDS C4 presents ‘best choice’ of new products

LEDS C4 is presenting its ‘best choice’ of new products at Hotel Interiors Experience (HIX). Editor Hamish Kilburn heads over to stand U36 to learn more about the Tubs, Trip and Noway collections…

Trip lighting from LEDS C4

LEDS C4 is at Hotel Interiors Experience (HIX) this week in London. The lighting company over on stand U36 at this year’s event – and has also lent a few items to Hotel Designs on stand U54. LEDS C4 is an official sponsor of this year’s edition, supporting the organisation with an interesting series of discussions involving famous names such as Tom Dixon. For this London event, the brand will highlight some of the best sellers from its Decorative Collection catalogue – and here’s what caught our eye…

Tubs

The design by Nahtrang Design is a set of geometric lines that make versatility its main strength, with almost endless composition possibilities. Its linear forms combine to create visual poetry in the form of latticework. The Tubs collection has four families: pendant, table, wall and floor. Each piece is a living element that can be infinitely extended; they can also be built in smaller versions that adapt to more limited spaces.

Recently, the collection was extended with a new felt fitting, providing spaces with a greater decorative element and improved acoustic quality.

Trip

LEDS C4 has opted for the Trip collection at the HIX event: a family of wall lights that decorates and illuminates. This soft, diffuse and asymmetric light point adapts easily to any space: “When the piece and the light effect it produces are designed in full harmony, the possible applications of the luminaire are endless”, explains LEDS C4.

Trip is intended to decorate with its mere presence. To do so, it’s available in two sizes (300 and 460 mm), in metallic gold and black, and there is the option of combining two or three luminaires. It’s made from steel and aluminium.

The glass version, TRIP GLASS, connects the design of the piece with light effects, and transparency is the key to its design. It comes in three diffuser colours: Amber, Fumé and Opal. Measuring 270mm, it uses E14 bulbs with IP20 protection.

Noway

LEDS C4 will also present the Noway collection, which is now available this year with a new pendant version. Not only does Noway boast a character based on simplicity and purity, but it also provides visual comfort through high-quality indirect lighting.

Noway, which is a design by Francesco Vilaró, is a luminaire with notable dematerialisation, fully ceding relevance to the light through a surprising effect of weightlessness and lightness that helps it offer high visual comfort with minimal material. This collection offers different options, from purer versions to other more complex choices, playing with a double shade (the colours of which can be combined) and with light effects to provide more visual presence. It’s available in black and gold finishes, with or without a floor counterweight.

LEDS C4, which will also display its Tubs lighting products on Hotel Designs’ stand on U54, is one of our recommended suppliers and regularly feature 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: LEDS C4

contemporary seating design with arte wall coverings

Live from HIX: Arte unveils L’Invite collection of wallcoverings

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Live from HIX: Arte unveils L’Invite collection of wallcoverings

Inspired by the world of French Haute Couture and fashion, L’invite is the latest collection from Arte. From Greek scenes to French Toile de Jouy, these elegant new additions to the brand’s portfolio, on display on stand 58 caught our attention. Pauline Brettell went over to have a closer look…

contemporary seating design with arte wall coverings

L’invite is the latest collection from Arte, and is an elegant wallcoverings collection consisting of six designs full of geometric patterns, Greek scenes and elegant plains. Neoclassical in style, L’Invite offers a modern colour palette of soft pastels, as well as deeper blues, greens, and earthy tones across clever imitations of natural textiles and textures, including rattan, lace, woven paper and French Toile de Jouy.

Washable, lightfast, and durable, this collection of non-woven designs is perfect for both residential and commercial use, and areas with high traffic. The range of designs offer a surprising trompe de l’oeil effect; each with a layered and textural finish, giving the impression of touches of lace, natural fibres, and rattan, as well as woven jacquard patterns – all of which add a play of colour and subtle nuances of light and shade.

The Designs:

Le Sommet – This playful zigzag pattern takes you to unprecedented heights, breathing innovation thanks to the geometric motifs inspired from around the globe. The zigzag motif draws the eyes, giving a feeling of height and elegance with a palette that includes more muted natural shades through to bold blues and deep red.

Le Papier Tissé – Le Papier Tissé is inspired by the subtle patterns within woven paper. The fine structure of the paper strips presents the layers of natural fibres, with each linear detail giving a subtle play of slight colour nuances and delicate textural interest. Available in a soft colour palette of natural hues including lavender, pistachio, honey and eggshell.

Le Rotin – This tone-on-tone pattern is a natural imitation of rattan, barely distinguishable from the real thing, and evoking a contemporary hand-woven aesthetic with a nod to nostalgia. Through the imperfect variegation of fibres, is a nuanced shadow play of light and dark, with the coloured background enhancing this effect.

Le Mythe – This unusual wallpaper takes you back to the rich past of the Greeks with stately temples and mysterious myths. The monochrome design is inspired by French Toile de Jouy, a fabric known for detailed, romantic designs and replicated here as a wallpaper, evoking the printed fabric finish on the wall.

bedroom in neutral tones and natural textures with walpaper Le Mythe by Arte

Image credit: Arte

Le Prestige – Le Prestige exudes luxury with its layered patterned design that takes its inspiration from lace and jacquard woven textiles, while at the same time being durable and hardwearing. The perfect balance of delicacy and strength. It plays with small, geometric shapes in combination with relief inks.

Cream sheepskin carpet and neutral tones with wooden surfaces with Arte Le Prestige wallcovering

Image credit: Arte

L’Extase – Closed, geometric shapes capture the eye in this mobile pattern with detailed and intricate patterns that offer a nod to fine lace, creating an instant feeling of luxury.

> Since you’re here, why not check out more designs from Arte?

Arte 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: Arte 

aerial view of twin island resort in the maldives

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island to unveil grand relaunch

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island to unveil grand relaunch

Following an expansive multi-million dollar renovation, the iconic Maldives twin-island resort, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, continues to deliver authentic barefoot luxury with reimagined spacious water villas, reinvigorated culinary venues and innovative guest experiences…

aerial view of twin island resort in the maldives

Following on from ongoing redesigns, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island’s extensive multi-year makeover continues, as the award-winning project turns the page to write its next chapter in its expansive multi-million dollar refurbishment. With plans to debut its grand relaunch in February 2022, the brand continues to elevate its signature hospitality with thoughtful experiences and refreshed interiors.

over water villa in the maldives with white parasol and outdoor furniture at conrad maldives rangali

Image credit: Conrad Hotels & Resorts

The unveiling of the revitalised space will resonate with the aspirations of a new era of luxury travellers, while providing the perfect setting for loyal guests to craft new memories. Proudly the first international resort brand to arrive in the Maldives and soon to complete 25 years in time for the grand relaunch in 2022, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island was, and continues to be, a pioneer amongst Maldives’ 150 resorts. Renowned for delivering authentic barefoot luxury and leading the way as the ‘Island of Firsts’, the twin-island property is home to the world’s first undersea restaurant Ithaa, first underwater bedroom set within the two-level residence The Muraka, and first twin island resort experience in the Maldives, amongst others.

“We are delighted to announce the next chapter of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island and look forward to taking guests through the evolution of this special resort with the launch of newly designed water villas, refreshed restaurants, new experiences, brand new Teens Club and various other exciting additions,” said Carla Puverel, General Manager, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. “As the ‘Island of Firsts’ we pride ourselves on remaining innovative and offering a level of personalised service unique to our resort. The extensive renovations which began in 2019 demonstrates our commitment to investing in our guest experience which continues to build on our legacy.”

wooden deck and white parasols overlooking the pool and the sea at conrad maldives

Image credit: Conrad Hotels & Resorts

Marking the final chapter in this extensive multi-year renovation, 2022 will see significant enhancements across the resort, including the refreshment of 50 of the Overwater Villas. Dedicated to couples and honeymooners, the water villas in Rangali Island will be transformed into luxurious havens of comfort and style. All villas will be fully revitalised to include stylish new interiors, combining integrated indoor-outdoor living spaces with an uninterrupted view of the Indian Ocean and direct access to a private sun deck. From spacious Sunrise and Sunset Water Villas measuring 86 square metres, to the ultimate overwater haven Two Bedroom Rangali Ocean Pavilion with Pool measuring 451 square metres, this adult only island caters to the evolving needs of every traveller.

Attention has also been paid to elevating the dining experiences of the guests, with makeovers for three of the bars and restaurants. The renovation of the popular all-day dining buffet restaurant featuring live cooking stations, gives the concept of a culinary world tour a fresh perspective from breakfast through to creative evening cocktails. Guests can choose to dine indoor amidst the interactive show kitchens and powder sand floor, or experience the outdoor dining under the swaying palm trees and gentle breeze from this beachfront restaurant.

The Rangali Bar remains the chilled-out social hub of the resort, and its recently completed renovation showcases contemporary interiors, warm furniture tones and a communal sand-floored bar overlooking the lagoon, and is the perfect place to get together over lunch, dinner or cocktails. The Vilu Restaurant, another long-time favourite for loyal guests with its open-air design and location on the edge of the lagoon, will also be refurbished to offer guests a newly enhanced space.

Key to this stage of the refurbishment, are the expanded and refreshed facilities for guests across all generations. The introduction of a brand new Teens Club on Rangali-Finolhu Island, the livelier family centric island, will offer engaging experiences for energetic adolescents and is set to be an added attraction to families traveling with this age group. There are also plans to enhance the existing kids club, Majaa Explorer’s Hub, that will welcome young travellers with a brand new space located next to the new teens club. Both occupying an expansive complex offering exciting new activities.

 Divers and ocean lovers of all ages will enjoy an refurbished Dive Centre, relocated on the water’s edge to enhance guest experience and giving guests easier access to diving lessons and excursions. There will also be a brand new and fully equipped gym available at the adults only Rangali island. A great addition to complement the gym on the main island, offering couples and honeymooners their private work out space. A revamped Overwater Spa, on site to invigorate the body, mind and soul, has been designed to cater to all demands, from soulful meditation to absolute therapeutic pampering.

“Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is one of the key resorts in our luxury portfolio across Asia Pacific and a shining example of how we bring to life truly inspired experiences across Conrad Hotels & Resorts,” said Nils-Arne Schroeder, global brand head, Conrad Hotels & Resorts and vice president, Luxury & Lifestyle, Hilton, Asia-Pacific. “The amount of investment, time and effort put into enhancing every part of the guest experience alone signifies a commitment by the team to deliver even more authentic and purposeful hospitality to travellers from all around the world. We look forward with anticipation to the completion of the refurbishment and I am confident the resort will be top of mind for luxury travellers seeking to embark on a meaningful journey to create new travel memories in one of the most iconic destinations in the world when it unveils in 2022.”

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island’s next chapter brings elevated guests experiences through the enhanced brand new spaces, along with the refurbished existing facilities. Inspired itineraries offer unique experiences to guests like swimming with whale sharks and manta rays, turtle safari, sunset dolphin cruises and coral planting in the house reef with the marine biologist. These extensive renovations, thoughtful experiences and upgraded culinary offering will bring Conrad Maldives Rangali Island to the top of its game, ensuring it continues to offer authentic barefoot luxury across its twin islands that guests have long enjoyed since the resort landed in the shores of the Maldives.

Main image credit: Conrad Hotels & Resorts / Yashrib Ahmed

Warner Bros. Hotel - Hotel Designs

World’s first Warner Bros. hotel opens on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
World’s first Warner Bros. hotel opens on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island

The world’s first WB hotel is situated on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island, steps away from the Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi Theme Park. The 257-key hotel invites guests on a ‘journey through the world of Warner Bros.’ most iconic films and television series…

Warner Bros. Hotel - Hotel Designs

Miral, Abu Dhabi’s leading curator of magnetic experiences in collaboration with Warner Bros., home to one of the most well-known and successful collections of brands and characters in the world, has announced The WB Abu Dhabi, located on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island, the first ever Warner Bros. themed hotel, part of Curio Collection by Hilton, has officially opened its doors to guests. The hotel allows guests to see their favourite stories and characters brought to life through unique hospitality experiences that only the rich history and storied legacy of Warner Bros. could offer. 

“This is yet another great moment for us, with The WB Abu Dhabi hotel opening on Yas Island, further positioning it as a top global destination for leisure, entertainment and business,” said HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Miral. “We are very proud of our long-standing partnership with both Warner Bros. Themed Entertainment and Hilton, bringing world firsts and global hospitality offerings and experiences to Abu Dhabi.”

Featuring more than 400 curated images and film and TV props, guests at the world’s first Warner Bros. hotel will be treated to a journey of discovery through film and television, enjoying Warner Bros.’ rich history and library of timeless productions at every touchpoint from arrival to check-out. While dining in one of five restaurants on the property, you can listen as the piano from “Westworld,” the hit HBO science fiction TV show, plays a familiar tune. Visitors can stroll through the lobby or admire 360-degree city and sea views alongside their favorite props and costumes from Warner Bros. films and TV shows.  Kids and families can ring up one of their favourite Looney Tunes characters for a room service treat brought to them by the Wascally Wabbit, Bugs Bunny himself.

“Our dream has come true with the grand opening to the first ever Warner Bros. branded hotel. Our incredible partners at Miral and Hilton, have helped us make this vision a reality for our fans around the world,” explained Pam Lifford, President of WarnerMedia Global Brands and Experiences. “We always strive to be fan focused and have developed an exceptional hospitality experience for them to further connect with the iconic Warner Bros. brands, franchises, and characters they know and love. Guests visiting Warner Bros. World right next door will have the ultimate encore to their park experience by relaxing and treating themselves to a stay at The WB Abu Dhabi.”

Lobby area inside Warner Bros Hotel in Abu DhabiJochem-Jan Sleiffer, President, Hilton, Middle East, Africa & Turkey, added: “With the opening of The WB Abu Dhabi hotel as part of Curio Collection by Hilton, we continue our successful partnership with Miral on Yas Island.  This is the second of three hotels we are opening together, following on from the opening of Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island earlier this year, with DoubleTree by Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island Residences soon to come.  This property is a perfect representation of what Curio Collection by Hilton is all about, unique locations and experiences that carry their own distinct identity as a concept underpinned by the same upscale Hilton service.”

Guests of The WB Abu Dhabi hotel begin their story as they pull up to the hotel and are greeted by digital screens that span the height of the building, playing over 35 different pieces of original content created for the hotel. Before entering the hotel, visitors won’t want to miss the iconic “Friends” fountain, or snaping a pic with the all-new Batmobile from the upcoming highly anticipated film, The Batman. Guests will then enter the lobby and be drawn to the hotel’s uniquely designed lobby columns. A spectacular Living Archive (spiral staircase) also resides in the lobby and will house an evolving collection of items dedicated to the vast depth and history of WB’s role in entertainment. It will showcase original films and a number of Warner Bros. props such as Cowboy boots from the 1956 film Giant, worn by James Dean, Michael Keaton’s cowl from 1989 film, Batman, original drawing from The Great Gatsby and so much more. As guests continue their journey, the storytelling experience is further enriched with guest room corridors displaying a curated gallery of artwork.

Furnishing with nods to Warner Bros. legacy of rich story telling make up each of the hotel’s 257 rooms. Three themes have inspired the guestroom artwork. The first theme, “From Script to Screen,” highlights standout moments from Warner Bros.’ movies and shows and documents the journey from the written page to the final shot. The second theme, “Artist Confidential,” celebrates a variety of talent in front of and behind the camera in some of Warner Bros.’ favourite productions. The third theme, “The Vault” features rarely seen images from Warner Bros.’ most memorable archives.

Accompanying the hotel’s unique design is a broad range of world class food and beverage offerings featuring five dining options catering to both adults and children. Craft Services, located in the lobby lounge, offers a relaxing coffee break after a busy day, while Sidekicks is the perfect family friendly place for socialising and interacting while enjoying a flavorful international menu. For those lounging by the pool, The Matinee provides a casual dining option for guest of all ages, complete with a dive-in pool theatre and Mediterranean menu. Additionally, guests looking to indulge in an elegant dining experience, can visit The Director’s Club offering a sophisticated meatery where charcoal ovens, perfectly aged cuts, and a menu selection of dishes inspired to reflect the movie scene setting and supporting the whole cast, serve the mature palate, or enjoy an experience at The Overlook, a fabulous lounge with a relaxing infinity pool and beautiful 360-degree city, theme park and sea views.

The hotel is home to a host of leisure amenities for guests to enjoy, whether that’s lounging by the family pool area, working out in the fitness centre, relaxing in the spa, exploring the artwork and props or shopping in the Warner Bros. store, the Prop Shop. For younger guests, the Kid’s Club will offer a vibrant and playful space designed to bring Warner Bros.’ characters to life. Some of WB’s world-renowned characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and others will participate in entertaining activities throughout the hotel providing guest memories that will last a lifetime. The hotel also caters for business meetings and events with a large 394 square-metre multi-function ballroom and expansive meeting room facilities perfect for events.

> Since you’re here, why not read about W Hotels arrival on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi?

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

dubai skyline with new marriott w hotel

Marriott signs agreement to open W Dubai

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Marriott signs agreement to open W Dubai

Marriott has signed an agreement with wasl Hospitality & Leisure LLC to bring the W Hotels brand to Dubai’s sought-after Jumeriah Beach coastline. Set to become an ‘iconic addition’ to the Dubai skyline, the 318-key W Dubai will combine the culture of the W brand with the boundless energy of the city. Here’s what we know…

dubai skyline with new marriott w hotel

Marriott International, Inc. has just announced it has signed an agreement with wasl Hospitality & Leisure LLC, to bring the W Hotels Worldwide brand to Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach coastline. Slated to open in 2022, W Dubai – Mina Seyahi is set to become an urban escape that will bring the eclectic design, unconventional luxury, and innovative programming that travellers have come to expect from the W Hotels brand.

“We are seeing increasing demand for luxury lifestyle brands in Dubai, and with its mix of culture and high-energy lifestyle, the emirate is the perfect destination for the trend-setting W Hotels brand,” said Candice D’Cruz, Vice President – Luxury Brands, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International. “With its unexpected design and iconic, socially driven Whatever/Whenever® service, W Dubai – Mina Seyahi will become a destination within a destination.”

Located close to Dubai’s thriving leisure destinations, such as Dubai Marina and JBR Walk, W Dubai – Mina Seyahi is well-situated to offer guests a vibrant and playful escape. The 31-storey hotel is expected to feature 318 guestrooms, including 26 suites and an Extreme WOW Suite (W’s take on a Presidential Suite). The W Lounge (the brand’s signature take on the hotel lobby) is anticipated to draw inspiration from a Middle Eastern gathering place and will be a dynamic and lively space, where guests can mix and mingle over crafted cocktails and light bites. Anticipated plans include a new sunset destination experience by the pool overlooking the stunning Mina Seyahi bay, as well as a signature outlet on the 31st floor, with unsurpassed views of Dubai’s world-famous Palm Jumeirah Island.

FUEL, the W brand’s high-energy, social take on wellness that allows guests to focus on mind and body, will be at the heart of the BAR-B spa, which is expected to feature three treatment rooms and a beauty bar. The FIT Fitness Centre will see UK brand 1Rebel, the ultimate sport-luxe fitness experience, make its debut in the UAE, with a 2500-square-metre, dual-storey studio in the hotel.

“We are thrilled to strengthen our relationship with wasl Group to open W Dubai – Mina Seyahi in such an important leisure destination in Dubai,” said Sandeep Walia, Chief Operating Officer, Middle East, Marriott International. “This new hotel underscores our commitment to growing our luxury portfolio in the Middle East, while signifying the demand for the W Hotels brand in the region.”

Marriott International currently operates six properties and residences under the W Hotels brand across the Middle East. W Dubai – Mina Seyahi is anticipated to be the brand’s second property in Dubai.

Since you are here why don’t you read about W Hotel in Changsha

 

Main image credit: Marriott International

tropical villa with infinity pool at gran melia lombok

Melia Hotels set to expand in Indonesia

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Melia Hotels set to expand in Indonesia

Already one of the hotel group’s most sought after destinations, the opening of Gran Meliá Lombok in 2024 will mark the second Gran Meliá property in Indonesia. Here’s what we know about the hotel that is expected to shelter ‘pure luxury’…

tropical villa with infinity pool at gran melia lombok

Meliá Hotels International is planning to bring a touch of Spanish luxury to Indonesia with the opening of Gran Meliá Lombok in 2024.  Meliá Lombok will be located at the beautiful Torok Bay in the south of the island, surrounded by green hills and a beach with crystal clear waters, the perfect destination to disconnect and relax. The hotel will boast 22 luxury beachside villas and another 105 villas on the mountainside, all with private infinity pools and stunning ocean views. Careful attention will be paid to the architectural design, utilising natural elements that represent the essence of the destination. The hotel will blend seamlessly with its natural environment, allowing guests to fully immerse themselves in the surroundings. An abundance of large windows will maximise natural light to promote the indoor/outdoor lifestyle, while elegant furniture and warm tones will convey a sense of pure luxury.

Luxury tropical villa featuring natural materials and textures on lombok

Image credit: Melia Hotels

Lombok is an island to the east of Bali with a pristine natural environment which has become increasingly popular as a travel destination over the past decade. Its immense rice fields, rugged landscape and the famous Mount Rinjani volcano all form part of the natural attractions of the island, which is surrounded by endless beaches, and turquoise waters ideal for surfers. The entire hotel has been designed as an authentic sanctuary for wellbeing. From the beachside YHI Spa offering relaxing rituals and treatments, to the well equipped fitness centre, Gran Meliá Lombok provides guests with everything they need to maintain their wellness routine. The hotel will also offer a kids club to keep children entertained and an extensive programme of activities designed for the whole family.

In keeping with the Gran Meliá brand, the hotel will feature world class dining options that combine the best local ingredients and techniques to offer guests authentic Indonesian dining experiences. The spacious lounge with scenic ocean views will provide the perfect setting for couples planning an exotic destination wedding.

Gran Meliá Lombok will become the second Gran Meliá brand hotel in Indonesia after Gran Meliá Jakarta, a flagship urban oasis situated in the Golden Triangle of the central business district of Kuningan, in Jakarta. The hotel boasts an iconic architecture inspired by Spanish heritage with renovated contemporary decoration, offering the finest dining experience, such as the awarded gastronomic offerings of Chef Tomoaki at Yoshi Izakaya Japanese restaurant.

