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Hotel Designs Summit

Athenaeum Hotel

In Conversation With…Athenaeum Hotel owner Mailo Power

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The Hotel Designs Summit was held at Radisson Blu London Stansted on 12-13 September, with a host of hoteliers, designers and manufacturers all joining together for meetings, networking sessions and seminars. Hotel Designs had the pleasure of catching up with Mailo Power, owner of the Athenaeum Hotel…


Hotel Designs: Good afternoon Mailo! Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Mailo Power: I’m the owner of Athenaeum House Hotel in Waterford in the south east of Ireland and a member of Manor House Hotels, which is a collection of 34 family-run properties – a mixture of luxury and boutique hotels as well as castles throughout Ireland.

HD: And the Athenaeum in particular, can you describe its story for me…
MP: The property came about, I suppose, through shared vision. Interestingly enough, being here at the Hotel Designs Summit, it came about through a marriage of both design and the hospitality industry. My husband Stan grew up in the hotel industry, his parents owned the Ocean Hotel in Dunmore East, which they sold when he was a teenager. So, he went into the hotel business very young and after running several hotels in the UK and managing Mount Juliet hotel which won Hotel of the Year in Ireland when he was at the helm.

My background was actually in interior design, I worked on a lot of leisure projects and hotel projects, my clients included Great Southern Hotels in Ireland, I was their group designer. I also worked in France and the Isle of Man. Together we decided to build our own property, it made sense with my background specialising in the design of hotels and my husband’s background in hotel management.

Athenaeum Hotel

So, in 1999 we bought a Georgian house on an estate in Waterford, it’s setting is unique in that it overlooks the city but is actually set in 5 acres; it has the best of both worlds with a country feel but close to the City centre across the River Suir. We built and opened the present hotel in 2003, after four years of battling planning permission – because the border of Waterford and Kilkenny runs through us – our boutique hotel has 29 bedrooms, a 130-cover restaurant Zaks, as well as boardrooms and meeting rooms. Our daughter Kelly joined us in 2010 following a number of years working in the hospitality industry in Australia.

HD: What about the personality of the hotel?
MP: As it’s a listed building we maintained the Georgian features, such as the fan light, high ceilings, fireplaces, original mouldings and architraves. We offer exclusive use for weddings, celebrations or corporate events. Our award-winning restaurant helps, especially as our Chef James Crawford is passionate about using local produce – we’re proud of our ‘field-to-fork’ approach and supporting local suppliers.

And, although we are a family business, we definitely have an international mind-set. We joined the Manor House collection, which is a collection of properties throughout Ireland and this allows us to have a central reservations office in Dublin and a ‘face’ at international events, which we wouldn’t have if we were just an independent standing alone.

Athenaeum Hotel

HD: And what about the future – any expansion plans?
MP: We are heavily involved with the tourism industry in Ireland – both presently and looking to its future. And what we’re finding is that people are looking for an experience and a story behind the properties they stay in, we are working on developing the story of our unique heritage as part of Ireland Ancient East proposition. Our expansion plans also include developing an ‘innovation hub’ for start-up businesses. It will be a place where people can go to get mentoring from various specialists, or just have an innovative space to hold think tanks.

HD: Being from Ireland, how do you think Brexit will affect the industry in your homeland?
MP: I was actually one of the few people in my close circle that thought it would happen – and I’ll tell you why! There was a sort of ‘perfect storm’ prior to the referendum – there were definite elements generating fear, it came very quickly after the tragedies in Paris and in Brussels and we’re now facing an unprecedented migration issue beyond anything we’ve ever experienced. When people feel fearful and threatened, history shows us that they will lift the drawbridge – and I feel people acted out of genuine fear, but without properly understanding the ramifications. There was a total lack of understanding of what Brexit actually meant.

With regards to ‘what now’ – we’re in uncharted territory. We’re ten years away from truly knowing what the ramifications are. Obviously, there is a massive connection between Ireland and the UK, more so than any other country, and there has been for generations – I personally have a very strong family connection with England and the UK!

Athenaeum Hotel

The big issue will be the border, I’m hoping open borders continue, but I’m not sure how that will work in the European context at all. The other thing that concerns me, listening to Theresa May in her speeches, is that she wants to build links with other countries and is looking towards a ‘global economy’ separate to Europe, I am not sure that will be straight forward as we have Barack Obama saying that the US will have to deal with Europe first and then the UK.