Main image credit: Melia Hotels

abstract painting in pinks and greens above hotel bed

The benefit of art in hotel design

730 565 Pauline Brettell
The benefit of art in hotel design

Following our spotlight on art last month, Hotel Designs has invited Frances Bildner from Frances Bildner Expressive Arts to explore the benefits of art in hotel design, from framed pieces in the lobby to colourful in-between spaces within the hotel journey… 

abstract painting in pinks and greens above hotel bed

During the last year whilst we have been more isolated, the power of art was more important than ever. The whole world needed to have a positive impact to help them through it. Unfortunately, during this period, many people suffered with feelings of isolation, and mental illness increased. Art has the power to change the way people think, and how they feel, especially during these stressful times. It can challenge, educate, and provoke change. Having an inspiring painting on your wall can brighten up your day. It can make work feel more manageable, and it can make home feel more joyful. It is a great pity that hospitals do not use more art for their patients to enjoy. It would facilitate wellbeing and add some colour to their white drab walls.

Companies are now investing in art more than ever. They understand the positive impact on management, employees and visitors. Interior Designers, Hotels and Property developers, all use art to help sell their homes, buildings and businesses. There is also an increased and growing awareness about the return of Art as an investment.

‘Art hotels’ have sprung up internationally, offering rooms with customised art, adding to the guest experience by creating an interior that is both individual, and filled with character and charm. This is a far cry from the generic rooms of the past. Some hotels offer artists exhibitions, while others use interior designers to start the process of collection and curation.

Fife Arms in Scotland, owned by the founders of renowned gallery Hauser and Wirth, use the gallery to acquire and curate the art which is key to their guest experience. The Artist Residence in Bristol is known for its bold, eclectic design, and a key element to this, is the successful pairing of contemporary art with historical character.

A hotel that is well known for its championing of the arts, is Beaverbrook. The estate houses a wealth of historical art treasures, which is curated by Beaverbrook’s creative director, Sir Frank Lowe. He has been responsible for the inspirational collection of works created by a whole host of artists from diverse generations and genres. These include work by contemporary stained glass artist Brian Clarke, as well as names like Gerhard Richter and Jean Cocteau.

Designed by Brian Clarke, the Coach House is a work of art in itself, with its vibrant and uplifting flower themed stained-glass panels and skylights, as well as ceramic tiles and mosaics made by Clarke to reflect the power and beauty of nature, the hills and woods that you can see for miles around. In his design of the spa, Clarke has created a total work of art: mouth-blown stained glass, Venetian glass mosaic, drifts of handmade ceramic cornflowers and poppies, tile work, and his paintings and prints all appear throughout, conspiring to produce a unified effect through light and colour, together with integral elements including the ceramic reception desk and spa fireplace.

“When they asked me to create an artistic environment for the spa at Beaverbrook the idea appealed to me greatly because I consciously seek through my art in buildings to uplift the soul – and the spa historically, since Roman times and before, has sought to do the same,” said Brian Clarke. “I derive considerable pleasure from thinking that the combination of the environment and the treatments that people receive there take away the weight of contemporary life which is often so grim.”

Installed above the doorway of the entrance to the Italian gardens, is a rare, original, stained-glass panel entitled “Engel” (1958) by Jean Cocteau, renowned poet, playwright, visual artist and avant-garde filmmaker, while hanging in the lobby is a tapestry by artist, Gerhard Richter. The work, entitled Abdu, is one of a group of four enormous tapestries created by the artist in 2009. It is based on one of his previous works and fuses the ancient Arab art of carpet weaving with high tech sophistication.

Restaurants such as Le Colombe d’Or in St Paul de Vence, have a long history of art adorning their walls. Artists who could not afford meals would give a painting in lieu of payment. From Miro, Braque and Chagall in the fifties, the collection also includes work by Picasso and Calder. Both the restaurant and the art have been frequented and enjoyed by creative spirits over the years. The art collection has continued to grow over time, with the latest work being a ceramic work by Irish artist Sean Scully for the swimming pool area.

Whether buying art for investment or for enhancing the environment, who can argue that a bright colourful and vital piece of art can substantially increase the joy in ones life. And we all need that!

Frances Bildner Expressive Arts, which is the result of many years in the business of providing fine art for public and private spaces, 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: Unsplash/Shop_Slo

blue and white bedroom with wooded surfaces at lost property hotel in london

First look: Lost Property in London’s Square Mile

730 565 Pauline Brettell
First look: Lost Property in London’s Square Mile

A brand-new Curio Collection by Hilton hotel, set to open its doors in spring 2022 in the City of London, reveals the very first photographs of its new design-led rooms and elegant interiors…

blue and white bedroom with wooded surfaces at lost property hotel in london

Lost Property St. Paul’s London, Curio Collection by Hilton, will be the first hotel under the brand in the Square Mile when it welcomes its first guests next year, following a dramatic renovation. The hotel joins almost 50 Curio Collection hotels trading or under development across Europe, and has been developed by leading property and real estate group Dominvs Group.

Situated in the middle of London’s financial heart and the new cultural hub of Culture Mile, the 145-key hotel will offer guests a bar, restaurant and café, and is located on the doorstep of St Paul’s Cathedral on Ludgate Hill, which is set to make it a favourite of tourists and business travellers alike.

“St Paul’s Cathedral is internationally recognised as one of London’s most treasured landmarks, and Lost Property St. Paul’s London, Curio Collection by Hilton will provide the perfect base from which to explore the capital,” said Patrick Fitzgibbon, Senior Vice President, Development, EMEA, Hilton. “Dominvs Group have been exceptional partners, and we’re pleased to be growing our central London portfolio with this elegant addition.”

strand station london artwork on the wall at Hiltons lost property hotel

Image credit: Curio Collection by Hilton

The guestrooms have been designed by Rani Ahluwalia, Creative Director of Key Interior and Designs, in partnership with Ica – Hospitality, Architecture & Interiors. The lavish, sophisticated designs are spread over the hotel’s six floors and 7,660m2 floor space. Drawing on the full design breadth afforded by the Curio Collection whilst extending it in new ways, the bedrooms are modern, design-conscious, and elegant. They blend classic features with high-quality furniture and a clean, crisp finish, giving the hotel a unique personality and character, which is  emphasised with bespoke artwork inspired by London’s lost stories in history.

“I’m delighted to finally reveal the inside of this beautiful new hotel,” said Rani Ahluwalia, Creative Director of Key Interiors and Designs. “Over the last two years, we sought to create a hotel with its own personality; an elegant, modern space combined with a sophisticated and comfortable finish. Curio Collection by Hilton is renowned for its stunning bespoke and appealing interiors, and we have found the balance that complements the historical traditional exterior of the building.”

The hotel is accentuated with deco and mid-century design, with shots of bold colour, sculptural pieces, and tactile materials that will offer a stylish sanctuary in the heart of the City of London. The interior’s neutral walls are elegantly contrasted with the furniture’s deep blues and warm timbers, with the fittings and trim finished in a lavish English brass. The colour palette and style is carried across into the bathrooms as well as through the hotel’s communal areas, including the restaurants and lobby.

While the interiors have been completely transformed, Dominvs Group has ensured the sensitive refurbishment of the building retains the external Grade II-listed grey stone façade, preserving the beautiful, traditional architectural heritage of the area. Only 100 metres from St Paul’s Cathedral, the hotel’s rooms facing north and east will have unrivalled views of the famous London landmark.

Curio Collection by Hilton is a global portfolio of more than 100 hotels and resorts, each hand-picked for its distinct character, appealing to travellers seeking one-of-a-kind discoveries and an independent hotel experience.

> Since you are here why not read more about the Royal Senses Curio Collection in Crete?

Main image credit: Curio Collection by Hilton

hotel lounge with eclectic lighting and natural finishes

Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts opens its first hotel in Hungary

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts opens its first hotel in Hungary

Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts has announced the opening of Crowne Plaza Budapest. Located in the heart of the Hungarian capital, the hotel is in a prime position for both locals, and those travelling to Budapest for business, leisure or a combination of the two…

hotel lounge with eclectic lighting and natural finishes

Designed to meet the needs of the modern business traveller, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts intrinsically understands the work/life balance, and this is brought to life across the brand, through a modern, distinct and purposeful design, featuring multi-functional zones, great food and drinks, and a warm and engaging approach to guest service. Crowne Plaza Budapest continues this tradition through both its design and its location.

Historically two separate cities, Buda and Pest, that joined in the 19th century, there are two unique characteristics that can been seen when exploring the city. Whether it’s the historic architecture and rolling hills of the west (Buda) or the business hub and trendy bars of the east (Pest) – there is something for everyone. Crowne Plaza Budapest is situated in the Pest (east) side of the city, alongside the iconic Nyugati train station, known for its design and construction by the renowned Eiffel Company. As the main travel hub for much of the international train travel coming in and out of the Hungarian capital, the building itself has recently undergone an extensive restoration project to return the late-19th Century structure to its former glory.  Adjacent to the hotel is the newly built Westend shopping centre, accessible directly through the hotel. Guests can visit the shopping centre’s three-hectares of roof garden on the top of the building, as well as all the stores and services available within.

contemporary hotel lobby design at crowne plaza budapest

Image credit: Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts

All 230 guestrooms and suites at the hotel have a distinctive modern design and layout to help encourage productivity, restoration, and to inspire guests. Guests will enjoy a noticeable sense of space with a layout that includes a desk area for work, a sofa for relaxation and a comfortable bed with high-quality bedding to promote a good night’s sleep – keeping that work/life balance high on the agenda.

hotel bedroom design with work space and desk

Image credit: Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts

Guests can also take full advantage of the hotel’s Plaza Workspace, a flexible space offering visitors and guests the opportunity to collaborate, meet colleagues, or work solo. The combination of flexible working and relaxation spaces, with food and drink options, enable guests to move seamlessly between work and downtime. Crowne Plaza Budapest also has an additional 13 meeting rooms and event spaces available to hire, and a Club Lounge with exclusive views from the private terrace overlooking the skyline of both Buda and Pest.

Roof terrace overlooking the Budapest skyline

Image credit: Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts

The onsite restaurant focusses on locally sourced, sustainable and healthy produce, helping guests refuel during their stay. Whether it’s the speciality coffee sourced from Hungarian-born coffee connoisseur Laszlo Banyai living in Costa Rica, or something sweet prepared by the award-winning Hungarian chain of confectionaries, Hiszteria, everything about the Axis Café and Lounge is aimed at introducing both international visitors and locals to the growing success of Hungarian gastronomy. In early 2022, the hotel will open a new rooftop restaurant called Cult, with a large terrace and panoramic views of the city.

“During 2020, we had time to reflect on the things that we take for granted and what has been missed through the lack of travel: the importance of human connection,” says Maurice Janssen, General Manager, Crowne Plaza Budapest. “There has been a distinctive shift in people’s mindset when it comes to business travel. No longer do hotel guests need to feel isolated in their rooms or confined to a business centre to feel productive, and no longer do locals need to be hesitant to walk into a hotel lobby to have a coffee and do some emails for fear of being asked for their room number – the spaces within our hotel are open to all, and we are very much looking forward to hosting our future guests and locals alike.”

Also in Europe, the brand recently opened its Crowne Plaza Nice – Grand Arenas, located on the stunning French Riviera as it continues to grow around the world with 409 Crowne Plaza hotels now open and a further 101 in the pipeline.

> Since you are here, why not read more about what’s happening in Budapest?

Main image credit: Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts

art deco design at the beaumont hotel lobby

The Beaumont unveils first phase of extensive renovation

730 565 Pauline Brettell
The Beaumont unveils first phase of extensive renovation

The team at ReardonSmith Architects pave the way to the next chapter at The Beaumont, reviving the art deco legacy of this Mayfair grande dame. Pauline Brettell takes a look, beyond the lobby, to soak in some of the sensitively restored glamour inside this London jewel…

art deco design at the beaumont hotel lobby

The much-garlanded Beaumont hotel in London’s Mayfair has re-opened its doors, revealing a gentle evolution in several public and guest spaces, the first phase in a programme of works that will culminate in a significant guestroom and public area extension to the property, due for completion in early 2023. ReardonSmith Architects, the original architects on the hotel which opened in 2014, is leading the project team, working in collaboration with New York-based designer, Thierry Despont.

“The reconfiguration and redesign work to date is an exciting first phase in the plan that we have agreed with our client, Beaumont Hotel Property Ltd, to ‘revive the legend’ of The Beaumont hotel,” said James Twomey, Director of ReardonSmith Architects. “It is a sensitive continuum of the hotel’s spirit and all changes, both front and back-of-house, have been made to support the staff in a hotel that is recognised for its outstanding service.”

art deco hotel lobby with wood panelling at the beaumont hotel

Image credit: The Beaumont / ZACandZAC

The lobby, which spans the entire front façade of the hotel, has been sensitively enhanced and given new purpose, leading in one direction to the new Magritte Bar and in the other to the concierge and reception desks. Here, a timber panelled portal has been introduced to frame the lift lobby and a grand hall which will eventually offer seamless entry into the new extension. Throughout the lobby, existing internal finishes have been revived, including the distinctive chequerboard marble floor and cherrywood panelling, while new fabrics soften the area.

art deco inspired le magritte bar at the Beaumont Hotel, London

Image credit: The Beaumont / ZACandZAC

As befits a hotel loved for its transatlantic Art Deco legacy, the brand-new Le Magritte Bar is inspired by the American bars that took 1920s London and Paris by storm. The architects repurposed and extended what had been a guest-only lounge into the 30-seater public bar, framing a fully glazed entrance with imposing backlit alabaster columns. Within, the space is entirely clad in European fiddleback cherrywood and a leather-topped ebony bar takes pride of place behind which hangs the Magritte artwork that gives the bar its name. The ambience is inviting and glamorous. To the side, a glazed door has been introduced to allow staff to service the new outdoor terrace.

At the heart of the ground floor, the former bar has undergone a complete transformation to create Gatsby’s Room. Extended, reproportioned and redesigned, it is an entirely new offering from The Beaumont – an intimate lounge for light dining through the day, afternoon teas to the sound of a grand piano, evening aperitifs and post-dinner drinks.

The Colony Grill has kept its clubby Twenties New York atmosphere. A new sommelier station has been introduced and elsewhere some of the finishes have been replaced or revived. New murals and artworks are a striking addition.

In addition, the hotel’s spa now benefits from an enlarged gym accommodating state-of-the-art fitness equipment as well as a fourth treatment room and a relocated and redesigned male changing room, while, on the first floor, two guestrooms have been converted into a Mayfair Suite and a third room upgraded to a Superior Room which may be linked to the suite.

Situated in the heart of Mayfair and the West End, The Beaumont embodies the spirit of the grand hotels of the 1920s, yet remains on an intimate scale, with just 50 guestrooms and 22 suites and studios, including Sir Antony Gormley’s ROOM, an inhabitable work of public art. Since opening in 2014, this privately owned and independently run five-star hotel has established an enviable reputation for its thoughtful, friendly service and beautifully appointed accommodation, winning many accolades, including the 2020 Condé Nast Traveller Gold List editors’ favourite hotels in the world.

The journey continues…

Main image credit: The Beaumont / ZACandZAC

luxury bedroom in shades of grey with orange accent

Cult Hotels and Hypnos collaborate in pursuit of sustainable luxury

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Cult Hotels and Hypnos collaborate in pursuit of sustainable luxury

Cult Hotels’ ambition to bring its game-changing new concept to the market includes providing guests with an exceptional sleep experience with Hypnos Contract Beds…

luxury bedroom in shades of grey with orange accent

Cult Hotels is the brainchild of Julian Dunkerton, Co-Founder of fashion giant Superdry and the highly successful Cotswold’s hotel and restaurant portfolio, The Lucky Onion. Dunkerton said it was his ‘ambition’ to bring a ‘game-changing’ new concept to the market, which included providing his guests with an exceptional sleep experience by working closely with Hypnos Contract Beds.

The George in Cheltenham is the first hotel within the design led Cult Hotels collection. Located across five Grade II listed Regency townhouses, the 46-key hotel has undergone a total refurbishment. You’ll still find sweeping staircases, ornate coving, and elegant panelling, but they’re now paired with bold colours, mismatched textures, and industrial design.

statement wallpaper in moody hues in a cult hotel guestroom

Image credit: No.131/The Lucky Onion

As someone who sees life as a world of opportunity, Dunkerton is clear that Cult Hotels, named after his first fashion brand, fills a gaping hole in the market. Centrally located with easy access to great restaurants, Cult Hotels aims to provide its guests with wonderful rooms at affordable price points. The quality of the refurbishment is impressive, and all their rooms feature top of the range Hypnos beds, epic showers, and super-fast WiFi. A moody palette of deep blues and greys, brightly tiled bathrooms and a selection of Penguin paperback classics at each bedside all add to the boutique vibe.

We’ve focussed on the raw ingredients and cut out the fluff,explained Dunkerton. “What we are offering is a truly amazing stay. Brilliant as boltholes for business travellers and anything-but-ordinary bases for weekend escapes.”

The Lucky Onion was founded in 2006, on the ethos of great design, high quality food and drink and exceptional service. “Cult Hotels and The Lucky Onion family are all about delivering an exceptional experience to their guests and we are delighted to be a part of their story,” said Carolyn Mitchell, sales and marketing director, Hypnos Contract Beds. “You can count on a fabulous night’s sleep in any one of their properties, as each room is furnished with a Hypnos Lansdowne Cashmere mattress for the ultimate in comfort and luxury.”

No. 131 is The Lucky Onion’s flagship hotel and restaurant, providing the perfect balance of sophistication and fun. A trio of beautiful Georgian townhouses set in the heart of Cheltenham, it is classic on the outside and contemporary British on the inside. The 36 guestrooms are all styled with bold, statement prints, period bathrooms and sumptuous Hypnos beds for a touch of old-fashioned luxury.

luxury hotel bedroom in shades of grey with bold patterned cushions

Image credit: Cult Hotels

Uniquely combining the luxury of a hotel with the independence of a bed and breakfast, No.38 The Park is a home away from home. The 13 individually designed guestrooms feature home comforts with luxury ensuite bathrooms. A peaceful setting for couples and families alike. The Wheatsheaf is an idyllic ivy-clad British Inn located at the heart of the beautiful sleepy Cotswold village of Northleach, providing the perfect countryside retreat. The 14 guestrooms are classically decorated with an industrial twist, again each with an enormous emperor size Hypnos bed, deep freestanding bathtub and beautiful period bathroom making them the ideal escape from the daily grind.

As well as its determination to deliver unrivalled comfort and hospitality, The Lucky Onion and Hypnos also share a commitment to sustainability. Dunkerton said: “Sustainability is important to me as a human being,” pointing towards the purchase of electricity from the right company as being a simple and easy way of making a huge difference to the environment. “I’m proud to say we were an early adopter of renewable energy. We use Ecotricity – what they do is spectacular. We all have an obligation to start this journey.”

The same ethos is applied when selecting bed suppliers to partner with. Hypnos Contract Beds was the obvious choice, it is an industry-leader when it comes to matters of sustainability and the environment, priding itself on producing beds which are 100 per cent recyclable and never need go to landfill as a result.

“We’re sustainable in every part of our business and we aim to help set the sustainability standards for the bed industry,” said Richard Naylor, Sustainable Development Director, Hypnos Beds. “We make the most comfortable beds in the world, and that comfort is delivered with the utmost integrity.”

As a pioneer of sustainable bed making, Hypnos was the first carbon neutral bedmaker in the world. As a family owned business and Royal Warrant Holder, Hypnos is committed to making beds in a way that can be enjoyed by generations to come. Each bed is handmade in England, using over 100 years of knowledge and passion in design and craftsmanship to build the most comfortable, stylish, and sustainable beds. In 2020, Hypnos was delighted to be presented The Queens Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development.

Hypnos 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: Cult hotels

Rooftop render of hotel in Covent Garden

Berlin comes to London: AMANO to open new hotel in 2022

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Berlin comes to London: AMANO to open new hotel in 2022

The German boutique lifestyle hotel brand, The AMANO Group, announced it will open its debut hotel in London in 2022. Hotel AMANO Covent Garden promises to bring the cool and vibrant energy of Berlin to the heart of London. Here’s what else we know…

Rooftop render of hotel in Covent Garden

Located on Covent Garden’s Drury Lane, a luxury hotel will emerge next year marking the first international destination from Berlin-based hotel brand, The AMANO Group, which currently has eight hotels in Berlin, one in Munich, and one in Düsseldorf.

Render of exterior of AMANO Covent GardenAMANO hotels offer sophisticated urban living in a central location at a fair price, and are carefully integrated into the cultural life of a city. Extrovert by nature and unafraid to be different, the hotels are renowned for their distinctive design and immersive drinks and dining experiences.

Formerly a 1980s office building known as Drury House, this 141-room property is the first of multiple AMANO hotels set to open in London. Hotel AMANO Covent Garden will offer a new destination for Londoners to socialise in, as well as visitors coming to the city. Here you’ll find a basement bar, restaurant, sky bar and rooftop terrace with impressive city views and DJs spinning music on weekends.

Throughout the property, we are being told to expect dark moody tones and unique design features, which have been imagined by London-based design studio, Woods Bagot, the lead architect and interior designer behind the new opening.

Render of luxury lobby in AMANO's first hotel in the UK

Image credit: The AMANO Group

“As a Berlin-based company, opening our first international property in London was always a natural step for us,” said Ariel Schiff, Co-founder of The AMANO Group. “Like Berlin, London is a dynamic city known for its thriving nightlife and multicultural community. We felt the spirit of the AMANO brand would blend in well here. We’re excited to offer guests a unique hotel and leisure experience, bringing a taste of Berlin to London.”

With a wealth of tourist hotspots on its doorstep, like the recently renovated Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Hotel AMANO Covent Garden will make a great base for solo and business travellers, couples, and families wanting to explore the capital. Guests can choose from three room categories (cosy, comfy and roomy) to suit a range of budgets.

Watch this space.

Main image credit: The AMANO Group

Contemporary bathroom design and fittings in the londoner hotel

Case study: Designing the bathrooms inside The Londoner

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Case study: Designing the bathrooms inside The Londoner

Synonymous with luxury, Edwardian Hotels’ The Londoner, which takes urban hospitality in Leicester Square to new lavish heights, specified AXOR brassware throughout the ‘super boutique’ hotel – from its guestrooms and suites to its destination spa (and all wellness areas in-between)…

Contemporary bathroom design and fittings in the londoner hotel

London’s first super boutique hotel in Leicester Square, The Londoner is a collection of spaces, tastes and experiences brought to life across 16 storeys. Part of Edwardian Hotels London, The Londoner has been curated to reflect the drama and elegance of West End life. Synonymous with luxury, The Londoner specified AXOR brassware throughout the entirety of the hotel. From its rooms and suites, to the Retreat Spa and hotel restrooms, AXOR provided all basin and bath mixers, showers and handsets, kitchen taps and brassware accessories to this iconic building.

Mirroring the industrial metalwork on the outside of the building, AXOR’s Brushed Black Chrome finish was selected for all products. Chosen for its sleek silhouette and premium feel, the AXOR Citterio stands pride of place in every room. In standard rooms, AXOR Citterio E 3-hole wall-mounted basin mixers have been selected, whilst suites boast AXOR Citterio M. Citterio E Shower sets complete with overhead and 120 3jet hand showers, and the Citterio E bath spout can be found in both. Public restrooms feature the Citterio E single lever basin mixers for its hand washbasins, and where there are in room kitchens, AXOR Uno mixers have been selected.

Paying attention to the smallest of details, the iconic Brushed Black Chrome finish has also been applied to all Universal Accessories. From shower door handles and rail grab bars, to towel hooks and toilet paper holders, Londoner bathrooms have a truly unified, luxury aesthetic.

“AXOR was the natural choice for this hotel,” says Rob Steul, The Londoner’s head architect and Creative Director of Edward Group London. “The Londoner is all about understated luxury, we wanted guests to feel they were experiencing the best. AXOR delivers that in both its product design and function. The showering experience is like no other.”

brushed steel and marble surfaces in a contemporary hotel bathroom

Image credit: The Londoner Hotel

With environmental sustainability at the core of The Londoner’s design, the hotel boasts an ‘Excellent’ rating from BREEAM, exceeding the requirements for sustainable energy and water use. Playing a key part in this is AXOR’s innovative technology which reduces water consumption without compromising on performance. Thanks to its AirPower and EcoSmart technologies water is aerated, reducing consumption by up to 60 per cent from traditional mixers, without compromising on performance. As water is full of air, droplets are plump, cocooning the body as they fall to give an unparalleled showering experience.

hansgrohe is one of our recommended suppliers and regularly feature 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: hansgrohe

Orange couch and indoor plants at Beckett Locke hotel

Lifestyle brand Locke opens second hotel in Dublin

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Lifestyle brand Locke opens second hotel in Dublin

Set to become a new hub for culture and entertainment in the city Beckett Locke brings its home-meets-hotel concept to the centre of Dublin’s thriving docklands area…

Orange couch and indoor plants at Beckett Locke hotel

As a brand that isn’t prepared to waste time procrastinating, Locke is seriously catching up to – dare we say ‘taking over from’ – the conventional lifestyle brands that have for decades dominated the international hotel design scene. Following the launch of Zanzibar Locke, which was hotel brand’s first property to emerge outside of the UK, the stylish brand has now opened its second hotel in Dublin.

Tucked behind the 3Arena, Beckett Locke is a 241-studio aparthotel, which aims to inspire and connect travellers through mindful design, activated social spaces, a locally led cultural programme and disruptive food and drink concepts that celebrate the character and social fabric of its locality.

Set around a naturally lit atrium, Beckett Locke features a neighbourhood co-working space, artisan coffee shop, restaurant and intimate cocktail bar in addition to meeting and event space for up to 100 people. Beckett Locke’s beautifully designed apartments (which range from 23sqm to 53sqm) each feature fully-fitted kitchens, as well as living and dining space, making them suitable for short, medium, and long stays.

“We are thrilled to open Beckett Locke, our second home in Dublin, and the third international property in the Locke family,” said Stephen Mccall, CEO of Locke’s parent company edyn. “Dublin has always been an important city for us, and we’re excited to bring Locke’s distinctive and vibrant personality to the rapidly expanding Docklands area. The Locke experience ranges from cultural programming to creative partnerships and our ambition is to establish Beckett Locke as a creative hub for guests and locals alike.”

Designed by the London studio of globally renowned design firm AvroKO in collaboration with local firm C+W O’Brien Architects, the interiors of Beckett Locke take their cue from Dublin’s maritime history and the Docklands’ deep industrial heritage. The layout of the social spaces are inspired by a traditional Docklands market hall, and include a co-working area, meeting rooms, cocktail bar, coffee shop and restaurant, all set around a central glass atrium. The assimilation of local narratives flows into the apartments, which feature black steel, exposed concrete and rust-coloured soft furnishings, which evoke the intrepid colourways and history of the Docklands. Unique to Beckett Locke, each studio apartment has been designed in-house by edyn Development Studio.

glass walls and wooden table provide contrasting surfaces at Beckette locke hotel

Image credit: Beckett Locke

The hotel also houses three new food and drink concepts by Alan Clancy’s native restaurant group, NolaClan. North 7th Coffee will fuel the co-working space from the early morning and throughout the day, serving artisan coffee, delicate pastries, and hearty sandwiches. Meanwhile, The Belis restaurant will offer a contemporary Irish take on classic dishes using freshly sourced ingredients. Nestled in a decadent theatre-like setting, complete with rich red velvets and draped chain canopy, Sam’s Corner will shake up handcrafted cocktails inspired by Beckett Locke’s namesake, playwright Samuel Beckett.

Beckett Locke will also host an evolving cultural activation programme where locals and guests can participate in talks, events and workshops hosted by local businesses and creatives. This will be complemented by an evolving cultural activation series, which will invite local creatives, brands, and businesses to host talks, workshops and events.

Locke’s hybrid ‘home-meets-hotel’ concept has proven popular among guests seeking flexible accommodation for a night, to a month or longer. Each apartment provides the space and comfort of home, which includes fully fitted kitchens, adaptable living areas where guests can dine or work, and ample storage, all with industry-leading design and guest experience at its core. This is combined with the social attributes of a lifestyle hotel, including buzzy co-working spaces, original food and drink concepts and a team of local house hosts.

Main image credit: Beckett Locke

ARTIS collection of coloured basins from Villeroy & Boch

Villeroy & Boch introduces new colours in Artis collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Villeroy & Boch introduces new colours in Artis collection

Designed by German-Danish designer Gesa Hansen, the Artis collection by Villeroy & Boch – now in new colours – has the right tone for any bathroom…

Villeroy & Boch has introduced new splashes of colour in the Artis collection – Indian Summer, Sage Green, Rust and Bordeaux – reflecting personality, while creating an atmosphere that challenges the conventional idea that colour is risky in the bathroom.

ARTIS collection of coloured basins from Villeroy & Boch

“For me, colour is the soul of a product,” said designer Gesa Hansen. “Colour can awaken so many emotions and change practically everything: the mood, dimensions or definition of a room.” She has created a holistic colour concept with inspiring hues for anyone who wants to immerse their bathroom in a special shade. In addition to the new colours, the existing tones of Ocean, Fog and Powder still have a role to play. The palette has been joined by classic white and the neutral shades of Coal Black and French Linen. The two-tone concept remains for the nine colours: while the exterior adds colour to the bathroom, the interior surprises with glossy White Alpin. The precise wrap-around edge makes the contrast even more vivid while emphasising the delicate look of the surface-mounted washbasins made from high-quality TitanCeram.

Artis surface-mounted washbasins are available in four shapes – round, oval, square, rectangular – and can be combined with furniture from the Finion and Legato collections. Villeroy & Boch will soon be able to reveal the colours and surfaces that harmonise best when it releases its colour wheel based on colour theory. The perfect complement: a bath with a colour-coordinated panel from the Colour on Demand concept. This way, Artis not only adds individual splashes of colour, but also lays the foundation for well-composed colour compositions. By the way, guest bathrooms are also a perfect playground for colour. This is where Artis leaves a lasting impression with visitors and turns this frequently underestimated room into a home’s calling card.

> Since you’re here, why not read about the Finion collection by Villeroy & Boch?

Villeroy & Boch 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: Villeroy & Boch

Guestroom inside Mollie's Motel

Mollie’s Motel & Diner: 100 new sites planned for next 10 years

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Mollie’s Motel & Diner: 100 new sites planned for next 10 years

Following the successful launch of two Mollie’s, the new, affordable motel and diner concept has appointed leisure property specialist, Fleurets, to support ambitious plans to expand to 100 sites over the next 10 years through site search and acquisition, both in roadside and city centre locations…

Guestroom inside Mollie's Motel

Originally conceived by Nick Jones MBA, the Founder of Soho House, Mollie’s launched in 2019 with a Motel, Diner and Drive-Thru in Buckland, Oxfordshire, followed earlier this year by the second at Cribbs Causeway, Bristol, where the group invested in excess of £15 million. The third is expected to arrive in 2022 and will shelter a larger hotel in the former Granada TV Studios in Manchester city centre, with a Soho House located above on the building’s top floors.

A further 10 locations have already been earmarked as part of the immediate expansion plan.

Exterior of Mollie's Motel & Diner

Image credit: Mollie’s Motel & Diner

Exclusively designed by the Soho House interiors team, Mollie’s mission is to forge a new ‘budget luxe’ proposition within the travel and leisure industry – focusing on stylish, affordable stays, contemporary design, excellent service, innovative tech, sustainability and destination dining inspired by the retro American roadside diner.

Mollie’s has two formats and are seeking two- to three-acre freehold sites in strategic edge-of-town or roadside locations with the opportunity for 75-plus bedrooms, 145-plus cover diner and car parking. The city centre model will focus on prime city centre locations with high prominence with an opportunity for more than 100 bedrooms, 145-plus cover diner and 125-plus cover lounge/bar.

With significant investor support, the brand’s aims to grow to 100 sites in the next 10 years. To achieve this, it has retained Fleurets to support the expansion plan through site search and acquisition, both in roadside and city centre locations.

“We are delighted to be working with Mollie’s to grow this exciting challenger concept in the hotel and leisure market,” said Paul Hardwick Head of Hotels at Fleurets and Kevin Conibear, Head of Urban Markets at Fleurets. “Mollie’s has reinvented the perception of the roadside hotel and diner, with high quality accommodation and dining, but at affordable prices. The customer response to Bristol has been hugely positive and this is a welcome addition and enhancement to the vibrancy of our city centres and edge of town, roadside locations.”

Mollie’s Motel & Diner is now backed by a new strategic shareholder cohort and led by Managing Director, Darren Sweetland (Soho House, Tesco Plc).

> Since you’re here, why not read about the latest expansion plans from Soho House?

Main image credit: Mollie’s Motel & Diner

The Brit List Awards in Pictures

In pictures: Inside The Brit List Awards 2021

730 565 Pauline Brettell
In pictures: Inside The Brit List Awards 2021

The winners of The Brit List Awards 2021 were announced last night, inside a spectacular setting. The evening, which included more than 500 designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and brands, was full of glamour and a fair amount of glitter. Pauline Brettell and editor Hamish Kilburn were at the centre of the action to capture the atmosphere inside the awards ceremony…

The Brit List Awards in Pictures

Surrounded by the design, energy and vintage glamour of the roaring ’20s, London’s famous cabaret venue, PROUD Embankment, was a fitting platform for The Brit List Awards 2021 – an awards ceremony, unlike any other, that focused on and celebrated the individuals who are moving design, architecture and hospitality into the new ‘roaring ‘20s’.

Much like the 1920’s, there is an energy that this decade is harnessing, coming out of a period of disquiet and uncertainty, which feels like it is mirroring that same positivity of the era – a chapter in design and hospitality that was characterised by economic growth, accelerated consumer demand and saw the introduction of new trends in lifestyle and culture (sound familiar?). If those glamorous black-and-white photographs are to be believed, all this was done alongside the consumption of copious amounts of champagne – the parallels are clear.

2021 stands as the fourth year of The Brit List Awards, and this year felt significant, as we appreciate and rewarded all the creativity that surrounds us despite – or possibly because of – the year of enforced hibernation that has preceded the event. Importantly, this hibernation brought with it a healthy dose of introspection, as the industry realigns and refocuses on design priorities and responsibilities that have become integral to the design and hospitality processes. Here at Hotel Designs we feel it is important to ensure that the social considerations facing the industry – sustainability, wellness and technology, for example –  don’t just become another strap line, but are instead a continuing part of the discussion and debate. We hope this has been mirrored, in part, by the award categories.

Choosing last night’s venue at PROUD Embankment as a place of performance and celebration, was a deliberate coincidence, as Editor Hamish Kilburn explained in his opening address. “Proud,” he said, ” a relevant emotion that I sincerely hope you are all feeling right now as we gather, scarred and not broken, to celebrate the UK remaining an international design and hospitality hub.” And he was right, pride was bursting from the audience because darling… life is a cabaret, and although it may feel like we have been through a protracted intermission, the takeaway from last nights ceremony is that the main performance is about to begin!

> Since you’re here, why not read the winners’ story from The Brit List Awards 2021?

While the awards ceremony was about celebrating excellence, it was also a much-needed coming together of an industry that evolves through collaboration, craft and creativity. The event was a ‘who’s who’ – and our photographer was on the floor to capture what happened behind the red curtain. Right on cue, following the announcement of the winners, here are the obligatory social snaps from the from The Brit List Awards 2021.

The Brit List Awards will return in 2022, with applications and nominations remaining free. More information will be available shortly.

Main image credit: The Brit List Awards 2021

A contemporary suite with brushed gold lighting and bath in room

Sneak peek inside ME Barcelona

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Sneak peek inside ME Barcelona

Meliá Hotels International has announced the Spanish brand’s first five-star hotel opening in Barcelona in more than a decade, with the 164-key ME Barcelona set to open on November 25, 2021. Pauline Brettell went behind closed doors to have a look inside…

A contemporary suite with brushed gold lighting and bath in room

Situated in the heart of Barcelona, on the elegant Passeig de Gràcia, ME Barcelona is one of the city’s most anticipated openings of 2021 as it brings with it the brands trademark contemporary luxury, while taking inspiration from its exclusive location. The hotel, comprising of 164 guestrooms and luxurious suites spread over 14 floors, is completed with a statement rooftop patio and pool on the eighth floor that opens onto its distinctive skyline with iconic views of Plaça Catalunya and La Sagrada Familia. The new ME hotel is set to combine innovation, local art, music and technology in an exciting new space, inviting guests in to experience the local scene through its cultural programme, and exclusive bespoke experiences.

contemporay design in natural tones with yellow accents at Me Barcelona

Image credit: ME Barcelona

“ME Barcelona represents a step forward for ME by Meliá, along with recent major openings such as the stunning ME Dubai, the work of the late architect Zaha Hadid, and the exotic ME Cabo,” says Alba Bustamante, Global Brand Marketing Director of ME by Meliá. “All these hotels have consolidated, at an international level, the new definition of contemporary luxury close to the art and culture of the brand.”

Keeping clearly focussed on its design ethos, ME Barcelona is home to interior pieces by globally renowned designers that include Ronan & Ewan Bouroullec, Patricia Urquiola and Jaime Hayón. The stylish rooms feature neutral tones with yellow hues, clean lines, and large windows illuminating the space, all accentuated by the bright translucent bathrooms. Each guestroom presents bespoke details – from the decorative glass bottles, a design classic made by Josep Ma Jujol, Antonio Gaudí’s close collaborator, and the Oscar Tusquets tables, to the suspended bedside lamps and the vibrant Roll Club armchairs by Patricia Urquiola for Kettal. Every detail of the hotel has been thoughtfully considered and inspired by Barcelona’s love of design.

Aside from its design credentials, ME Barcelona also brings with it a unique and diverse culinary offering in the shape of BELBO, a unique space that includes three restaurants for a delicious and exclusive gastronomic experience. Terrenal, the flagship restaurant will serve dishes created with local produce; Luma is set to become a temple for the Barcelona cocktail scene; while Fasto will be a new setting to indulge in unconventional and unforgettable Italian cuisine.

The hotel has also collaborated with Manuel de la Garza, founder of Égoïste Spa, to curate a Spa and wellness centre which reflects a philosophy focused on personalisation, pampering, and luxury, where guests and visitors will enjoy tailored treatments. This oasis of wellness offers a wide range of treatments which blend ancient traditions with the most sophisticated beauty and wellness techniques. Keeping the focus on guests health and wellbeing, the hotel also has a gym with the latest Technogym equipment.

state of the art gym in ME Barcelona

Image credit: ME Barcelona

Incorporating both wellness and sustainability into the overall design was important, and ME Barcelona maintains the sustainability commitments of the brand ME as part of Meliá  Hotels International’s portfolio. As part of this commitment, ME Barcelona has consciously opted for auto-sufficient energy and renewable sources, which means the hotel will produce the entirety of its hot water supply, the rooftop pool will be heated by the same method during the winter season, and solar panels will provide the hotel’s energy, ultimately reducing the environmental impact and minimising its carbon footprint.

The clear design vision of ME Barcelona has been inspired by its location as well as the design history and energy of the city, combining contemporary art with innovative design, through the architectural work of Barcelona studio FITARQ as well as the interior design concepts and development of Mur Arquitectos and ASAH. This collaboration has transformed and created a new property and modern design that maintains all the brand hallmarks of ME.

Main image credit: ME Barcelona

industrial luxe restaurant design in yotel manchester

YOTEL moves into Manchester

730 565 Pauline Brettell
YOTEL moves into Manchester

Global hotel brand YOTEL, renowned for challenging the status quo of the traditional hotel stay, is bringing its innovative hospitality concept to the city centre of Manchester, this month as the brand opens its newest hotel in Deansgate. We thought we would take a closer look…

industrial luxe restaurant design in yotel manchester

Rebranding the Qbic hotel on the corner of iconic Deansgate and John Dalton Street, the new YOTEL sits in a top spot for exploring the best of Manchester’s bars, restaurants, culture, shopping and live music venues. YOTEL Manchester Deansgate will be about so much more than just a great night’s sleep, offering an experience perfect for today’s smart, tech savvy travellers.

“We’re delighted that Manchester is the location of our newest hotel.” said CEO of YOTEL Hubert Viriot. “Home to world- famous football clubs, Europe’s fastest-growing tech hub and a vibrant economic powerhouse, the city has always been high on our agenda. Manchester resonates perfectly with Generation YO and is a great addition to our other UK hotels in London, Edinburgh and Glasgow.”

With 261 cabins, each full to the brim with personality and texture, the hotel is ideal for those looking for a boutique stay experience, but without the hefty price tag. All are equipped with comfortable and organic Naturalmat mattresses, large TVs, refreshing rain showers and free superfast WiFi. The stylish cabins range in size from 15 –26 sqm, with some enjoying fantastic city views. Keeping true to the brand’s sustainability strategy, the hotel also boasts top-notch green credentials, including energy efficient LED lighting which automatically turn off when not needed, solar panels to generate electricity and eco-friendly showers that reduce water usage.

The ground floor of the hotel is also home to Motley, a quirky restaurant and bar with outdoor terrace, that is popular with both locals and guests alike.  From lunch till late, the menu offers uncomplicated and good for the soul dishes that are low-mileage, ingredient-led, and seasonal. The bar offers a wide selection of draft beers from local breweries, including its very own Motley Lager, as well as a superb choice of spritzers, wines, and cocktails.

The space also offers a karaoke pod and private dining options – perfect for parties, celebrations, and memorable corporate events. Additional facilities include four creative meeting spaces equipped with all the gadgets and plenty of natural light with doors that offer access to Motley’s terrace and onto Deansgate.

decorative neon lighting in manchester YOTEL

Image credit: YOTEL

Guests will also find Trib3, a global boutique fitness studio that fuses a next-level HIIT workout with an epic sensory experience. The studio will be accessible to the public with daily complimentary and special offers available for hotel guests.

contemporary design of manchester YOTEL reception area

Image credit: YOTEL

The newly rebranded YOTEL Manchester Deansgate follows an acquisition by Tristan Capital Partners and Hamilton Hotel Partners, who will also manage the business. The opening of YOTEL Manchester Deansgate marks the fourth UK city centre hotel for YOTEL following openings in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London. The group now has 18 hotels worldwide from San Francisco to New York, Amsterdam to Istanbul and all the way to Singapore. The next YOTEL to open will be YOTEL and YOTELPAD Miami in early 2022, so watch this space…

Main image credit: YOTEL

The Brit List Awards 2021 Winners story

Winners of The Brit List Awards 2021 unveiled

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Winners of The Brit List Awards 2021 unveiled

On November 3, The Brit List Awards 2021 welcomed more than 500 interior designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers when it took over London’s famous cabaret venue, PROUD Embankment, for an awards ceremony unlike any other, which crowned nine individual winners and celebrated the UK remaining a leading international hotel design and hospitality hub…

The Brit List Awards 2021 Winners story

Hotel Designs’ annual nationwide search to find the top designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers operating in Britain came to a dramatic climax on November 3, when more than 500 of the industry’s top names came together at PROUD Embankment for a night of celebration, timeless glamour and frivolous fun: The Brit List Awards 2021 – the awards ceremony had arrived.

“Welcome to PROUD,” roared editor Hamish Kilburn who hosted the awards ceremony, “a relevant emotion that I sincerely hope you are all feeling right now as we gather, scarred and not broken, to celebrate the UK remaining a leading international hotel design and hospitality hub.”

The shortlist, which was unveiled in September, included the names of 130 individuals and projects – the most finalists in the campaign’s history – across nine categories. From here, the judges whittled down the not-so-short shortlist in order to confidently decide this year’s winners.

Following Publisher Katy Phillips and Kilburn’s opening addresses, the evening was divided into two sections. Following tradition, first came the formal unveiling of The Brit List 2021the official publication, produced by Hotel Designs, which includes the profiles of the top 25 interior designers, architects and hoteliers who are a operating in Britain.

In addition the individual awards, The Brit List 2021 can be read here.

The event then continued, with the event’s partners and sponsored invited on stage to announce each winner.