But despite that, I still think there will be close ties between Ireland and the UK – and as a tourism product, the UK people will still visit Ireland and vice versa. I’m sure that given our shared heritage strong links between the two countries will continue.

HD: Let’s hope so! And as an independent hotel rather than a chain, what operational challenges do you face?
MP: There are two strands to that question, the first being the fact that we’re a family-run hotel with a long history in the industry, we have the mentality of ‘individual tailor made service’ rather than ‘standardisation’. Secondly, we bring a wider industry best practice, innovative approach to building standards of performance and team development – because if our team is happy and well trained it enhances service delivered to our guests.

As hoteliers, the guest is the centre of our universe, and at Athenaeum House Hotel we pride ourselves on being able to offer a personalised experience, when our guests are happy our business flourishes!

All images by Waterford photographer www.infokus.ie

inD Creations - Deema Sahyoun

In Conversation With… Deema Sahyoun, inD Creations

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The Hotel Designs Summit was held at Radisson Blu London Stansted on 12-13 September, with a host of hoteliers, designers and manufacturers all joining together for meetings, networking sessions and seminars. Hotel Designs had the pleasure of catching up with Deema Sahyoun, founder and director at inD Creations…


Hotel Designs: Hello Deema, tell us a bit about yourself and your background in the industry…
Deema Sahyoun
: I actually started off a product designer, and then I got quite lucky and fell into a job in hotel design by coincidence. I absolutely fell in love with the hospitality industry – especially the creativity  it allows, the challenges you face and the joy you can bring people through a space.

So, I freelanced for about four or five years but always wanted to start my own company and I have slowly built up my company over the last four years. In the last year I’ve just found my niche within the boutique and independently-owned hotels where, although it’s a smaller budget, it’s rewarding to achieve beauty with a tighter budget and that’s what I specialise in now.

HD: And what’s your inspiration, what inspires you when working on a project?
DS: It’s a number of different things – first and foremost, it’s the building and the impression you get when you first walk in. And then meeting the people that work there. Many of these hotels are older and have been owned by the same family for a long time, and the managers have worked there for years – so for me, it’s about getting a sense of the culture of the hotel.

Next it’s case of the general area and location of the property. And then the challenges of the space usually lead the creative process. For example, with tiny rooms, it’s how you work to make them appear bigger.

inD Creations - Deema Sahyoun

Some of the work carried out by inD Creations

HD: What’s your favourite design that you’ve seen?
That’s always a difficult question to answer! I like a whole range of different design elements… [HD: I suppose they reflect the personalities of the designers?]…Exactly, and their distinctive styles! But I mean, I like Firmdale Hotels a lot and how Kit Kemp is led by the environment around the properties in her design.

I think it’s important a that hotel design moves with the way we live, that includes the environment and how we eat, how we move, how we relax and so on. I think Kit Kemp does that well within the boutique industry allowing it to flood into the way the hotels look feel

HD: And what about your own – a project you really enjoyed working on?
Oh gosh, I have many that I’ve enjoyed for different reasons! But I did a project in Egypt and, being from the Middle East, I quite enjoyed bringing a sense of modernity to the Arab culture and making it trendy.

I have been working closely with Capricorn Hotels over the last few years and it has been a joy working with them; we have a long term plan towards bringing their hotels to life and it has been a great experience being part of such a great team.

I also did the bar at the K West Hotel in Shepherd’s Bush – and I really enjoyed that project because there was a lot of juicy creativity that I could bring into that because of its story.

HD: And what future trends can you see coming in the next three years?
Well, I think the way people are looking at hotels is completely changing – people are shying away from branded hotels, and the idea that if I go to this hotel anywhere around the world it will look exactly the same. It’s all about being individual, being independent and about giving people a sense of place. It’s about the language between its location and getting the people who are staying there to go out and get a feel of the locale.

And then we’re definitely seeing an influence from the way we live – so, not filling the room with desks for example, as nobody likes sitting facing the wall; people would rather you had a nice communal area with coffees and somewhere to work. So the standard things you need in a hotel are completely changing – having smaller wardrobes, but bigger lounge space for example.

HD: Are there trends your clients are specifically asking for?
I tend to play it by ear – I don’t know if it’s just me, but the clients I work with really rely on me to keep on top of trends! But a couple of their main stipulations are always that it lasts a long while and space is used well.


Hotel Designs Summit

Inaugural rebranded Hotel Designs Summit a success

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The inaugural edition of the newly rebranded Hotel Designs Summit launched on September 12-13 at the Radisson Blu London Stansted to roaring success.