And the winners are… 

INTERIOR DESIGNER OF THE YEAR

The Brit List Awards winner Tina Norden and Maximilian Hotel in Prague

Highly Commended: Geraldine Dohogne, Founder, Beyond Design
Winner: Tina Norden, Partner, Conran and Partners

ARCHITECT OF THE YEAR 

Mark Bruce, Architect of the Year 2021 and a render of NoMad London

Highly Commended: Mark Kelly, Partner, PLP Architecture
Winner: Mark Bruce, Director, EPR Architects

HOTELIER OF THE YEAR 

THE PIG guestroom and Robin Hutson, Hotelier of the Year 2021

Highly Commended: Olivia Richli, General Manager, Heckfield Place 
Winner: Robin Hutson, Founder, THE PIG Hotels

BEST IN TECH

L11 Tuneable white light engine by Franklite

Highly Commended: Sonance audio systems
Winner: L11 Tuneable white light engine, Franklite

THE ECO AWARD

Two seperate images of beds from Silentnight Group

Highly Commended: The Global Collection, manfucatured by Mosa Tiles (supplied by CTD Architectural Tiles)
Winner: Silentnight Group Hospitality

BEST IN BRITISH PRODUCT DESIGN

Close up and lifestyle shot of the Metamorphis collection by The Monkey Puzzle Tree

Highly Commended: Hypnos Contract Beds
Winner: The Metamorphosis collection, The Monkey Puzzle Tree

THE RISING STAR AWARD

A design moodboard and image of Sophie Sheppard, The Rising Star Award winner of 2021

Highly Commended: Matthew Maganga, University of Kent
Winner: Sophie Sheppard, Junior Designer, Concorde BGW Group

THE INTERNATIONAL AWARD

Bill Bensley, Founder, BENSLEY, winner of International Awards, The Brit List Awards 2021

Highly Commended: noa* network of architecture 
Winner: Bill Bensley, Founder, BENSLEY

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY

Design-led kitchen and Ariane Steinbeck, winner at The Brit List Awards 2021

Winner: Ariane Steinbeck

> Since you’re here, why not also view the ‘in pictures’ story from The Brit List Awards 2021?

Thank you to our Partners!

Headline Partner: Crosswater


luxury bedroom in neutral shades

Sneak peek inside One&Only Aesthesis

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Sneak peek inside One&Only Aesthesis

One&Only Aesthesis, the brand’s second hotel in Europe, is set to arrive on the Athenian coast and the seafront of Glyfada in June 2022. Melanie Guarda Ceccoli takes a look into the inspiration behind the resort…

luxury bedroom in neutral shades

After the announcement in May 2021 of the landing in Europe of One&Only Portonovi in ​​Montenegro, the expansion of the ultra-luxury brand, One&Only, in Europe continues with the development of One&Only Aethesis on the Athenian seafront.

In a 21-hectare seafront estate, within a six-hectare forest reserve, One&Only Aesthesis will be positioned a short distance from the capital and its most iconic sites, such as the Acropolis, the Parthenon, Syntagma Square and Cape Sounio. The resort, overlooking a 1,600-metre shoreline, will offer a statement beach club where guests and residents alike can gather and enjoy priceless views from sunrise to sunset.

Like all the brand’s properties, the hotel will guarantee maximum privacy, offering most of the accommodation in independent villas, all with private pools, perfect for couples or families. Among the accommodation solutions available, the iconic Villa One has set new standards in terms of exclusivity.

One&Only Aesthesis embodies the glamour of the Aegean, with 127 guestrooms, breathtaking suites, and private villas – all designed to frame the natural beauty of the Grecian coastline. The architecture pays homage to mid-century design with high ceilings, woven leather, muted tones, and accent patterns that embody the inherent beauty of a cosmopolitan Riviera.

Following the global partnership with Chenot, a leader in health and wellness, the resort will also host a Chenot Spa that will offer customised programs and cutting-edge treatments, scientifically designed to improve guests’ vitality and optimal health throughout the hotel. A state-of-the-art fitness centre, with both indoor and outdoor spaces, will complete the offer.

The news comes after Kerzner International Holdings Limited, the owner of the ultra-luxury One&Only Resorts and iconic Atlantis Resort & Residences brands worldwide, entered into a resort management agreement with Grivalia Hospitality S.A. “Kerzner International is very excited to be adding Athens to our European footprint,” commented Philippe Zuber, CEO, Kerzner International. “This exclusive beachfront location, just outside of the city centre of Athens is incredible; the perfect destination to begin, or end, any Greek adventure through the ultra-luxury experience of One&Only. We will reimagine the golden era of Athens, a celebration through life and energy that is true to our brand promise. We are executing our strategic growth and development of the One&Only brand globally, and excited to add another One&Only experience in Greece. Our partners, Grivalia, are leaders in Greek real estate investment and are committed to honouring the location and providing a legacy for the future.”

hotel dining room decorated in sage and cream palette

Image credit: One&Only Aesthesis

The resort is at the crossroads of Greek history and culture, from the Acropolis and Parthenon to Syntagma Square and Cape Sounio on the glamorous Athenian Riviera, with its exclusive beachfront of Glyfada. The resort is just moments away from the vibrant metropolis, yet is surrounded by endless blues and glistening islands dotting the horizon. A true paradise embodying Grecian heritage and authentic Athenian allure, the resort will be the perfect sanctuary, honouring the cosmopolitan sophistication of the ’60s and ’70s.

Inspired by the azure waters and the incredible natural surroundings, One&Only Aethesis aims to provide a modern Greek elegance, while at the same time looking to the past and  showcasing powerful elements dominant in Greek mythology like fire and water, carved from a palette of natural stone and timber. As with all One&Only properties, the resort will offer innovative programmes for families with children, whilst carefully preserving space for adults only as well.

Along with the emphasis on design and luxury, significant attention will be paid to the culinary proposal to give guests an immersive Greek experience through all the senses.

“Grivalia Hospitality is excited to revive a landmark site along the Athenian Riviera and join forces with Kerzner International for One&Only, a distinguished global leader in ultra-luxury hospitality,” commented George Chryssikos, Founder and Chairman, Grivalia Hospitality. “One&Only Aesthesis will be on one of Athens’s most iconic and cosmopolitan waterfront sites, originally designed by prominent Greek architects. From its development in the mid-1950s, the bungalows, the beach, and the club hosted both the local and international jet set. Upon completion, this contemporary hybrid city resort will become the unique high-end destination in the Mediterranean all year round.”

One&Only was created exclusively for the ultra-luxury market and conceived as a hallmark of excellence. With the continued evolution of the One&Only portfolio, this new resort will complement the existing award-winning resort collection, set in some of the most beautiful locations in the world.

> Since you are here, why not read about the One&Only One Za’abeel in Dubai.

Main image credit: One&Only Aesthesis

New York hotel bedroom, overlooking Manhattan from The Carlyle

Legendary New York hotel, The Carlyle, reveals long-awaited new look

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Legendary New York hotel, The Carlyle, reveals long-awaited new look

After a much anticipated transformation, The Carlyle re-emerges on the New York hotel scene with an exciting new renovation, sensitively designed by legendary design studio tonychi studio. The iconic hotel new offers a contemporary aesthetic, while cleverly referencing its storied past. Pauline Brettell takes a look inside…

New York hotel bedroom, overlooking Manhattan from The Carlyle

Rosewood Hotels and Resorts has announced the completion of its three-year renovation process to redesign The Carlyle in New York. The newly reimagined spaces and suites have taken inspiration from the glamour and beauty of Manhattan’s pre-war era, the Upper East Side, and the glamorous guests whose footsteps graced the hallowed halls of this storied hotel residence for more than 90 years.

Carlyle Rooftop and Tower at Sunset (credit Justin Bare)

Image credit: Justin Bare

The hotel has re-emerged on the Manhattan hotel scene to shelter a hospitality experience where quintessential apartment living meets modern day, with luxurious fixtures and furnishings in the new rooms, black-lacquered panelling and illustrated wallpaper of whimsical vignettes from Central Park, along with a thoughtful curation of artwork, books and collected everyday finds, all of which create a smart, residential look.

Subtle art deco inspirations are also present, paying homage to The Carlyle’s original designer, Dorothy Draper. William Paley, long-time Creative Director of tonychi studio, led the redesign of 155 of the hotel’s 189 guestrooms and suites. The additional 34 guestrooms and suites remain completely unique in design and range from the Empire Suite by the renowned designer, Thierry Despont, to new suites by New York based interior designer, Dan Fink, to the hotel’s newly acquired Presidential Suite.

Encompassing the entire 26th floor of The Carlyle’s tower, the Presidential Suite offers the ultimate Manhattan living experience. Formerly a privately owned apartment, the suite was recently added to the hotel’s inventory, and features 360-degree views of the city, with floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase sweeping vistas of Central Park, Midtown and beyond. The private elevator landing and dramatic entrance features gold leaf and hand-etched Art Deco inspired murals. This exclusive residential-style suite is adorned with Venetian plaster walls throughout and features three bedrooms, four full bathrooms and one-half bath, living room, full kitchen and media area. Additionally, the gallery entrance just off the landing features a piano, making it the ideal spot for entertaining and taking in the striking view.

“We are thrilled to finally debut our completed new guest rooms – which are highlighted by the coveted suites in the Tower with sweeping views of Central Park,” said Anthony McHale, Managing Director of The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel. “Obviously with a beloved property such as The Carlyle, we had to be careful with this restoration and we feel it offers the perfect modern aesthetic to bring the hotel into the future while still respecting the past.”

The renovation also marks the debut of the new signature restaurant, Dowling’s at The Carlyle. This newest addition to The Carlyle family is named after Robert Whittle Dowling, former owner of The Carlyle and an influential urban planner known for his passionate efforts to revitalise the city that never sleeps. He acquired the hotel in 1944 and was instrumental in turning it into the institution it is today and putting it on the map as a fashionable destination attractive to celebrities, politicians, royalty and tastemakers alike.

the dowling restaurant at the carlyle hotel new york

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels and Resorts

It is through his whimsical vision that The Carlyle embodies a distinct sense of place, offering a welcoming, intimate and eclectic atmosphere for New Yorkers and visitors alike. Newly appointed Executive Chef Sylvain Delpique (formerly of 21 Club) has created a menu that features his interpretations of timeless New York favourites and throwback dishes from another era. Dowling’s at The Carlyle debuted in October following an extensive renovation, also by tonychi studio. The stylish and intimate, 80 seat dining room will exude the glamour and charm of the 1930’s and 40’s, highlighted by historic artwork and five newly acquired Ludwig Bemelmans – the creator of the classic Madeline children’s books – paintings that will pay tribute to the adjacent bar that has been a beloved Upper East Side favourite for 75 years.

gold walls at bemelmans bar at the carlyle

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels and Resorts

From new guestrooms and suites to the debut of the hotel’s signature restaurant, Dowling’s at The Carlyle, to the arrival of a new spa by Valmont, this 91-year-old property is preparing for the next generation of travellers with the new unveil, while maintaining what The Carlyle’s loyal patrons adore most about the celebrated hotel.

Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels and Resorts

A modern guestroom inside Canopy by Hilton in East London

Canopy by Hilton makes UK debut in East London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Canopy by Hilton makes UK debut in East London

Complete with panoramic views over Aldgate and a locally infused interior design scheme by ACME, the 340-key Canopy by Hilton London City opens echoing the spirit of one of the capital’s most vibrant, eclectic neighbourhoods – and becomes the brand’s debut hotel in the UK…

A modern guestroom inside Canopy by Hilton in East London

Canopy by Hilton London City has opened, marking the brand’s UK arrival. Set within the multi-million-pound Minories development, close to Aldgate station, the eco-conscious 340-room hotel, designed by ACME, provides the perfect base for design-conscious travellers looking to immerse themselves in London’s lively East End.

Rooftop view over London

Image credit: Canopy by Hilton

“We are pleased to expand our portfolio with Hilton to open the first Canopy by Hilton hotel in the UK,” said Neil Taylor, Chief Operating Officer, 4C Hotel Group. “Convenience and quality are at the core of our business, we carefully select hotels that are perfectly located in major key cities, so our customers have easy access to major tourist attractions.  For our business travellers we ensure that our hotels are always located near key transport links.  This hotel is the perfect collaboration for us, with an incredible location right in the heart of London’s buzzing East End.”

Following the opening of Canopy by Hilton Paris Trocadero earlier this year and the arrival of Canopy by Hilton Madrid Castellana, the hotel joins a growing portfolio of more than 30 lifestyle hotels across the globe – a number which is set to double in the coming years.  Each hotel is inspired by its local neighbourhood and designed to give guests an authentic experience, steeped in the culture of the surrounding area.

“Canopy by Hilton continues to expand its presence across Europe with recent openings in Paris and Madrid, and we’re thrilled to be bringing the brand to London – one of the most dynamic cities in the world,” said Simon Vincent, Executive Vice President and President, EMEA, Hilton. “With Hilton set to open 30 hotels in the UK in the next five years, Canopy by Hilton London City is a stunning new addition to Hilton’s lifestyle portfolio and symbolises our commitment to providing exceptional accommodation in the very best global destinations.”

Phil Cordell, Global Head, Canopy by Hilton added: “Canopy by Hilton is all about championing local neighbourhoods – and what better place for its UK debut than the vibrant East End of London.  With its rich textile history and thriving arts scene, the surrounding area provides no end of inspiration for this incredible hotel, and we can’t wait to welcome guests to experience everything it has to offer.”

The hotel’s interior design reflects the rich culture of the area’s historic textile industry. Inspired by the Huguenot silk weavers who settled in Spitalfields in the 17th century, thoughtfully decorated guestrooms and dining spaces feature floral patterns and woven fabrics reminiscent of the techniques employed by the Huguenots.  In celebration of Whitechapel’s contemporary arts scene, artwork created by neighbourhood artists adorns the public spaces throughout the hotel. The bathrooms have been designed to reflect a contemporary atmosphere, with fittings specified by Crosswater.

Corridor inside Canopy by Hilton hotel in London

Image credit: Canopy by Hilton

Local inspiration continues throughout the hotel’s dining outlets. East End-inspired dishes made with local, sustainable ingredients are served at the hotel’s specialty restaurant Penny Squares, which takes its design inspiration from the quilting technique popular in the textile industry.  Meanwhile, Freedom Café, named after Freedom Press Publishing House in Whitechapel High Street, provides the perfect place to relax, work or socialise over a craft coffee or East End-inspired cocktail at the heart of the hotel.  Guests can also enjoy daily tastings at Freedom Café, featuring appetisers and drinks from local distilleries, craft brewers and wineries.

> Since you’re here, why not read about Canopy by Hilton’s first hotel to open in Spain?

There are currently 32 Canopy by Hilton properties open around the globe, with a further 29 hotels under development across 15 countries and territories.

Main image credit: Canopy by Hilton

Weekly digest: Global hotel growth, a Nobu debut & a live roundtable

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly digest: Global hotel growth, a Nobu debut & a live roundtable

Huddle in everyone… Editor Hamish Kilburn here to serve up your weekly dose of hotel design and hotel development news and features. This week on the editorial desk we unveiled our latest live roundtable, explored the art of lighting; shared hotel development news from several hotel groups and, in addition to this (and more), we rounded up the latest products that have emerged on our radar…

In the week before the industry gathers for The Brit List Awards 2021 – we are ready to put on a show – the energy pulsating through the veins of the hotel design and hospitality industry, on an international scale, is pointing towards signs of serious recovery. From brands announcing that they’re doubling their current portfolio of hotels by 2025, to other leading groups that have, this week, debuted in new territories, it suggests that 2021 will be rounded off with ambitious plans laid out on the table. And following the industry’s awakening since its forced hibernation, why not be aggressive when strategically looking ahead?

In the meantime, while hotel groups and brands jostle for position on the international stage, suppliers have come out of the wings, performance ready, with new products to attract designers’ attention. In addition, industry experts are excited about the boundless possibilities that lie ahead. One wellness guru, Ari Peralta, Founder of Arigami, exclusively reveals some game-changing qualitative research that we are excited to share with you!

To make sense of the latest headlines and features, from all corners of the industry, here are our top stories of the week.

St Regis to almost double portfolio of hotels by 2025

luxury st regis resort built over the sea

Image credit: St Regis

Hotel brand St Regis Hotels and Resorts has announced ambitious plans to expand its portfolio of luxury resorts in desired destinations for the next generation of luxury travellers, including locations within the Caribbean, North America, North Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific.

St. Regis currently has 49 hotels and resorts open worldwide, with a further 29 hotels and resorts in its pipeline, representing expected growth of nearly 60 per cent over the next five years in both urban and leisure destinations.

Read more.

Inside Rosewood Villa Magna, the brand’s debut hotel in Spain

facade of Rosewood Villa Magna in Madrid

Image credit: Rosewood Villa Magna

Set in the heart of the Spanish capital city’s distinguished Salamanca district, the reimagined icon, now Rosewood Villa Magna, represents a milestone for the brand as well as Madrid’s hospitality landscape.

Renowned Spanish architect Ramón de Arana led the remodel of the building’s striking façade and entryway into the hotel, adding a sense of grandeur to the arrival experience via a striking staircase and a pair of reflecting pools that draw attention to the centuries old, 30-metre-high cedar and carob trees adorning the property.

Read more.

Industry insight: Digital interactive art – technology for tomorrow’s hotel

Image caption: 'Internal Visions' by Daniel Kersh. | Image Credit: Daniel Kersh Studios

Image caption: ‘Internal Visions’ by Daniel Kersh. | Image Credit: Daniel Kersh Studios

Technology is shaping the way in which hotel buildings are built and designed. Inside the hotel, technology is altering how guests use and journey through spaces as well as how they view interior design. In our latest article in the Hotel Designs Lab series, Ari Peralta, Founder of Arigami, explores the rise of digital, generative and interactive art; a new genre that has the potential to transform guest experiences.

Read more. 

Nobu expands its footprint in Saudi Arabia

street view of new nobu hotel in saudi arabia

Image credit: Nobu Hotels

Nobu, the global lifestyle brand founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, has just revealed plans to launch a new hotel, Nobu Restaurant and Nobu Residences in the Eastern Province city of Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, by 2024. Here’s what we know.

Read more.

Live roundtable: The art of lighting

Image credit: Dish Creative/James Munson

In Hotel Designs’ first live roundtable since the beginning of the pandemic, in association with Dernier & Hamlyn, we gathered leading interior designers to discuss the art of lighting in 2021 and beyond – from downlights to pendants and the pitfalls in-between. Scroll down to meet the panellists and to catch the conversation.

Read more.

Product watch: Venti20 collection by Gessi

art deco inspired bathroom fittings

Image credit: Gessi

“Great design has emotional power and an innate ability to instil beauty into everyday objects,” states bathroom brand Gessi when discussing the new Venti20 range, which captures the essence of the era and allows us to rediscover the spirit of the ‘Roaring 20s.

Read more.

Aeon: A wellness hotel setting new standards in architecture & design

Exterior of Aeon, designed by noa network of architecture

Image credit: Alex Filz/Noa architecture

Designing the Aeon hotel, which shelters an innovative wellness concept that plays on striking architecture and thoughtful design, was all about connection and context for the architects and designers at noa* network of architecture. It was also about shifting and blurring lines, looking at the boundaries between inside and out – the visible and the invisible – between dream and reality. The studio’s use of colour in the interiors does exactly this; it creates divisions, yet blurs the lines. There is the feeling of standing firmly on the ground, while at the same time being able to touch the clouds.

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!

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A bedside table lamp in hotel

Here’s what Chelsom will be presenting at HIX Event

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Here’s what Chelsom will be presenting at HIX Event

Lighting brand Chelsom will be exhibiting at the upcoming HIX Event on November 18 – 19, 2021 at the Business Design Centre in London. Through expo, talks, installations and networking, Hotel Interiors Experience (HIX) celebrates and brings together the people that represent the hotel interiors supply chain, connecting both established and emerging brands. Let’s take a sneak peek…

A bedside table lamp in hotel

Visit stand 21 at HIX Event in order to meet the team at Chelsom, where there will be a selection of products on display from the brand’s latest collection, EDITION 27. Although launched in September 2020, this is the very first time that Chelsom have been able to fully present their latest designs in person.

Image caption: The Hybrid set | Image credit: Chelsom

Image caption: The Hybrid set | Image credit: Chelsom

The new collection has been designed entirely in-house and harnesses and refines the latest design trends, materials and finishes. Drawing on their vast experience in the industry, designers Will and Robert Chelsom have been able to create product that is wholly suited to the global hospitality and marine marketplaces, expertly fusing function and aesthetics throughout.

Image caption: LED EYE | Image credit: Chelsom

Image caption: LED EYE | Image credit: Chelsom

“HIX is an exciting new interiors exhibition for the hospitality market and we are thrilled to be able to present our latest collection in the flesh for the first time in HIX’s debut year,” said Managing Director, Will Chelsom. “Being able to see what the wider market is up to is really inspirational and it’s a great environment for companies to promote their latest product designs and innovations in such a fresh new format. The show has already become an industry talking point and a key date in the diaries of many leading hospitality professionals so it’s exciting for us to be finally exhibiting a selection of exceptional pieces from what is undoubtedly our most eclectic collection to date.”

Chelsom is one of our recommended suppliers and regularly feature 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: Chelsom

luxury urban hotel swimming pool

Nobu expands its footprint in Saudi Arabia

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Nobu expands its footprint in Saudi Arabia

Nobu, the global lifestyle brand founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, has just revealed plans to launch a new hotel, Nobu Restaurant and Nobu Residences in the Eastern Province city of Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, by 2024. Here’s what we know…

luxury urban hotel swimming pool

Global lifestyle brand Nobu Hotels has become synonymous with passionate service, distinctive design, the finest ingredients, and a powerful energy. Reflecting these core values within the local culture,  the new Nobu hotel, restaurant and residences in Al Khobar will be located in the waterfront area of the city, facing the Arabian Gulf. The luxury complex will offer 120 thoughtfully designed guestrooms and suites, a Nobu Restaurant on the lobby level, swimming pools, a wellness centre, as well as a meeting and event space.

“We are elated on our exciting partnership with Nobu, leading the vision in bringing the best of Hotels, Residences and Restaurants to Al Khobar,” stated Yousef Al Quraishi, Chief Executive Officer AZAQ and Vice Chairman Al Khobar Sands Real Estate. “With this attracting people, international development and interest to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as growing our economy and improving community lifestyle in line with the Saudi Vision 2030. We are optimistic the Nobu brand will stand strong as the place to be.”

Trevor Horwell, Chief Executive Nobu Hospitality adds: “We are delighted to be partnering with Retal Urban Development Company and Assayel Arabia to deliver an exciting vision with the creation of a truly unique and transformative mixed-use destination in Saudi Arabia.  As part of this, the Nobu Residences Al Khobar will deliver to the community the opportunity to live the Nobu lifestyle.”

From the very beginning, Nobu has been about creating unforgettable experiences around exceptional food. With 13 hotels open and many more in development around the world, the brand has never moved from what it set out to do – create a platform for memories. The philosophy of Kokoro – which comes from the Japanese word for heart – ties the destinations together and is the heartbeat of Nobu Restaurants, Hotels and Residences.

Main image credit: Nobu Hotels

Hyatt Centric Denvor

Hyatt Centric brings new lifestyle hotel to Denver

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Hyatt Centric brings new lifestyle hotel to Denver

Designed to offer guests a home base to explore the city, this locally inspired property brings 264 guestrooms, a chef-driven restaurant and a memorable rooftop experience to the Denver Metro area. Pauline Brettell takes a closer look…

Hyatt Centric Denvor

Hyatt Centric Downtown Denver is the latest property from the modern lifestyle hotel brand, Hyatt Centric. In the heart of downtown Denver, this 264-room hotel aims to attracts guests who are looking to explore the best of what Denver has to offer. The destination-centric hotel is also proud to debut the new seasonally inspired restaurant, Apple Blossom, helmed by beloved local restaurateurs Paul C. Reilly and Aileen V. Reilly. Located at 1776 Champa Street, Hyatt Centric Downtown Denver is truly in the heart of things, conveniently positioned near the city’s top destinations, including the Colorado Convention Center, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Coors Field, Ball Arena, Union Station, and the bustling Larimer Square.

Contemporary hotel facade in downtown denver

Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

“We are so thrilled to bring this unique experience to the Denver market,” shares General Manager Colleen Huther. “This property fully embraces Denver’s booming cultural scene, from the locally inspired menu at Apple Blossom, to the murals from local artists, and meeting space with expansive views of North Downtown – we are truly bringing something special and share worthy to travellers and locals alike.”

colourful painted mural on hotel facade

Image credit: Stephan Werk

On arrival, guests are greeted by a vibrant, colourful mural by local artist Megan Walker in the hotel’s driveway, blending themes of Denver’s urban life, Red Rock Amphitheatre’s music culture and Colorado’s renowned nature landscape into one vivid picture. On entering the hotel, a welcoming, spacious lobby filled with energising colours and glowing natural lighting offers the ideal gathering space for reconnecting, collaborating, planning, and unwinding. Locals and travellers alike are treated to music curated by local artist, Eric “Benny” Bloom of Grammy Award winning Lettuce, as they explore the hotel.

In true Denver fashion, the owners of Denver’s beloved Beast + Bottle and Coperta restaurants, debut Apple Blossom, a chef-driven concept celebrating the best of America’s seasons, with a focus on local and regional produce and producers. Apple Blossoms’ signature dishes keep things local, and include Cowtown Beef Plate (a nod to Denver’s Stock Show heritage), Whole Grilled Rainbow Trout, Chef Fox’s Sweet Moon Pancakes at brunch, Apple Turnover with Buttermilk Ice Cream and Local Honey and more. Paying homage to sister restaurant Coperta, Apple Blossom also showcases its unique house-made pasta dishes using Heritage Colorado grains. The beverage menu also reflects this regionality, with an all-American wine list, craft cocktails and ciders. The restaurant, located just off the hotel’s lobby, seats 68 guests with a 20-seat bar and lounge area and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Apple Blossom team also oversees room service, catering and banquets for the hotel.

Roof terrace with city views

Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

The hotel’s spacious rooftop terrace boasts cityscape views, plush seating and outdoor fireplaces where guests can embrace Denver’s countless days of sunshine while enjoying small plates and drinks curated by Apple Blossom. With its sliding-style doors, the space flows beautifully into a pre-function area where 235 square metres of flexible meeting space offers an upscale venue for groups of every size with unparalleled natural light. The penthouse level also plays home to the 90 square metres hospitality suite complete with a dedicated living area, spacious high-end dining table for eight, and a private rooftop terrace with mountain and city views. To complete the presidential floor experience, a 24-hour modern fitness centre is lined with floor-to-ceiling windows and features Peloton bikes looking onto the city, allowing guests to focus on their fitness and the stunning view at the same time.

Each Hyatt Centric Downtown Denver guestroom offers thoughtful, modern urban decor to reflect the personality and style of the city in which it resides. Guests can enjoy walk-in showers and an in-room work area, and those who opt for a high-floor space are treated to dramatic views. Guestrooms are completed with thoughtful high-end finishes including keyless entry and check-in, Drybar Buttercup hair dryers in every room, Hyatt Centric robes and BeeKind bath amenities. Additional amenities include a thoughtfully furnished lobby with areas for guests to work, meet, eat and lounge, fresh coffee services; lobby market for grab-and-go items, and valet options.

Hyatt Centric is all about lifestyle and destinations, created for millennial-minded travellers who want to be in the middle of the action. The Downtown Denver addition to the collections does just that, with its thoughtful design that is focussed on exploration and discovery, and by providing guests with both the information and the inspiration to experience all that Denver has to offer.

> Since you’re here, why not read about Hyatt Centric’s first hotel in the UK?

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Aeon: A wellness hotel setting new standards in architecture & design

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Aeon: A wellness hotel setting new standards in architecture & design

Aeon is the latest wellness hotel concept that has been brought to life by the team at  noa* network of architecture. The 15-key hospitality development, which features a bold interior design scheme, is set into and inspired by the landscape of Italy’s South Tyrol region. Pauline Brettell explores… 

Designing the Aeon hotel, which shelters an innovative wellness concept that plays on striking architecture and thoughtful design, was all about connection and context for the architects and designers at noa* network of architecture. It was also about shifting and blurring lines, looking at the boundaries between inside and out – the visible and the invisible – between dream and reality. The studio’s use of colour in the interiors does exactly this; it creates divisions, yet blurs the lines. There is the feeling of standing firmly on the ground, while at the same time being able to touch the clouds.

The new wellness hotel, which completed in July 2021, is nestled between meadows and woodland and is defined by its panoramic views across the Italian countryside. The original build on a historic farm, comprised of an old inn, residential house, and traditional barn, has all been reimagined to become part of the next chapter of its history – and one in which the architecture and design studio has created the new framework that is the signature of Aeon.

“It would have been easy to simply go wild and focus on the famous ‘green meadow’. But we chose a different path.” – Christian Rottensteiner, architect, noa*.

From the very beginning, the 550-year-old farm was a source of inspiration for the development process of the project, with special consideration given to the views and vistas of the site. A gentle nod was made to its past through the layout of the building units and the details, with the new buildings being consciously modelled on the existing structure. “The creation of an ambivalent tension between the centuries-old tradition of the rural complex and an exclusively modern statement was the basic principle underlying the design process,” explains Christian Rottensteiner, architect at noa*. “It would have been easy to simply go wild and focus on the famous ‘green meadow’. But we chose a different path: the design consists of freestanding structures that allow the landscape to flow through and become part of it. The result is two buildings, one hosting the public area with a reception, bistro, bar, and wellness area, while the other includes private areas with a total of 15 guest suites.”

At first glance, the buildings appear singular yet together they form a permeable courtyard context. However, there is an ingenious connection in the form of a hallway that elegantly vanishes under an artificially created hill, disappearing out of sight.

The two buildings that form the wellness hotel also relate directly with the existing structures in their design language. The use of traditional gable roofs, for example, as well as a very dynamic façade design with reinforcing slanted elements, replicate the design of the struts and brackets of the historically listed barn while translating them into a modern statement. This allows the facades to be perceived differently – depending on how one approaches the project. On one side, the east and west façades break strongly towards the outside, while in contrast, the north and south sides appear as a homogeneous envelope. The trapezoid windows are designed to catch the eye in a striking way, while the upper, slatted structure that stretches over the entire length of the building almost disguises the stories and create a homogeneous appearance.

“Verticality and linearity are the leitmotivs of two strongly contrasting design approaches – at times creating the feeling of floating between worlds,” Rottensteiner adds. “This project is all about the details and stories, which are all about the family and the place where the project is rooted. For example, wood from the farm’s own woods was used. Also, the use of this renewable raw material gives the architecture a vitality through the projections and recesses that create exciting shadows.”

 

Guests enter the building through an entrance portal made of black steel, which bears the family’s old coat of arms from 1464 on the outside. “The ‘slope’ is traditionally an element for load transfer and static reinforcement – here it was used to make the volume more dynamic and to make it merge with the landscape,” adds Rottensteiner.

Stepping through the steel front door, into the lobby, guests can grasp the full sense of the design narrative, which is to blur lines and creating subtle divisions, suitable for modern travellers. Here, guests move away from the hard architectural details and instead enter a world of softer interiors. The clever palette of calm tones as well as tactile textures introduce feelings of being grounded and connected with nature. Soft beige meets a mystical blue. Meanwhile, this expressive, clear-cut division is consistently drawn through the buildings, both horizontally and vertically.

contemporary hotel bar design

Image credit: AlexFilz . Noa architects

“The past has grown like stone, wood and nature,” explains interior designer Patrick Gürtler. “The future, on the other hand, is veiled, mysterious and artificial; it is intangible like the sky, the night, or the ocean. In between is the moment, a sharp, unconditional break, but also a point of contact.” A line – not to separate, but to connect.

In the public building, the sharp-edged transition between beige and blue takes place at eye level, to make the concept of an “in-between zone” tangible. But the design concept is not only focussed on the floors, walls, and ceilings. All elements – from the curtains, through the furniture and the light fixtures – are part of a holistic approach to the design.

contemporary blue and white design scheme in wellness hotel

Image caption: AlexFilz/Noa* architecture

The wellness area is located on the first floor. It has been designed so that guests ‘dive’ through the horizontal blue and find themselves, subconsciously, in the opposite colour concept. The consumer journey then invites guests to move through the different zones, opening into a wide relaxation space and adjoining terrace.

The half-covered outdoor infinity pool juts out from the southwest side of the building, affording spectacular views. It can be reached via a platform, the top level of which marks the “water’s edge,” once again playing on the use of colour and the divisions between blue and beige.

A half-covered infinity pool that is attached to a contemporary wellness hotel in Italy

Image credit: Alex Filz/Noa architecture

Just a few more steps up, guests enter a separate relaxation area that can be used as a meditation room, for yoga or simply to relax. In front of this, in the outdoor area, is a whirlpool on a roof terrace with an incredible view of the Dolomites.

In the adjacent building, which is connected via an underground corridor, is where the 15 suites are housed – and here, too, the division of the colour worlds takes a 90-degree turn: what was horizontal is now vertical. There is a deliberate psychological effect at play here, because from here on, guests can immerse their whole body in the respective area, which has an overall relaxing effect.

The three types of rooms differ in size as well as furnishings. The bed in each suite has been given its unique position in order to utilise the expansive view. Another highlight in the truest sense of the word is the Gallery Suite, where an internal staircase leads up to a living platform on the roof, where you can watch the sky through the opening in the roof.

Ultimately the design of this hotel, with its deliberately thought through interior detail, is all about taking the guests on a journey, and using design to facilitate this as they experience spatial changes, contrasting textures and a conscious use of colour to emphasise the architecture and direct their experience which has wellness and nature at its core.

Main image credit: Alex Filz/Noa architecture

Bamboo wall lantern

Product watch: Vaughan presents the Ellisfield Collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Vaughan presents the Ellisfield Collection

Lighting and furniture brand Vaughan unveiled its latest range, the Ellisfield Collection, at Focus 21 in September. Here’s our editor’s pick of our favourite pieces…

Featuring renditions of beloved classics, such as the Bamboo Lantern and the Windermere Chandelier, as well as contemporary pieces, the Ellisfield Collection by Vaughan is a British design masterpiece.

Bamboo wall lantern

From the tapered legs of the Colemore chest of drawers to the compelling simplicity of the Thackam bookcase, the collection artfully combines beautiful and practical design.

“Throughout lockdown, creativity has been such a source of comfort and joy to me, the result you can see in the pieces here today” explained Lucy Vaughan, Chair and Co-Founder, Vaughan. “From a familiar table that I would see in my grandmother’s house, to a chest of drawers that for years has been placed next to our sitting room, each design brings me a feeling of being at home. Inspired by the aesthetic of the arts and crafts movement, as well as containing considerable Japanese and Chinese influence, the pieces we’ve made have come from a wealth of different backgrounds – undoubtedly adding to their uniqueness ands complexity.”

Editor’s pick

Here’s what stood out in the collection among the editorial team at Hotel Designs:

Leckford table lamp

Leckford table lamp by Vaughan

Image credit: Vaughan

Large in scale, this table lamp has a sophistication and monumentality to it. Initially modelled in clay by our design team, this ceramic piece is then given a striking antiqued finish glaze.

Windermere chandelier

Windermere chandelier in gilt

Image credit: Vaughan

Based on an original antique, this chandelier focuses on a foliate design and has been decorated with individually pressed and formed maple leaves in a gilt finish.

Morestead table

Morestead table by Vaughan

Image credit: Vaughan

Based on an original antique found in Lucy’s grandmother’s house, this piece centres around an Arts and Crafts aesthetic. Composed of two tiers, it has a wonderful decorative feel to it thanks to the knurled legs, and is finished in acacia wood.

Compton table

Based on an antique original Lucy and Michael bought at auction, this table harks back to the Aesthetic Movement, and has a personal link – ideal when giving character to a lobby/lounge. Available in both an ebonised wood and a light oak finish, it is finely decorated with fretwork detailing.

> Since you’re here, why not read about the Chawton Collection by Vaughan?

Vaughan 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 caption: The Bamboo Lantern. | Image credit: Vaughan

Blue Badge Access Awards collage

Calling all accessible hotels – Blue Badge Access Awards is back!

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Calling all accessible hotels – Blue Badge Access Awards is back!

The Blue Badge Access Awards (BBAAs) is the only dedicated global award scheme that promotes stylish accessibility in hospitality establishments, something that Hotel Designs cannot champion loud enough. This year, the categoryImagining Innovations for Disabled Guests’  includes a £20k prize fund…

Blue Badge Access Awards collage

The Blue Badge Access Awards, which set the gold standard for access in hospitality by rewarding UK venues and people for ‘accessibility with style’ are inviting entries for 2022.

“Mobility – or the lack of it – shouldn’t mean you can’t have style,” said Fiona Jarvis, Co-Founder, BBAA. “If you’re a hospitality venue or person who has gone the extra mile to make your venue accessible to everyone, and in doing so you have treated disabled people as customers, rather than ‘compliance issues’, then we urge you to enter the awards, and join us at next year’s ceremony at Hotel Brooklyn, Manchester.”

Previous winner Ed Warner, CEO of Motionspot, said: “Nearly one in five working-age UK adults have a disability. Being accessible AND stylish aren’t incompatible – they are the key to ensuring you haven’t excluded 20 per cent of your potential market. There are 14.1 million disabled people in the UK, while ‘accessible tourism’ is estimated to be worth £12 billion per year.

“Whether your motivation is simply to ‘do the right thing’, or to expand your business,” added Jarvis, “we are here to recognise and celebrate you. And if you’re not yet in a position to compete for one of our Access Awards, Blue Badge Style are here to advise, support, inspire and encourage you.”

The venue for the 2022 Awards – Hotel Brooklyn in Manchester – opened in 2020, and features 18 Liberty Bedrooms, setting a whole new standard for accessible bedrooms in hotels. “The aim,” says Robin Sheppard, who co-founded the Blue Badge Access Awards and conceived the Hotel Brooklyn brand, “was for any visitor to Hotel Brooklyn – able or disabled – to regard the Liberty bedrooms as an upgrade, not a lesser option. So we’re thrilled that The Caterer Magazine has recognised that in their own awards scheme, and we’re equally delighted that the 2022 Blue Badge Access Awards will be held here.”

The award categories for 2022

There will be nominations, submissions and awards in each of the following categories:

  • Best Upmarket Bar
  • Best Budget Bar
  • Conran Award for Best Upmarket Restaurant 
  • Best Budget Restaurant
  • Best Boutique Hotel
  • HEWI Award for Best Luxury Hotel
  • Historic England Award for Best Venue in a Listed Building
  • Above & Beyond Award (includes Hospitality & Corporates, venues and/or people)
  • Access Champion of the Year
  • Training Initiative of the Year Award
  • Best Accessible Toilet
  • The Exception Award – Most Ludicrous (‘accessible’) Loo
  • Euan’s Guide People’s Choice Award

The Conceptual Design Award 2022: 

There is a prize fund of £20,000 for these Awards:

  • Innovative Inclusive Hospitality/Hotel Design Concept (open to architects and designers)
  • Most Inclusive Guest Innovation (open to all)

Anyone can nominate a venue, person or organisation for an award (venues/organisations may nominate themselves). Nominations are encouraged from anywhere in the world. You can request an entry form by emailing BBAA.

Main image credit: BBAA/Hotel Brooklyn

outdoor Radisson hotel pool at night

Radisson to double its West and Central Africa portfolio by 2025

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Radisson to double its West and Central Africa portfolio by 2025

Radisson Hotel Group has announced that it will double its portfolio of hotels in West and Central Africa by 2025. To understand more about why this region is becoming a hotel development hotspot, Pauline Brettell hears from Erwan Garnier, Senior Director of Development in Africa at Radisson Hotel Group. Here’s what she found out…

outdoor Radisson hotel pool at night

Radisson Hotel Group, one of the world’s leading hotel companies, has identified West and Central Africa as key markets in its African development strategy, growing its portfolio from one hotel in 2008 to the current portfolio of 25 hotels in both in operation and under development. With this robust expansion strategy, the group is on track to cement its leadership and double its portfolio to 50 hotels by 2025.

Despite the pandemic, the territories remain a strategic territory for Radisson Hotel Group’s expansion. In 2020, the group was able to increase its West and Central African portfolio with three new hotel signings, adding more than 625 rooms and reinforcing its presence in key markets such as Nigeria and Mali while entering a new West African market, Ghana. With its focus on conversions, the hotel group was able to open within the same year, further demonstrating the strength and ability of the company to accelerate rebranding and repositioning of existing hotels. Another milestone was the debut of Radisson Collection brand in Africa, with the opening of Radisson Collection Hotel, Bamako in December.

Image credit: Radisson Bamako

In April this year, the group launched its first Radisson Individuals property in Africa, with the signing of Earl Heights Suites Hotel, a member of Radisson Individuals, in Accra, Ghana, due to open during the first quarter of 2022. Radisson Individuals is a conversion brand that offers independent hotels and local, regional chains the opportunity to be part of the global Radisson Hotel Group platform, benefit from the group’s international awareness and experience, with the freedom to maintain their own uniqueness and identity. The pandemic has set a trend of consolidation in the industry, giving individual hotels the opportunity to rebrand their properties, while allowing the Group to expand even faster.

“We have also identified eight pro-active cities in West & Central Africa in which we are focusing our efforts for scaled expansion.” – Erwan Garnier, Senior Director, Development, Africa at Radisson Hotel Group.

Erwan Garnier, Senior Director, Development, Africa at Radisson Hotel Group, said: “We have identified six countries for growth in West and Central Africa, with a clear strategy to have city scaled growth in the key African capital cities, financial hubs and resort destinations. We have also identified eight pro-active cities in West and Central Africa in which we are focusing our efforts for scaled expansion. The focus destinations are Abuja, Lagos, Accra, Abidjan, Dakar, Yaoundé, Douala, and Kinshasa. Our development strategy for West and Central Africa, focuses on business hotels, resorts, serviced apartments and mixed-use developments. What sets us apart is our owner-centric approach with dedicated teams and relevant brands with the lowest development cost and access to development solutions, plus our adaptive solutions to meet local needs from compact offering, midscale to luxury, serviced apartments, lean operational model and clustering efficiencies.”

Nigeria

As the largest economy of the African continent, Nigeria remains a key market for Radisson Hotel Group as it expands its reach across West Africa. The group currently has nine properties open and under development in Nigeria, five which are operating in Lagos and Abeokuta and spread across our award-winning upper upscale brand, Radisson Blu, the upscale Radisson brand and the upper midscale brand, Park Inn by Radisson.

Four properties are currently under development in Abuja and Lagos: Radisson Collection Hotel Ikoyi Lagos, Radisson Collection Hotel Emerald Grand Hotel & Spa, Radisson Blu Hotel Abuja City Centre and Radisson Hotel Abuja Gudu.

Image credit: Radisson Lagos

“Our objective in Nigeria is to increase our portfolio by 50 per cent, by 2025. The prime focus of expansion is  the capital city of Abuja, followed by Lagos and Port Harcourt. We foresee developing each of our six brands in Nigeria which includes our newest Radisson Individuals brand to support potential conversions,” said Garnier.

Ghana

Claiming the title as the fastest economy in West Africa, Ghana has been identified as a focus market for the Group. Following the announcement of Earl Heights Suites Hotel, a member of Radisson Individuals, in Accra, Ghana earlier this year, the Group aims to enter the international luxury market with Radisson Collection, develop their flagship Radisson Blu portfolio, the upscale segment with their Radisson brand, the upscale lifestyle segment with Radisson RED and the midscale segment with Park Inn by Radisson.

The focus of expansion is the capital city, Accra, the Gulf of Guinea as well as Kumasi, one of the largest cities of the country.

Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast is one of the fastest economies in French Speaking Africa and is a key market for Radisson Hotel Group.

Garnier said: “Abidjan is our focus city and we aim to further expand and meet the needs of the market by having each of our six brands present by the end of 2025. Currently in operation is the Radisson Blu Hotel, Abidjan Airport and one hotel under development, the Radisson Hotel & Apartments, Abidjan Plateau, which will offer the largest conference centre in the city centre, stylish accommodation and the city’s first roof top bar and restaurant.”

“We’ve identified the market requirement for international luxury in Abidjan and plan to meet this with our entry luxury brand, Radisson Collection. We also aim to expand our growing Radisson Blu portfolio and the upscale segment and upscale lifestyle segments with Radisson and Radisson RED in Plateau and Cocody. In terms of the international midscale segment, we aim to develop in Plateau, Cocody, Marcory and Treichville with our popular Park Inn by Radisson brand. Other cities we’re aiming to establish a presence in are San Pedro and the capital city of Yamoussoukro with our international upscale and midscale hotels. In the leisure market of Grand Bassam and Assinie, the ideal debut would be with Radisson Blu and Radisson brands.”

Senegal

Known as an example of political and economic stability in French speaking Africa, Senegal remains a steadfast priority country of expansion for the Group. Dakar, a key focus city for Radisson Hotel Group, indicates strong potential in various market segments. The Group currently operates two hotels, Radisson Blu Hotel, Dakar Sea Plaza and Radisson Hotel Dakar Diamniadio  and aims to establish a presence for each of their six brands by 2025.

“We plan to enter the international luxury market with Radisson Collection, expand upon our flagship Radisson Blu portfolio, and establish a presence in the upscale segment and upscale lifestyle segment with Radisson and Radisson RED as well as the midscale segment with Park Inn by Radisson,” added Garnier. “We are focusing our expansion in the center of Dakar with Plateau, Corniche, Ngor and Point E as well as Diamniadio and Saly. Other cities we’ve identified for expansion are Touba and Saint Louis with our Radisson and Park Inn by Radisson brands. In Cap Skirring, we aim to introduce our upscale and upper upscale brands to this leisure market alongside the Atlantic Ocean Coast.”

Cameroon

Radisson Hotel Group plans to further expand its portfolio of brands across the Cameroon, with a focus in Douala and Yaoundé. In Douala, the economic hub in Central Africa, the Radisson Blu Hotel & Apartments Douala is currently under-development with the opening scheduled for Q1 2023. The property will lead the five star segment in the city with 180 rooms and apartments, a range of food and beverage facilities, including a sky bar with a view of the entire city, along with a cutting edge wellness spa and gym.

“In the capital city of Yaounde and the financial hub of Douala, our ambition is to establish a presence for each of our six brands. Our priority now is to enter Yaoundé in order to have presence in both key cities of the country. We are also aiming to expand our resort offering in Kribi with our Radisson and Park Inn by Radisson brands.”

Image credit: Radisson Lagos

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Radisson Hotel Group has also identified the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the second largest country of the continent by area, as a focus of expansion, placing a priority to enter this strategic market in 2022, focusing on Kinshasa city followed by Kolwezi and Lubumbashi. Kinshasa has the potential to house each of the six Radisson Hotel Group brands especially Radisson Collection, Radisson Blu and Radisson.

Radisson Hotel Group is one of the world’s largest hotel groups with nine distinctive hotel brands, and more than 1,500 hotels in operation and under development in 120 countries. The group portfolio includes Radisson Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson RED, Radisson Individuals, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson, Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, and prizeotel brought together under one commercial umbrella brand Radisson Hotels.

Main image credit: Radisson Hotel Group

Grok Tubs contemporary, felt fitting lighting in living room

New architectural lighting range by Grok plays on geometric lines

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New architectural lighting range by Grok plays on geometric lines

Grok’s architectural lighting range Tubs, designed by Nahtrang Design, is a versatile and modular lighting collection that plays on geometric lines. It also features a new felt fitting, providing a greater decorative perception as well as improved acoustic qualities…

Grok Tubs contemporary, felt fitting lighting in living room

Answering modern designers’ demands for statement lighting schemes incorporating innovative use of acoustic materials, LEDS C4’s Grok has recently expanded its geometric Tubs collection to now feature felt fitting.

This new fitting is available in two sizes (1000 x 300 mm and 600 x 200 mm), and comes in two shades of grey, as well as a wide range of colours available on special order.

Being showcased at HIX Event next month, the range combines versatility with subtle design. Its linear shapes are joined together to create grids of air and light, enhancing sense of space in a room. The design studio Nahtrang, formed by Dani Vila and Ester Pujol, has created a lighting collection that’s pure visual poetry, offering endless possibilities for creating and dressing large spaces.

The Tubs collection has four families: pendant, table, wall and floor. The wealth of shapes make each piece a living element that can be infinitely extended, and can also be built in smaller versions and adapted to more limited spaces.

Uniquely designed, the Tubs pendant light is characterised by its geometric and pyramidal lines, trapping the light inside and subtly defining and enhancing the spaces where it hangs. Its soft yet powerful light makes it a versatile piece, perfect for large spaces.

Tubs table lamps and Tubs floor lamps cast light through geometric shapes. The linear light source has a broad capacity for movement, providing the space with energy and character. Their black marble bases give them a touch of elegance and quality. These are highly versatile pieces, suitable for domestic, leased and office spaces.

The Tubs wall light also represents a play with light, casting geometric shapes on the surfaces where it hangs. The linear light source has a broad capacity for movement, providing the space with energy and character.

Tubs Modular is a highly versatile and technically sophisticated family of products that allows maximum user control within a slim profile.

LEDS C4 will be showcasing a range of products at HIX Event. The lighting brand will be stationed on stand U36, as well as featuring its Tubs floor lamp on the Hotel Designs stand ( U54) and displaying its products within a live environment in the HIX Works installation. 

Main image credit: LEDS C4/Grok

Hotel design | Four Seasons Napa Valley bedroom with wooden headboard, white sheets and black and white striped carpets

In pictures: Four Seasons arrives in Napa Valley

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In pictures: Four Seasons arrives in Napa Valley

Following much anticipation, Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley, which Hotel Designs first bookmarked earlier this year as one of 2021’s hottest openings, will finally open its doors in just a few weeks time. Melania Guarda Ceccoli explores whether or not it has been worth the wait…

Hotel design | Four Seasons Napa Valley bedroom with wooden headboard, white sheets and black and white striped carpets

Food, wine and spirits, plus wellness-inspired amenities and authentic service that works in harmony with design: Four Seasons Resorts and Residences Napa Valley has arrived. Opening officially on November 1, the new resort will welcome its visitors to the heart of California’s renowned wine region, to live an experience where wine, wellness, cuisine and relax come together. Napa Valley is the first and only resort in the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts’ portfolio that is set within a working winery. The 85-key hotel is located at 400 Silverado Trail, situated in the historic, charming town of Calistoga, tucked into the base of Mount Saint Helena at the top of Napa Valley and surrounded by hundreds of acres of vineyards.

The resort project, followed by one of the world’s most celebrated interior designers Erin Martin, in conjunction with Hirsch Bedner Associates(HBA), was conceived to give a private and regenerating atmosphere like a sanctuary. The spacious rooms and suites live the indoor-outdoor spaces in their entirety with gardens and private outdoor terraces in continuity with the interior furnishings in sophisticated and warm tones. The exclusive retreat is the Estate Villa, an independent building of almost 315 square metres with three bedrooms, a free-standing building nestled at the edge of the on-site vineyard, which features indoor-outdoor living and dining, a private garden, and a swimming pool. Throughout the property, couples, families, friends, and travellers alike will enjoy a vast array of services and experiences, including two outdoor swimming pools nestled amid the vineyard, the fully supervised Kids for All Seasons program, a regulation bocce ball court, and state-of-the-art fitness facilities complete with vineyard views, Technogym equipment, and programming.

“This is an exciting moment for our Four Seasons Resort Napa Valley family as we open up reservations and begin planning guest visits,” adds General Manager Mehdi Eftekari. “The property proudly delivers an authentic luxury retreat without pretence, bringing a distinctive, laidback wine country ethos and style of hospitality that can only be found in the illustrious Napa Valley. Scenic vineyard views, exceptional wine and cuisine, holistic wellness, high design, immersive experiences, and so much more await guests at this ultimate wine country oasis.”

The Four Seasons Resorts and Residences Napa Valley features an on-site, fully operational, organically hand-farmed 4.7-acre vineyard and winery and a farm-to-table dining experience by acclaimed Chef Erik Anderson. With the warmest microclimate in Napa Valley, the Calistoga AVA is ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

There are four types of rooms available: Guest Rooms, Suites, Speciality Suites and Accessible Rooms.  Scattered throughout the resort, the stylish and well-appointed ‘Guest Rooms’ offer the very best in comfort and privacy, while providing a peaceful retreat in which to relax and unwind throughout your stay.

Luxurious guestroom inside Four Seasons Napa Valley

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

The ‘Suites’ are expansive and provide all the extra space you could need for your stay, with separate sleeping and living spaces. Meanwhile, the Speciality Suite, with multiple rooms that are artfully furnished for work, play or rest, provide the very best in privacy for families and groups of guests who require extra space.

As with all Four Seasons’ properties, F&B plays a major role in both design and service. Led by Michelin-starred Executive Chef Erik Anderson, TRUSS Restaurant + Bar brings a spirited, modern fine dining experience with a farm-fresh a la carte menu, genuine hospitality, an elevated yet laid-back, indoor-outdoor environment, and sweeping views of the Calistoga vineyards and Palisades Mountains.

A large private dining area inside Four Seasons Hotel Napa Valley

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Shaun Acosta, Executive Resort Chef, oversees the open-air Campo Poolside, conveniently located between the Resort’s two picturesque pools overlooking the vineyards, serving delectable Cal-Mexican fare and poolside favourites that change with the seasons to highlight Napa Valley’s bountiful, fresh produce.

To enrich the wine-country getaway, guests at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley can explore a world-class vineyard and Elusa Winery. No other wine-country resort integrates the grape-to-glass experience so thoroughly. Guests will be invited to explore the winemaking process, from harvesting the grapes to sorting and selecting the optimal fruit to blend and ageing the wine. In guided tastings, guests will learn the subtle yet distinct differences between floral and woody, balanced and rounded, fruit-driven and terroir-driven wines.

Designed as a tranquil oasis, Spa Talisa is centred on holistic healing for the mind and body, featuring rejuvenating offerings that take guests on a wellness journey through a beautifully landscaped outdoor relaxation garden.

Outdoor pool at Four Seasons Napa Valley

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Featuring a modern yet organic aesthetic, the spa, which shelters eight well-appointed treatment rooms, incorporates a mix of cool blue tones, warm wood, and abundant natural lighting against striking black and white design, creating an eye-catching yet soothing environment throughout this standout stone structure.

In addition to currently operating 121 hotels and resorts, and 46 residential properties in major city centres and resort destinations in 47 countries, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has more than 50 projects under planning or development.

Main image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Minimalist bathroom: Kaldewei Superplan Zero_Milieu

‘Bathroom blockbuster’: SUPERPLAN ZERO shower surface by Kaldewei

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
‘Bathroom blockbuster’: SUPERPLAN ZERO shower surface by Kaldewei

The SUPERPLAN ZERO by bathroom brand Kaldewei is a sustainable, aesthetic floor enhancement with elegant lines. The enamelled shower surface – with reserved, stylish detail  and extremely comfortable underfoot – has the potential to become a blockbuster in the bathroom. Editor Hamish Kilburn speaks to Berlin designer, Werner Aisslinger, to learn more… 

Minimalist bathroom: Kaldewei Superplan Zero_Milieu

Superplan Zero has a story behind its development: Kaldewei has always paid attention to customer requirements in terms of shower surfaces and as such have translated these needs into this new product. Installed at floor level, the shower surface becomes part of the bathroom floor and because of the very narrow edges it is possible to tile directly up to the shower edge with almost invisible joints. The waste is placed close to the wall so that standing comfortably and moving safely on the Superplan Zero is guaranteed. The new shower surface is characterised by its elegant and precise lines and is easily accessed from three sides, without having to step up or into the surface.

The base is sustainable, extremely long-lasting and 100 percent recyclable steel enamel. The exquisite glass surface is applied to the steel using a special process and this is what gives it such a luxurious finish. Kaldewei is the only steel enamel manufacturer that produces the enamel, i.e. the basic substance for the glass coating, in-house and using a secret formulation. The quality and durability of these surfaces are legendary.

There are more than 50 different dimensions from 70 to 180 centimetres, diverse surface variations and a wide range of colours, all of which make the Superplan Zero even more attractive. Whether in large or small bathrooms, building owners, planners and installers have full flexibility. The shower surface is available with the almost invisible, anti-slip surface finish Secure Plus, upon request. The Superplan Zero is 100 percent compatible with all the sealing sets, assembly systems and waste fittings from Kaldewei.

Hamish Kilburn: What makes this shower floor different from anything else on the market?

Werner Aisslinger: For starters, it’s super flat and elegant. The maximum body of water is absorbed by the Superplan drainage system even though it looks level, even and flat. Other shower floors have the drain system either in the corner or in the middle of a huge rectangle. Superplan Zero, however, comes in a great many sizes –far more than many others?

Dancer on top of Kaldewei shower surface in front of black backdrop

Image credit: Kaldewei/Bryan Adams

HK: Can you tell us more about the development of this product – where did the idea come from?

WA: Superplan was part of a product range developed in 2005 – it was a best-selling range for Kaldewei, and 16 years later they wanted to update it. Kaldewei wanted to update the whole range; they wanted to take it to another level to develop Superplan Zero, creating an extremely flat shower floor. The problem with the development was we needed to make it possible to get rid of the water, we needed to take into account facts such as power showers and the amount of water they use per minute or per second and how many litres of water this is and how to dispose of the water. We wanted to go to the limits of what is possible and what is necessary. To make what is possible with a shower floor and to show the world – it was a complex design job. Working together with the engineers from Kaldewei we needed to arrive at a design language that would at the same time keep a feeling and reference to the original Superplan. Matching all the worldwide norms and demands then going to the limit of an extremely flat shape involved a lot of computer work so it was not easy. None of the work was done by hand – we needed to do a lot research and carry out a lot of computer assimilations.

HK: What challenges did you face developing products during lockdown?

WA: I would say the lockdown situation didn’t change so much; although it’s always nice to meet in person it was ok because we were meeting on line. In this case it was all about the data, we produced data, the engineers produced data and then we compared all this on line and with on line calls, so it was easy to switch from a pre corona time to lockdown.

It was not a drama for the evolution of the product to work like this. The challenge was more to compare all the world wide regulations and bathroom floors and the technology of Kaldewei with the moulded metal material, trying to create a design that had a long lifecycle in terms of product and design language to still be a long runner and long term seller within the market.

> Since you’re here, why not read about Kaldewei’s new washbasins that bring sensuality to the bathroom?

Kaldewei is one of our recommended suppliers and regularly feature 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/Bryan Adams

Skip to main contentSkip to toolbar About WordPress Hotel Designs 341 WordPress Update, 29 Plugin Updates, 4 Theme Updates 1,7011,701 Comments in moderation New View Post Smart Slider Insights Copy to a new draft Hi, Hamish Kilburnmm Log Out Screen Options Help WordPress 5.8.1 is available! Please update now. Please activate your copy of the Ultimate Addons for WPBakery Page Builder to get update notifications, access to support features & other resources! Edit Post Add New Note: Envato official solution is recommended for theme updates using the new Envato Market API. You can now update the theme using the Envato Market plugin. For more information read the related article in our documentation. Dismiss this notice Dismiss this notice. This theme recommends the following plugins: Envato Market, MailChimp for WordPress, Osmosis Demo Importer and WooCommerce. 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Last edited by Hamish Kilburn on 22 October 2021 at 8:44 am Move upMove downToggle panel: Format Post Formats Standard Gallery Link Quote Video Audio Move upMove downToggle panel: Publish Preview (opens in a new tab) Status: Draft Edit Edit status Visibility: Public Edit Edit visibility Publish immediately Edit Edit date and time SEO: Unavailable Copy to a new draft Move to Bin Move upMove downToggle panel: Categories All Categories Most Used Uncategorised Editor’s Picks In Conversation With Industry News 1st mpu news 2nd mpu news 3rd mpu news 4th mpu news bottom section news Job Section Designers Featured Job Industry Latest Hotel Review 1st mpu review 2nd mpu review 3rd mpu review 4th mpu review bottom section review Main Slider Member News 1st mpu members 2nd mpu members 3rd mpu members 4th mpu members bottom section members Member News Homepage Most Read Spotlight On Supplier News + Add New Category Move upMove downToggle panel: Tags Add New Tag Separate tags with commas Remove term: 2021 2021 Choose from the most used tags Move upMove downToggle panel: Featured image Set featured image Move upMove downToggle panel: The Grid - Item Format Move upMove downToggle panel: Insert script to Move upMove downToggle panel: Custom HotSpot Hotel Development Move upMove downToggle panel: Configure Rich Snippet Move upMove downToggle panel: WPBakery Page Builder WPBakery Page Builder PreviewUpdate Custom [page_title] Mexico’s wine country in Baja California will become home to Banyan Tree Group’s fourth property in the region. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe Resort, Spa and Winery is slated to open in 2023. In the meantime, we here's a sneak peek of what to expect inside... [thumbnailnew] Banyan Tree Group is on a mission to expand its presence across Mexico, with the announcement that it will manage Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe Resort, Spa and Winery, which is set to open on the hills of Mexico’s emerging food and wine region in Baja California during the 2023 harvest season. The 30-villa ultra-luxury resort will mark Banyan Tree Group’s fourth hotel in Mexico. Valle de Guadalupe is a rapidly growing tourism market that continues to gain international recognition as one of Mexico’s emerging destinations and one that Banyan Tree Group is focused on for development. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe will join the global brand’s iconic collection of properties across Mexico, from Riviera Maya and Merida to Acapulco. The group's legacy as pioneer of the all-pool villa concept and sustainable, wellbeing-focused travel will be infused into the Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe experience. The luxurious enclave, designed by the office of renowned Mexican designer Michel Rojkind and developed by Grupo UBK, will boast striking villas that draw in the valley’s natural surroundings with a sense of place that connect guests with the beauty around them. The property sits on nearly 39 acres of land and will be home to Banyan Tree Group’s first proprietary winery featuring vineyards, rooms for fermentation, barreling and aging, a winemaking laboratory, tasting room and underground cellar. The winery will work with talented locals for the production of wines to ensure the preservation of the environment, a key component of the business model for the community. "Banyan Tree has been exploring the area around Valle de Guadalupe for quite some time,” says Peter Hechler, SAVP, Head of Regional Operations for the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Americas. Primed to be Mexico’s next most sought-after destination, Valle de Guadalupe is a quick hour-long drive for travelers in Southern California looking to spend a few days in a culinary mecca amongst Mexico’s best vineyards that are well worth the journey. “We strongly believe this is a thriving destination with a bright future and one that is already making a name for itself amongst the top locations to explore in Mexico. We are very excited and honoured to be the first luxury brand to set foot in the area." Valle de Guadalupe’s agricultural spirit, New World wines and impressive culinary scene will be woven into the fabric of the guest experience at Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe. Nestled amidst olive oil groves and grapevines, five food and beverage venues are found in the centre of the resort, including a terrace restaurant, fine-dining eatery, cocktail bar, coffee house and a hilltop rooftop concept featuring breathtaking views of the valley. On the food and spa menus, guests will be able to spot seven varieties of medicinal plants indigenous to the area such as hoja santa and white sage, that were grown steps away at its onsite bio-endemic garden sanctuary, as well as freshly pressed olive oil that is harvested and produced at the winery itself. Known as a sanctuary for the senses, Banyan Tree’s signature award-winning Spa comprises four treatment rooms, sauna, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and both indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe is the latest addition to Banyan Tree Group’s ambitious growth plans of strategic expansion in Mexico. With a proven track record success in operating Banyan Tree Mayakoba, Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués in Acapulco and Hacienda Xcanatun by Angsana in Merida, the Group’s vast knowledge of the market and keen ability to choose desirable destinations for growth will propel the resort and the region of Valle de Guadalupe to new heights. In addition, new signing announcements in the pipeline by Banyan Tree Group are set to be unveiled soon. Main image credit: Banyan Tree Group Move upMove downToggle panel: Excerpt Excerpt Excerpts are optional hand-crafted summaries of your content that can be used in your theme. Learn more about manual excerpts. 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Banyan Tree Group expands portfolio in Mexico

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Banyan Tree Group expands portfolio in Mexico

Mexico’s wine country in Baja California will become home to Banyan Tree Group’s fourth property in the region. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe Resort, Spa and Winery is slated to open in 2023. In the meantime, we here’s a sneak peek of what to expect inside…

Skip to main contentSkip to toolbar About WordPress Hotel Designs 341 WordPress Update, 29 Plugin Updates, 4 Theme Updates 1,7011,701 Comments in moderation New View Post Smart Slider Insights Copy to a new draft Hi, Hamish Kilburnmm Log Out Screen Options Help WordPress 5.8.1 is available! Please update now. Please activate your copy of the Ultimate Addons for WPBakery Page Builder to get update notifications, access to support features & other resources! Edit Post Add New Note: Envato official solution is recommended for theme updates using the new Envato Market API. You can now update the theme using the Envato Market plugin. For more information read the related article in our documentation. Dismiss this notice Dismiss this notice. This theme recommends the following plugins: Envato Market, MailChimp for WordPress, Osmosis Demo Importer and WooCommerce. The following plugins need to be updated to their latest version to ensure maximum compatibility with this theme: Go Pricing - WordPress Responsive Pricing Tables and Revolution Slider. Begin installing plugins | Begin updating plugins | Dismiss this notice Dismiss this notice. Post draft updated. Preview post Dismiss this notice. Add title Banyan Tree Group expands portfolio in Mexico Permalink: https://hoteldesigns.net/uncategorised/banyan-tree-grou…tfolio-in-mexico/ ‎Edit Classic ModeFrontend EditorGutenberg Editor Add Media Add Slider Add Form VisualText Paragraph Word count: 673 Draft saved at 8:47:04 am. Last edited by Hamish Kilburn on 22 October 2021 at 8:44 am Move upMove downToggle panel: Format Post Formats Standard Gallery Link Quote Video Audio Move upMove downToggle panel: Publish Preview (opens in a new tab) Status: Draft Edit Edit status Visibility: Public Edit Edit visibility Publish immediately Edit Edit date and time SEO: Unavailable Copy to a new draft Move to Bin Move upMove downToggle panel: Categories All Categories Most Used Uncategorised Editor’s Picks In Conversation With Industry News 1st mpu news 2nd mpu news 3rd mpu news 4th mpu news bottom section news Job Section Designers Featured Job Industry Latest Hotel Review 1st mpu review 2nd mpu review 3rd mpu review 4th mpu review bottom section review Main Slider Member News 1st mpu members 2nd mpu members 3rd mpu members 4th mpu members bottom section members Member News Homepage Most Read Spotlight On Supplier News + Add New Category Move upMove downToggle panel: Tags Add New Tag Separate tags with commas Remove term: 2021 2021 Choose from the most used tags Move upMove downToggle panel: Featured image Set featured image Move upMove downToggle panel: The Grid - Item Format Move upMove downToggle panel: Insert script to Move upMove downToggle panel: Custom HotSpot Hotel Development Move upMove downToggle panel: Configure Rich Snippet Move upMove downToggle panel: WPBakery Page Builder WPBakery Page Builder PreviewUpdate Custom [page_title] Mexico’s wine country in Baja California will become home to Banyan Tree Group’s fourth property in the region. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe Resort, Spa and Winery is slated to open in 2023. In the meantime, we here's a sneak peek of what to expect inside... [thumbnailnew] Banyan Tree Group is on a mission to expand its presence across Mexico, with the announcement that it will manage Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe Resort, Spa and Winery, which is set to open on the hills of Mexico’s emerging food and wine region in Baja California during the 2023 harvest season. The 30-villa ultra-luxury resort will mark Banyan Tree Group’s fourth hotel in Mexico. Valle de Guadalupe is a rapidly growing tourism market that continues to gain international recognition as one of Mexico’s emerging destinations and one that Banyan Tree Group is focused on for development. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe will join the global brand’s iconic collection of properties across Mexico, from Riviera Maya and Merida to Acapulco. The group's legacy as pioneer of the all-pool villa concept and sustainable, wellbeing-focused travel will be infused into the Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe experience. The luxurious enclave, designed by the office of renowned Mexican designer Michel Rojkind and developed by Grupo UBK, will boast striking villas that draw in the valley’s natural surroundings with a sense of place that connect guests with the beauty around them. The property sits on nearly 39 acres of land and will be home to Banyan Tree Group’s first proprietary winery featuring vineyards, rooms for fermentation, barreling and aging, a winemaking laboratory, tasting room and underground cellar. The winery will work with talented locals for the production of wines to ensure the preservation of the environment, a key component of the business model for the community. "Banyan Tree has been exploring the area around Valle de Guadalupe for quite some time,” says Peter Hechler, SAVP, Head of Regional Operations for the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Americas. Primed to be Mexico’s next most sought-after destination, Valle de Guadalupe is a quick hour-long drive for travelers in Southern California looking to spend a few days in a culinary mecca amongst Mexico’s best vineyards that are well worth the journey. “We strongly believe this is a thriving destination with a bright future and one that is already making a name for itself amongst the top locations to explore in Mexico. We are very excited and honoured to be the first luxury brand to set foot in the area." Valle de Guadalupe’s agricultural spirit, New World wines and impressive culinary scene will be woven into the fabric of the guest experience at Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe. Nestled amidst olive oil groves and grapevines, five food and beverage venues are found in the centre of the resort, including a terrace restaurant, fine-dining eatery, cocktail bar, coffee house and a hilltop rooftop concept featuring breathtaking views of the valley. On the food and spa menus, guests will be able to spot seven varieties of medicinal plants indigenous to the area such as hoja santa and white sage, that were grown steps away at its onsite bio-endemic garden sanctuary, as well as freshly pressed olive oil that is harvested and produced at the winery itself. Known as a sanctuary for the senses, Banyan Tree’s signature award-winning Spa comprises four treatment rooms, sauna, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and both indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe is the latest addition to Banyan Tree Group’s ambitious growth plans of strategic expansion in Mexico. With a proven track record success in operating Banyan Tree Mayakoba, Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués in Acapulco and Hacienda Xcanatun by Angsana in Merida, the Group’s vast knowledge of the market and keen ability to choose desirable destinations for growth will propel the resort and the region of Valle de Guadalupe to new heights. In addition, new signing announcements in the pipeline by Banyan Tree Group are set to be unveiled soon. Main image credit: Banyan Tree Group Move upMove downToggle panel: Excerpt Excerpt Excerpts are optional hand-crafted summaries of your content that can be used in your theme. Learn more about manual excerpts. 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Banyan Tree Group is on a mission to expand its presence across Mexico, with the announcement that it will manage Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe Resort, Spa and Winery, which is set to open on the hills of Mexico’s emerging food and wine region in Baja California during the 2023 harvest season.

The 30-villa ultra-luxury resort will mark Banyan Tree Group’s fourth hotel in Mexico. Valle de Guadalupe is a rapidly growing tourism market that continues to gain international recognition as one of Mexico’s emerging destinations and one that Banyan Tree Group is focused on for development. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe will join the global brand’s iconic collection of properties across Mexico, from Riviera Maya and Merida to Acapulco.  

The group’s legacy as pioneer of the all-pool villa concept and sustainable, wellbeing-focused travel will be infused into the Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe experience. The luxurious enclave, designed by the office of renowned Mexican designer Michel Rojkind and developed by Grupo UBK, will boast striking villas that draw in the valley’s natural surroundings with a sense of place that connect guests with the beauty around them. The property sits on nearly 39 acres of land and will be home to Banyan Tree Group’s first proprietary winery featuring vineyards, rooms for fermentation, barreling and ageing, a winemaking laboratory, tasting room and underground cellar. The winery will work with talented locals for the production of wines to ensure the preservation of the environment, a key component of the business model for the community.  

“We strongly believe this is a thriving destination with a bright future and one that is already making a name for itself amongst the top locations to explore in Mexico.” – Peter Hechler, SAVP, Head of Regional Operations for the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Americas.

“Banyan Tree has been exploring the area around Valle de Guadalupe for quite some time,” says Peter Hechler, SAVP, Head of Regional Operations for the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Americas. “Primed to be Mexico’s next most sought-after destination, Valle de Guadalupe is a quick hour-long drive for travellers in Southern California looking to spend a few days in a culinary mecca amongst Mexico’s best vineyards that are well worth the journey. We strongly believe this is a thriving destination with a bright future and one that is already making a name for itself amongst the top locations to explore in Mexico. We are very excited and honoured to be the first luxury brand to set foot in the area.”   

Valle de Guadalupe’s agricultural spirit, New World wines and impressive culinary scene will be woven into the fabric of the guest experience at Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe. Nestled amidst olive oil groves and grapevines, five food and beverage venues are found in the centre of the resort, including a terrace restaurant, fine-dining eatery, cocktail bar, coffee house and a hilltop rooftop concept featuring breathtaking views of the valley. On the food and spa menus, guests will be able to spot seven varieties of medicinal plants indigenous to the area such as hoja santa and white sage, that were grown steps away at its onsite bio-endemic garden sanctuary, as well as freshly pressed olive oil that is harvested and produced at the winery itself. Known as a sanctuary for the senses, Banyan Tree’s signature award-winning Spa comprises four treatment rooms, sauna, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and both indoor and outdoor swimming pools.   

Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe is the latest addition to Banyan Tree Group’s ambitious growth plans of strategic expansion in Mexico. With a proven track record success in operating Banyan Tree Mayakoba, Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués in Acapulco and Hacienda Xcanatun by Angsana in Merida, the group’s vast knowledge of the market and keen ability to choose desirable destinations for growth will propel the resort and the region of Valle de Guadalupe to new heights. In addition, new signing announcements in the pipeline by Banyan Tree Group are set to be unveiled soon.   

> Since you’re here, why not read about Banyan Tree Group’s first luxury resort to open in Krabi in 11 years?

Main image credit: Banyan Tree Group

The Reykjavik EDITION_Tides Restaurant

The Reykjavik EDITION arrives in Iceland

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Reykjavik EDITION arrives in Iceland

Opening in preview on November 9 2021, The Reykjavik EDITION is expected to set a new hospitality standard – one that matches the natural magnificence of the destination –  as Reykjavik’s first truly luxury hotel experience. The 253-key hotel combines the best of the Icelandic capital with the personal, intimate and individual experience that the EDITION hotel brand is known for. Melania Guarda Ceccoli writes…

The Reykjavik EDITION_Tides Restaurant

Cool cafes, culinary hotspot, an epic music scene and a vibrant nightlife: we are in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland – land of hot springs, mineral waters and natural fjords. With typical finesse, the long-awaited arrival of The Reykjavik EDITION further cements EDITION Hotel’s uncanny ability to land in just the right place at the right time. Opening this November, The Reykjavik EDITION will shelter a personal, intimate and individual experience that the EDITION hotel brand is known for. The result is a spirited and sophisticated urban hub with 253 rooms, an outstanding line-up of bars, signature restaurants and nightclub and, in true EDITION hotel style, the introduction of a new kind of modern wellness concept.

“More so than any other place in the world, it’s a real opportunity to get in touch with earth and nature.” – Ian Schrager, Founder, EDITION Hotels.

The Reykjavik EDITION hotel is the first true luxury brand entering the market which has facilities and services like no other. First appearing on the map when American chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer won the World Chess Championship in Reykjavik in 1972, Schrager, who was following the event at the time, says he was taken aback by the country’s unspoiled, natural beauty.  “In Iceland, you’re getting to see things you won’t see anywhere else,” says Schrager, the visionary pioneer of the boutique hotel concept. “More so than any other place in the world, it’s a real opportunity to get in touch with earth and nature and we’re proud to further expand the EDITION brand in an incredible place with an incredibly exciting hotel that gives you a true sense of place.”

From the outside, The Reykjavik EDITION hotel is a striking addition to this downtown neighbourhood. Its ebony façade of shou sugi ban timber has been charred to be blacked using an ancient Japanese technique, and blackened steel frames is a clear nod to Iceland’s dramatic lava landscape.

The Reykjavik EDITION_Exterior

Image credit: EDITION Hotels

The double-entrance lobby is accessible either from the pedestrian Harpa plaza, or the harbour. The latter features a canopy, its underside illuminated by 12,210 glass LED nodes.

As with all EDITION hotels, the lobby is a dynamic, social space that subtly reveals a sense of place and sense of time. Here, basalt stone – or volcanic rock – is prominent, appearing on the flooring, which has been laid with an intricate pattern inspired by Icelandic geometry, and a standout sculptural reception desk. The lobby lounge features a central open-flame fireplace which is the hearth of the space, surrounded by seating and a collection of custom-made furniture in intimate seating groups, such as the JeanMichel Frank-inspired armchair in white shearling and Pierre Jeanneret-inspired chairs in black velvet.

Inside the entrance of the hotel, ISC has collaborated with local artisans to create a totem sculpture of stacked, columnar basalt slate from the south of Iceland. Rising close to four meters high, the sculpture’s inspiration is found in the traditional Cairns that act as landmarks across Iceland’s countryside. Dramatically lit by both electric and candlelight and surrounded by a basalt bench, the totem is layered with lush black sheepskins, black damask and silk pillows, becoming a gathering place to see and be seen, at the centre of the lobby. Right next to this, inspired by the spectacle of the aurora borealis (Northern Lights), ISC has video mapped the Northern Lights and has created an immersive, three dimensional and atmospheric digital artwork of beautiful green and purple dancing waves. Located in the lobby, it stirs a reaction and emotion, similar to witnessing the natural phenomenon in the Icelandic night sky…but in the comfort, warmth, and intimacy of the lobby and lobby fireplace.

Accessible from the lobby, the ground floor is also home to Tides, the signature restaurant with private dining room, and café with homemade baked goods, and Tölt, an intimate bar that takes its cues from The London EDITION’s award-winning Punch Room. Tides, which has an outdoor terrace and its own waterfront entrance, is helmed by Gunnar Karl Gíslason – the chef behind Dill, Reykjavik’s much-celebrated New Nordic Michelin-starred restaurant. In the mornings, breakfast is a fresh, healthy mix of clean juices, pastries, fruit, cereal and skyr (Icelandic yoghurt) supplemented by an à la carte menu of hot dishes and a selection of open-face sandwiches. For lunch and dinner, Gíslason serves modern Icelandic cuisine, with subtle hints of traditional cooking methods, focused on seasonal local products and the highest quality of global ingredients mainly cooked over an open fire. Alongside an extensive global wine list, expect dishes such as a vertical salad topped with fried oyster mushrooms aged soy sauce and roasted almonds, whole Arctic char stuffed with lemon, dill and garlic butter, baked Atlantic cod, grilled potatoes, mixed herbs and butter and lamb shoulder braised and slowed grilled, pickled onions mint and apples, and for dessert, Tides carrot cake, buttermilk ice-cream, carrot and sea buckthorn jam, with roasted caraway oil. There is also a weekend brunch menu and three nights a week, The Counter, overlooking the theatrical open kitchen, will serve an eight-course tasting menu with wine pairings for up to 10 people. Meanwhile those looking for something more casual can pop into the bakery and café for a coffee and a selection of freshly baked crowberry scones to delicious sourdough or rye bread sandwiches where guests can dine in or take away.

On the opposite side of the lobby, Tölt – named after the unique fifth gait Icelandic horses are best known for – is a cozy bar.

The Roof is located on the hotel’s seventh floor and offers panoramic mountain, North Atlantic Ocean and old town vistas. A versatile space that can be divided by a glass door for private events allows it to be the best place from which to enjoy the endless bright summer evenings as well as the magical northern lights in the colder months. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors open onto a large wrap-around seasonal outdoor terrace, scattered with comfortable seating and a large fire pit, while the slick all-black interiors create a discreet background that doesn’t detract from the views. Here, the casual vibe is supplemented by a small menu of comfort foods like grilled flatbreads, toasted sandwiches and fresh salads.

The Reykjavik EDITION_The Lobby Bar

Image credit: EDITION

The guestrooms and suites have been designed as warm retreats, each with floor-to-ceiling windows and some come complete with an outdoor terrace. From its prime corner spot on the 6th floor, the one-bedroom Penthouse Suite – with its own private terrace has magnificent harbour, Harpa and mountain views that are further complemented by bright, light-filled elegant interiors of plush custom furnishings in creamy oatmeal tones. The Penthouse Suite is also accessorised with an oversized bathroom with Italian white marble and a central fireplace too.

The Reykjavik EDITION hotel offers modern meeting and event spaces, including flexible studios, a boardroom with natural light, bleach oat-wide plank floorings, and a grand ballroom with pre-function space.

Also, on the lower ground floor is a gym. Alongside three treatment rooms, a hammam, steam room, sauna, and plunge pool which offers hydrotherapy, there is also a central lounge with a spa bar, which by day serves a fresh healthy menu of post-workout Viking shakes, champagnes and, delicious moss vodka infusions alongside snacks like volcano bread with black lava salt.

Main image credit: EDITION Hotels

COMO Le Montrachet Exterior 3 Square

Image exclusive: A look at COMO Hotels’ debut property in France

730 556 Hamish Kilburn
Image exclusive: A look at COMO Hotels’ debut property in France

The COMO Group has announced that its debut hotel in France, COMO Le Montrachet, is slated to open in 2022 – Hotel Designs has been given access to the first exterior images of the highly anticipated hotel property, taken by photographer Martin Morrell. Scroll down to have a peek… 

COMO Le Montrachet Exterior 3 Square

With 14 luxury hotels worldwide, including properties in the Maldives, Bhutan, Thailand, Australia, Turks and Caicos, Italy and the UK, it was only ever a matter of timing and , crucially, the right location for the arrival of the The COMO Group’s first hotel in France.

Well, the wait is almost over, but not without a the group creating a bit of healthy tension. COMO Le Montrachet, which will be situated in the sought-after Côte-d’Or region, will open in phases, with phase one scheduled to be completed in 2022, evolving the hotel judiciously over the years to come. With this new addition to the portfolio, COMO aims to bring its contemporary flair to Puligny-Montrachet, Burgundy, providing ‘unparalleled access’ to some of the most famous Grand Cru vineyards. Nestled around the most charming village square, guests are invited to experience the ‘COMO way of life’.

For this project, the COMO Group will again collaborate with esteemed designer Paola Navone to complement the historic 18th century property with her contemporary touches. This launch marks the brand’s second European opening after COMO Castello Del Nero in Tuscany, which was also designed by the Italian designer.

Arranged across four heritage buildings, 31 rooms and suites will be converted into chic sanctuaries starting with Villa Christine. The phased opening of the hotel will also see a COMO Shambhala Retreat, the first of its kind in France.

COMO Le Montrachet

Image credit: COMO Hotels and Resorts/Martin Morrell

With COMO’s renowned emphasis on cuisine, guests of COMO Le Montrachet can expect exceptional dining options and exquisite wine experiences in one of the most beautiful settings.

And that’s not all. COMO is making all the right noises for us to believe that is the just the start of the group’s well-timed expansion. “With the recent sale of COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach, this announcement underlines our strategy to develop pioneering properties in new destinations,” said Olivier Jolivet, CEO of the COMO Group. “Besides Europe, we will also add a new luxury resort in the South Pacific to the portfolio next year.”

Watch this space.

Main image credit: COMO Hotels and Resorts/Martin Morrell

Virtual roundtable - bathroom specification

Virtual roundtable: Concept vs reality in bathroom specification

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Virtual roundtable: Concept vs reality in bathroom specification

With new demands from modern travellers asking for heightened wellness and wellbeing experiences sheltered inside hotels, designing a timeless bathroom has become even more of a challenge in recent years. Hotel Designs’ latest roundtable, in association with Utopia Projects, welcomes leading interior designers to help us separate concept over reality when it comes to specifying bathroom elements…

Virtual roundtable - bathroom specification

There’s a lot more to bathroom specification than simply selecting products, on budget, that will create the exact look and feel you were trying to achieve. In 2020, Ideal Standard undertook some research to establish exactly what interior designers’ thoughts were regarding bathroom design. The results showed that 73 per cent of designers agreed that washrooms are the most difficult rooms to design and plan in commercial projects. Some would argue, with new consumer demands around wellness and wellbeing, if the same survey was taken today then that number would be much higher.

In order to understand the challenges – and more importantly the solutions – when it comes to specifying bathrooms in 2021, we launched a roundtable with the help of Utopia Projects, which offers a unique service, working with designers to specify the appropriate products for their projects at the best prices, after the layout of a bathroom has been established. To cut through the noise, and to really understand the industry’s top tips when it comes to designing the bathroom, we were joined by industry-leading interior designers.

On the panel: 

Hamish Kilburn: How much of the design is driven by function and how much is driven by the form of the design? 

Craig McCkie: As hospitality designers, I believe we like to get the foundations right first – and a great shower experience is a great place to start.

When working with hotel chains, there are certain bathroom brands that we naturally gravitate towards because they meet brand standards. What is encouraging to see is that those brands give us the luxury to explore different finishes, colours and other qualities. I think the industry has really benefited, aesthetically, from the drive for suppliers to bring down the cost of these additional services.

Vince Stroop: For seven years or more, hotel bathroom design has been following certain trends taken from the residential sector. In order for that to happen, brands that supplied to the hospitality industry had to keep up. As a result, there are now more options out there that, importantly, also function really well. Generically speaking, there are two things any guest is after when checking in to a hotel: a comfortable bed and a decent shower. If you don’t get those elements right then you will lose out on getting repeat business. To be competitive, brands and independents have had to step up.

Nick Hickson: In addition to budget, it’s also important to consider the amount of space allocated to bathrooms – I have seen bathroom space allocated in hotels grow over the years, as it [the bathroom] has become a more of a feature within the overall aesthetic. In some ways, we are now trying to open the bathroom up or have a visible window from this area into the bedroom in order to pinch some of the space back. Ultimately, this comes down to designing the bathroom intelligently so that there is a cohesive language in both areas.

HK: How much of the overall budget is typically allocated towards the bathrooms in hotel design?

Joey Goei-Jones: With the clients we’ve been working with, they are all starting to realise the importance of the bathroom within the offering of the guest experience. If there is a complaint, more likely than not, it will come from the bathroom. In cities such as London, there are a lot of older properties so bathrooms tend to be outdated. What we try to do is encourage clients to considering things as a whole when making budget decisions.

A lot of the time, we see clients allocating about 20 – 25 per cent of the per-room budget on the bathrooms. I always say that realistically they are not going to be refurbish the bathroom regularly so we would much prefer to throw everything at the bathroom in order to future-proof it, which is such an important element.

Also, as consumer demands evolve we have had to consider other things, such as shower or WASHLET toilets. Traditionally, we would never intentionally put electric products too close to water for obvious reasons. Therefore, making sure the infrastructure is up to a quality standard is vital.

Stuart Adamson: One of our driving factors when working with designers is that we look at those elements, and when considering future-proofing the reliability factor creeps in because aesthetics is one thing. Most manufacturers will tell you that they can meet the water pressure requirements and the flow requirements that you need to reduce flow but without sacrificing performance. What we have realised is that some manufacturers are better than others when it comes to producing really good spares availability for a long time after the product has been discontinued. We are constantly searching for the brands that really shine in this area to ensure that the products we specify really are future-proofed.

HK: Why aren’t more brands that are well known in the residential market more popular among hotel designers?

CM: We can be very limited because certain hotel groups already have their list of preferred suppliers.

NH: Reliability is key and many of the German brands have really proven themselves in this area. From our brand, being more Italian, we just like to look at collections that (I have to say) are just so much better looking.

We are working on a project at the moment where we are working closely with a supplier to modify and adapt a particular range they already have on the market so that it is more relevant for a spa environment. Yes, there’s a longer lead time – in fact, it takes more time for everyone involved – but there is a uniqueness about that project.

DH: I think it’s true, in the last five or six years, clients have been wanting everything to feel more bespoke and they are wanting to have something unique in their design. We are finding this more and more, which is very closely linked to the rise in lifestyle brands and hotels. Everyone is seeing that movement influence design and considering the interface guests have with these products. Therefore, bespoke design is finding a larger role.

Luxury bathroom in the Maldives

Image credit: Kuda Villingili

HK: In an industry that is full of collaboration, what is holding designers back when it comes to working with a bathroom consultant?

JGJ: Certain suppliers will be a bit louder about their brands ­– and therefore we only really here from the suppliers and not the bathroom consultants who are able to give us all the ranges. We view Utopia Projects as experts and they are able to give us immediate information.

VS: We have a similar situation. Also, we are working with a lot of consultants already on a project, but it would be great to work with a bathroom consultant just so that we can then flex our design muscle a bit stronger. Also, it’s really helpful to be able to have that impartial, non-biased voice when it comes to advice.

HK: In a previous roundtable, we focused the spotlight on ethical design – and it was pretty shocking to realise that major brands are unknowingly partnering with factories that have terrible ethical values in the race to label their products with competitive prices. With this in mind, how much research do you, as designers, put in to finding out the methods of manufacturing and the materials used in the production stages?

JGJ: In the bathroom area, especially, a lot of brands have always been very open and have invited us to the factories. For me, that’s always been really valuable because you can meet the people who are making the products and see where the waste goes. In general, it just gives us peace of mind.

SA: We only work with brands who will release an ethical statement for the business. We will not work with brands where there is no traceability.

NH: I tend to look at bathroom design like architecture design because you are looking at so many different elements and materials that have to fit together and meet solutions. These are things that any designer, looking at that aspect, has to be very aware. When things go wrong, they go wrong badly. When you understand the architectural conjunction, you prevent where possible running into those issues. Following on from that, understanding the ethical decisions, we somewhat take it for granted that these brands are doing everything they can to ensure we are operating in an ethical arena.

Bathroom inside Six Senses Ibiza

Image credit: Six Senses Ibiza

HK: How far can we push the boundaries of bathroom design, which as you mention, has to be very technically accurate? 

NH: It’s a juggling act, and what we try to is break down these established rules. It’s not always easy and it can take up a little more space but that develops new solutions within those spaces. For us, it’s just a creative process that we really enjoying working in. As a result, it enlivens the guests experience and allows for a more enriching experience.

CM: Going back to budget, the vanity space can be as important in a room than any of the FF&E. A nice piece is a nice piece. It blurs the line where you are spending the money. If you bring the bathroom into the guestroom then, then you are creating multi-purpose spaces. In terms of longevity, a vanity piece is going to be made of more robust material – so that makes a lot of sense.

HK: What would say is the biggest challenge that modern designers face when creating bathroom spaces?

JGJ: A lot of the time it will come down to budget, but brands are developing so quickly to launch new products. It can be difficult to be up to date on the latest products, and that’s where a consultant can really help. Clients are starting to gauge on the technical side and we are all learning – and that naturally lends itself well to working with experts.

NH: Some of the challenges are unavoidable. The bathroom is probably the area within the hotel that changes the most from concept to completion. This is because of all the connections with all the services within the building. Especially on new-builds where space is a premium, you spend a good amount of time just formatting the rises that are coming into the building.

VS: And the layout of the bathroom is actually one of the biggest aspects – and it is a huge challenge for designers, to ensure, from an operational perspective, that these areas are accessible to get to. On top of that, you have to design a unique experience for your guests. If designers go too trendy in their design then they are potentially lowering that space’s longevity. I approach bathroom design like a puzzle and try to find the right parts that fit.

HK: When you’re pitching, how many of those boxes when it comes to bathroom design are ticked?

DH: I think it’s really key, when you are pitching, that you put forward something that is forward-thinking and that is different. It is important to push yourselves and your perspective clients to think differently. Of course, budget is a consideration, but if you sell the big idea of a particular part of a bathroom that becomes an integral part of the design, you can manage the budget in different ways to ensure that it happens.

NH: As designers, we are presenting good ideas but sometimes a client can run away with your idea. Therefore, I think it’s wise to be suggestive. There is a very fine line there, and we tend to be a bit more conceptual in our pitches.

Utopia Projects 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: Utopia Projects/Hotel Designs/University Arms Cambridge

Render of beachside Four Seasons in Naples, Florida

Four Seasons to debut in Naples, Florida

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Four Seasons to debut in Naples, Florida

The Athens Group and MSD Partners, L.P. have announced the acquisition of Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club, which will become the first Four Seasons and First Discovery Land project on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Here’s what we know…

Render of beachside Four Seasons in Naples, Florida

The Athens Group and MSD Partners, L.P. have announced that they have acquired the legendary former Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club, set on 1,000 feet of white-sand beach in iconic Old Naples. Athens and MSD will be redeveloping the site into the Naples Beach Club, a 125-acre resort and residential beachfront development offering a one-of-a-kind, luxury lifestyle destination to residents, members, and guests.

“Our partnership with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Discovery Land Company reinforces our commitment to develop the finest luxury resort on Florida’s Gulf Coast,” said Kim Richards, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Athens Group. “Naples Beach Club will be a contemporary interpretation of the traditions, style and spirit of Old Naples.” 

The special coastal community will include a 216-key hotel managed by leading luxury hospitality company Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, up to 185 luxury residences and unparalleled club amenities curated by Discovery Land Company, the developer and operator of world-renowned private residential club communities. Construction is scheduled to commence in 2022. 

“We are excited to partner with The Athens Group on the development of this extraordinary property, and we are thrilled to be working with Four Seasons and Discovery Land on what will be a first-time collaboration for this world-class team,” added Barry Sholem, Partner and Chairman of Real Estate, MSD Partners. 

“We are proud to be a partner in this exceptional project, bringing the vision of MSD and Athens to life by setting a new standard of luxury in Naples.” – John Davison, President and CEO, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.

The 216-room Four Seasons Resort will complement the luxury residences as a retreat exuding the grandeur of a private beachfront Floridian estate. 

“The incredible Naples Beach Club marks the debut of Four Seasons on Florida’s Gulf Coast, complementing our existing portfolio of luxury properties throughout the state,” said John Davison, President and CEO, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “We are proud to be a partner in this exceptional project, bringing the vision of MSD and Athens to life by setting a new standard of luxury in Naples and delivering our brand’s personalised service and quality excellence to this beloved beachfront community.” 

The Resort will include spacious guestrooms and suites with lounging porches, walk-in closets and luxurious five-fixture bathrooms. Resort amenities will include inspired indoor and outdoor lounges and restaurants flowing from the hotel lobby, a beachside garden with outdoor pools, cabanas and an event lawn, upscale retail stores, an event ballroom, and multiple dining experiences with dramatic views of the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, Market Square, located near the golf course, will be a vibrant gathering place for the Naples Beach Club community, offering a general store, a bar and grill with a game room and a bowling alley, a Kids Club, casual eateries, including an ice cream pavilion, and an expansive lawn. 

“Naples Beach Club represents a natural extension of our portfolio of luxury hotels and resorts, including our Four Seasons properties in Wailea and Hualalai, the Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica, and The Boca Raton.  We are delighted to be partnering with Athens, Four Seasons and Discovery Land on this iconic development,” said Coburn Packard, Partner and Head of Real Estate, MSD Partners.     

The newly imagined Naples Beach Club will feature up to 185 homes designed by renowned architectural firm Hart Howerton with interiors by Champalimaud Design. The first phase of homes will include 58 Beachfront Residences with four Beach Houses and four Penthouses as well as 12 Golfside Residences, all conveying the Gulf Coast’s relaxed aesthetic.

Additionally, Naples Beach Club will offer residents and members unmatched and inspired club amenities curated by private-club developer and operator Discovery Land Company. Exceptional multi-generational and health-focused experiences will include a variety of wellness amenities along with golf and tennis, an indoor/outdoor fitness centre and a world-class spa.

“The Residences at Naples Beach Club will set a new standard for Naples living, located in the heart of the vibrant Naples community, while also providing owners with an intimate club experience located directly outside their door,” said Michael Meldman, Chairman, Discovery Land Company. 

> Since you’re here, why not read about the re-opening of San Domenico Palace, Taormina, A Four Seasons Hotel?

Main image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Zany project insitu

Product watch: L11 tuneable white light engine by Franklite

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: L11 tuneable white light engine by Franklite

Introducing lighting brand Franklite’s latest development in LED technology, the L11 tuneable white light engine, which has been shortlisted in the ‘Best in Tech’ category at The Brit List Awards 2021…

Franklite remains at the forefront of the lighting industry as a result of the hard work and dedication of its technical team, who continue to develop the latest in technology and custom design projects. The UK-based brand’s latest unveil takes LED technology to a whole new lighting level, the L11 tuneable white light engine.

Zany project insitu

The product is an innovative and unique take on a traditional candle lamp – designed and manufactured at the brand’s factory in Milton Keynes and tested in our in-house laboratory. The technology offers a smooth transition between amber and cool white from 1,700 to 3,650 kelvin.

Designers now have the capability to easily control the transition of light colour temperature wirelessly through an app or hard-wired within a building management system. With a dimming range from 100 per cent down to one per cent, users are able to create the perfect ambience with a simple touch of a button all while providing customers with the ultimate sensory experience.

The L11 tuneable white light engine is designed to fit a wide range of decorative fittings including chandeliers, lanterns, pendants and wall brackets. The technology can be replicated into the manufacturing of our LED plates for Franklite’s Woburn shade family, and custom designed projects.

Other benefits to using the light engine include a high quality of light across the whole CCT spectrum, increase in light output which exceeds retrofit LED lamps available on the market, longevity and reduced maintenance costs. This dedicated LED technology contributes significantly to energy efficiency with an 80 per cent saving using only 11W.

Franklite L11TW Overview

Image credit: Franklite

Franklite only partners with reputable brands such as eldoLED, Bridgelux and CASAMBI and as a member of the Lighting Industry Association Quality Assurance our quality system and product compliance are audited yearly to ensure it maintains the high level of standard expected.

The L11 tuneable white light engine can also be accompanied by maintained emergency gear within Franklite’s extensive range of wall brackets and flush ceiling fittings. With the essential functionality uniquely hidden, users are still able to comply with health and safety guidelines whilst providing guests with the ultimate luxury experience.

> Since you’re here, why not read about what else is new from Franklite?

Franklite 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: Franklite

Raffles Udaipur - aerial view

Now open: Inside the first Raffles hotel in India

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Now open: Inside the first Raffles hotel in India

Set to bring a ‘legendary hospitality’ experience to the romantic city of Udaipur, Raffles has unveiled its first hotel in India, which shelters 101 rooms inside an architectural marvel…

Following the brand’s announcement earlier this year to more than double its portfolio of hotels by 2023, Raffles Hotels & Resorts has opened its first hotel in India. Raffles Udaipur, a flagship hotel in the group’s portfolio, offers a fresh perspective on the city of Udaipur and region of Rajasthan, from a 21-acre private island set in the middle of the serene Udai Sagar Lake.

Raffles Udaipur - aerial view

Removed from the hustle and bustle of the city, the expansive property is reminiscent of a magnificent country estate, with beautifully manicured, ornamental gardens and panoramic views of the surrounding hills, tranquil lake and a 400-year-old temple.

Luxury lobby, Raffles Udaipur, wiht high ceilings and palatial decor

Image credit: Raffles Hotels & Resorts

The influence of the island’s flora and fauna can be seen in the intricate details of the country estate, ‘greater flamingo’ being the most prominent one. The hotel is meticulously adorned with a variety of flora, ranging from the fragrant white frangipani and the night-blooming jasmine to stunning spider lilies and the peepal tree that holds great religious significance.

The hotel itself is an architectural masterpiece of 101 luxurious rooms, suites and signature suites that elegantly interweave western cultural references with Rajasthan’s royal heritage and elements of Mughal architecture. Guestrooms have uninterrupted lake views, private gardens, balconies, plunge pools and an east-west design aesthetic with murals, handcrafted furniture and other crafts by local artisans.

“I am proud and delighted to see how Raffles Udaipur has opened to such acclaim and established itself as a market leader in such a short space of time,” said Stephen Alden, CEO Raffles & Orient Express. “As a member of Raffles’ close-knit global portfolio, it is bringing to life our shared vision of true hotelcraft.”

Under Culinary Director Prasad Metrani, Raffles Udaipur is a culinary aficionado’s paradise with fresh, new flavours to relish every day. At Sawai Kitchen, the Indian speciality restaurant, guests can expect to be graciously served the lost recipes from the region’s royal households, reinvented for modern tastes. Harvest, set to open before the end of the year, offers an interactive farm-to-table dining experience with produce foraged from the estate farm, spotlighting the region’s food traditions; while culinary enthusiasts can enjoy a co-cooking experience at Rasoi, the cookery school. The Raffles Patisserie offers freshly baked breads, classic French desserts, signature Raffles pastries and more. Guests can dine under the crystal clear sky, overlooking the breathtaking views of the lake at the Belvedere Point. Mindfully crafted alfresco dining experiences, framed by the picturesque hills that surround the lake, draw inspiration from the five elements: earth, fire, water, air and space.

Long Bar, Raffles Udaipur

Image credit: Raffles Hotels & Resorts

For a sophisticated and discreet experience, guests can linger over intimate conversations or take a book to read at The Writers Bar, while indulging in bespoke artisanal and classic cocktails, as well as a champagne & caviar menu. For the elegant Afternoon High Tea experience, guests can anticipate exquisite savouries and desserts, along with specially curated teas from the Kangra hills in Himachal Pradesh and the best coffees from Southern India, introduced by the Tea Sommelier. In contrast, the iconic Long Bar, a hallmark of the Raffles brand designed with European wood and leather, with engravings by local artisans, is a perfect place to socialise. It offers fine Indian spirits, single malts, local brews from across Rajasthan and the signature Udaipur Sling – the Singapore classic remade with fresh produce from the island and home-made syrups.

The Raffles Spa, a space full of natural light with an embroidered canopy to encourage a sense of nurturing, offers a private escape, with authentic treatments and personalised programmes that prioritise both emotional and physical well-being. The fitness centre is well-equipped for an invigorating work-out and the swimming pool invites guests to take a languorous dip, while enjoying a beautiful sunset.

Raffles Udaipur, as with every Raffles hotel around the world, reflects the cultural and natural heritage and mood of its location, offering unforgettable experiences, from a celestial cruise under the moon, to guided farm tours, astronomy, yoga and meditation. Raffles’ legendary service is delivered by private butlers and thoughtfully tailored to individual travellers’ needs.

“Whether you are looking for a rare place of extraordinary discovery or a romantic getaway with captivating sunsets, Raffles Udaipur is the ideal choice,” said Abhishek Sharma, General Manager. “With breath-taking views of the lake from every room, the chance for long, leisurely, romantic walks around our magnificent gardens, and experiences like star gazing and full moon rituals, we are a sanctuary for travellers on a quest for peace and rejuvenation.”

Guests can also choose this island location as a memorable setting for special events and celebrations. The Grand Ballroom of 9,000 square feet, including pre-function area, multiple outdoor gathering areas and an on-site temple, is set to make landmark moments simply unforgettable.

Speaking about the opening, Puneet Dhawan, ‎Senior Vice President of Operations – India & South Asia, Accor, said: “India is a strategic focus with long-term growth potential for Accor and it’s an exciting time for us as we present the iconic Raffles brand to the market. The rich cultural heritage, the regal past, and the grand architecture that gives the city its splendour all contribute to the Raffles Udaipur experience. Discerning travellers will now be able to experience the bespoke and immersive hospitality that is quintessentially Raffles. We look forward to warmly welcoming our guests and allowing them to discover what we have created, a confluence of Raffles’ global ethos and local Indian sensitivities.”

Main image credit: Raffles Hotels & Resorts

David mason interview - scott brownrigg | Hotel Designs

A young designer’s interview: Q&A with David Mason, Director, Scott Brownrigg

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
A young designer’s interview: Q&A with David Mason, Director, Scott Brownrigg

In the second interview in an exclusive series between Hotel Designs and NEWH UK Chapter, that aims to bridge the generation gap between designers and architects, editor Hamish Kilburn moderates an interview between young designer Marissa Miltiadous and David Mason, Head of Hospitality at Scott Brownrigg

David mason interview - scott brownrigg | Hotel Designs

 It’s a hard-knock life being a young designer in the current climate. Jobs for juniors are scarce, while opportunities for students entering the workplace are few and far between. However, it’s not like we haven’t been here before ­– meaning that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

David Mason, Head of Hospitality at Scott Brownrigg encountered a similar start to his career to that of today’s students. In the ‘90s, when Mason was optimistically graduating from university, somewhat naively expecting life to fall into place, the UK was heading into a recession. In short, the landscape for young designers looked pretty bleak. Determined to stay in the design profession, Mason took a role with a graphics company and through hard work, a bit of luck and saying ‘yes’ to almost every opportunities that would strengthen his portfolio, Mason found himself on the radar.

Following stints at Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, Fox Linton Associates, Woods Bagot and consulting independently, in 2016 Mason found ‘his people’ at Scott Brownrigg, entering the studio first as a Project Director, and later (in 2018) became a Director.

Now heading up the hospitality division at the company, he agreed to take part in our next young designer’s interview, this time with Marissa Miltiadous holding the mic, a post-graduate Part 1 designer who, in 2019 won an NEWH scholarship for her ‘studio of fresh thought’ concept.

Marissa Miltiadous: When did you first realise you wanted to be an interior designer?

David Mason: As a youngster, I enjoyed building things and I had an innate creative side. My parents were super supportive and let me follow my dream.

Interior design is so far from being just about decoration. I learned this when specialising in interior design at college. I then received an undergraduate degree from University of Birmingham. Looking back, it’s been an amazing and long journey, full of exciting and unexpected moments that have kept me on my toes and always growing.

“Young designers should not be disheartened by rejection.” – David Mason, Head of  Hospitality, Scott Brownrigg.

I graduated in 1993, just as the nation was in the throes of recession. It was a terrible time to enter the market but determined to stay in the design field which I loved I worked as a graphic designer. Two years later I went back to university to study for my masters and then, off the back of that, I applied to London firms. The rest is history. I recognise the hardest part is the first step. Young designers should not be disheartened by rejection, it can often be luck and timing. Interior projects are fast moving and we often need more people should a number of projects go live at the same time. The industry is opening up, albeit slowly, but it is still showing encouraging signs of recovery from the pandemic.

Hamish Kilburn: What about you, Marissa?

MM: I was 14 years old when I realised that I wanted to be an interior design ­– there were signs younger. [As a child], I would constantly move things around to make spaces look more exciting. I didn’t register at the time that I had a passion for how spaces looked. When I went to university it all fit and I was able to channel my natural instinct towards colour and take my passion further.

MM: What lessons did you learn when entering the workplace?

DM: To be honest, it’s a constant learning process. Every day is different. The most significant lesson I learned as a young designer was understanding that university only sets you up so far but the job is very different in the workplace. My university experience was about pushing students creatively. Our job, in reality, is hard. We are responsible for a lot of components and that’s what makes it great.

When you are design student, you don’t necessarily see the bigger picture. And then, when you enter the workplace, you have to all of a sudden see the large canvas.

Purple lighting in large, swanky bar in London

Image caption: Hard Rock Hotel London, designed by Scott Brownrigg | Image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

MM: How does Scott Brownrigg help young designers get the recognition they deserve?

DM: We celebrate our designers as part of a collaborative team. We include junior designers in our meetings ­– especially during lockdown with the use of seamless software to keep the team together. We also like to include our research and development team in many of our conversations so that we are always moving forward. Internationally, we present our work to our peers, and allow everyone the opportunity, regardless of job title, to have their input. That way, we ensure that everyone is part of the process.

We welcome opinions and everyones voice. We encourage these opinions. That’s where discussion leads to great design – and that, in my opinion, is how we can grow as designers.

MM: What is Scott Brownrigg’s approach to sustainability?

DM: It’s a massive topic for our industry – so much so that we actually have a sustainability and wellness team within our business to keep us on track. It’s always on our agenda. There’s still an outlay for the client – we work on research to ensure that it’s beneficial for the client. For some clients, sustainability is an absolute must and many recognise It goes beyond towel washing and removing miniatures from the bathroom. It’s much larger and starts earlier. We look at carbon-neutral building practice and analyse key factors and requirements to bring down our impact.  Being a multi-discipline practice, we have an advantage because we closely with our architects. We are finding that there’s a mutual synergy between everyone involved in our projects to produce buildings that have been designed consciously.

The more that this develops, the more the client starts demanding sustainable approaches, the quicker the costs will come down and that in itself will allow for sustainable design to be much more achievable. You have to get the client on board from the beginning. If you can take the client on a journey with you it allows them to see the the benefit for all.

 

MM: What advice would you give to designers beginning in their careers, particularly now during the pandemic.

DM: Let’s face it, you have been locked away, and that’s not natural. You should be clawing at the walls to get out to see and experience hospitality again – and that should not be limited to what social media wants you to see.

When I started as a junior designer, we read books, flicked through magazines and then went to see the latest new bar and restauarant openings and the spaces that inspired us ­– even if that meant just ordering a soft drink at the bar because we had no money. So, my advice would be to go and see everything and soak it all in again. As a result, it will not only broaden your mindset but also give you more to play with when it comes to interview. With everything opening back up again, it’s such an interesting time for hospitality and if you want to be part of designing the next era, you have to experience what is happening now!

Also, I know it’s hard at the moment, but keep applying for jobs! When I interview people, I want to know who they follow and who (and what) they are inspired by. People often can’t answer it, which surprises me.

Another big bugbear is when people don’t research our company. Do your homework. Visit the website, go see our projects. Ultimately though, don’t give up, it will happen.

 

MM: What challenges do you see impacting the industry? 

DM: For me, during the pandemic there were so many articles about where hotel design is heading – and a lot of them were quite negative. As far as I am concerned, now is such an exciting time for the design industry! Think about it… the festival of design post-war. They built the southbank and created this movement towards new development and design in the wake of a major depression. Now is the time to think completely outside the box. In a blink of an eye, our perspectives have changed. We made lockdown work; we adapted and now that we are coming out of lockdown, we can re-write design and what was ‘the norm’.

MM: What projects are you currently working on?

DM: We are working on a number of hospitality projects with two of our hotels about to start on site.. It’s great timing as it gives our team the opportunity to see the project develop, from demolition, 1st/2nd fix to completion. It’s the only way for the team to see  a hotel come together and truly understand what they are drawing. Site knowledge is invaluable, and lessons learnt will be carried through to future projects .

We have also just started on two master plans, one of which will be a major mixed use development with a hotel, ballroom, conference facilities, spa and F&B outlets  as well as an experiential project & hotel with a well known lifestyle brand.

MM:  Finally, tell me something about yourself that others may be surprised to know about you?

DM: I am grade two on the violin (you asked…)

> Since you’re here, why not read our first interview in this series, between James Ingram and James Dilley?

Main image credit: Scott Brownrigg

A dramatic bar inside RG Naoxs

Inspired by nature: RG Naxos unveils fresh look

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inspired by nature: RG Naxos unveils fresh look

Design studio THDP has completed an extensive renovation inside RG Naxos, set in Giardini Naxos. The new look was inspired by nature to draw out the best of Mediterranean culture…

RG Naxos, located on the shores of Giardini Naxos in Scilly, Italy, emerges following a major interior revamp sheltering a cohesive interior design narrative that sensitively celebrates the destination’s culture to re-establish itself as a modern hospitality masterpiece.

A dramatic bar inside RG Naoxs

Giardini Naxos, founded in 734 BC by colonists from Chalcis in Euboea, was the first Greek colony in Sicily. Ancient Naxos was destroyed in 403 BC, and the centre that rose in its place in the Middle Ages became a thriving fishermen’s village. In the late 19th century elegant villas were built, used as holiday mansions by the upper classes.

The Greek heritage that remains in Sicily can be seen in the architecture of a few very important buildings, but today it is regarded a popular seaside resort. With its distinct identity and its various cultural and religious events that take place throughout the year, Giardini Naxos is a natural tourism hotspot.