This unique event matched hoteliers with suppliers and manufacturers for a series of pre-arranged one-on-one meetings. In addition, a programme of informative and inspirational seminars were hosted by Aly Thompson from Trivago, Yasmin Chopin, HD Editor Daniel Fountain, MHNA Studio’s Nicolas Adnet and Peter Ducker of the Institute of Hospitality, with a gala dinner and evening entertainment providing perfect networking opportunities, further business opportunities and peer-to-peer engagement.

One of the headlines of the summit was the news that Global Design Concepts quoted a £1 million project as a result of meetings at the summit. And the success of the event was echoed by delegates and suppliers who attended…

‘The most personally focused and well organised event I’ve attended. An excellent balance between meeting our needs with networking opportunities, thank you’
Edgar House

‘Unique event, great combination of peer to peer engagement, innovative suppliers and information future focused trend setting seminars’
Atheneaum House Hotel

‘A well organised event with a great mix of suppliers and clients. I certain this will aid companies to work together on a long term basis & form continued business relationships’

‘Fantastic team, very well organised. Great support. Event well managed, friendly and helpful, great contacts, 1-2-1 meetings very effective way of doing business. Great opportunity for your company. Well done and we will be back’
The Light Yard

Hotel Designs is hosting its second ‘Meet Up’ networking event of the year, perfect for hotel and interior design industries. If you are a hotelier, interior designer or architect, you can attend on the 16th November, 6:00-9:00 at the Grange St Pauls, London.

Contact us by emailing j.lane@forumevents.co.uk, or by calling 01992 374098 and asking to speak to a member of the team.

Aly Thompson - trivago

Hotel Designs Summit welcomes trivago’s Aly Thompson as speaker

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We’re less than two weeks away from the start of the new-look Hotel Designs Summit – two days dedicated to hotel design, facilities and development – being held at the Radisson Blu London Stansted on 12-13 September 2016.

As part of this year’s speaker programme, we’re delighted to announce the attendance of Aly Thompson, Industry Manager for UK and Ireland for trivago, the world’s largest hotel metasearch that serves 120 million visitors per month and receives 4 million requests per day.

She’s part of trivago’s newly founded Hotel Relations team; a unit that is reinventing the way trivago connects with hoteliers worldwide through its core product, trivago Hotel Manager (tHM). Her goal is to establish trivago as the number one marketing channel for hoteliers, to empower them to boost their ranking on trivago and drive bookings directly to their hotel websites.

Before taking on her current role, Aly has been working at trivago in Advertiser Communication and our Marketplace team, gaining an advanced understanding of trivago’s market dynamics and developing resources to guide advertisers in optimising their campaigns on trivago.

Aly studied marketing and communication in New Zealand and Australia and has worked in strategy and communication for several government agencies in New Zealand. She comes from a family of entrepreneurs and is passionate about empowering hoteliers to harness the power of digital marketing to target guests around the world.

About trivago Hotel Manager

trivago aspires to become the number one marketing channel for hoteliers by reinventing the way they connect them with their 120 million monthly travelers – via the trivago Hotel Manager (tHM). Over 200,000 hoteliers worldwide already use the metasearch marketing platform to boost their ranking on trivago by building a unique hotel profile and driving direct bookings on their own website. The platform currently operates in eight languages across 17 countries.

To find out more or register as a hotelier, visit www.trivago.com/hotelmanager.

About trivago

At trivago, we are focused on empowering our 120+ million monthly travelers to find their ideal hotel at the lowest rate, by offering total transparency of the online hotel market. Our team of over 1000+ creative and focused minds from all corners of the globe, are working to develop fast, game-changing, unbiased, consumer-centric products — in order to better not only what we do, but the industry as a whole. Using trivago’s hotel search, you can sift through over 1 million hotels, from 250+ booking sites and hotel chains in 190+ countries, at once. Founded in 2005, trivago currently operates on 55 live international platforms in 33 languages.

Previously known as the Hotel Summit and rebranded as part of Forum Events’ acquisition of Hotel Designs, the HD Summit can help you find the perfect match and can save time sourcing suppliers through a proven concept of meeting and negotiating supplier contracts.

For more information, contact Jennie Lane on j.lane@forumevents.co.uk or 01992 374098.

Hotel Designs Summit

Don’t miss next month’s Hotel Designs Summit

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An A-Z* of the hotel trade will be attending this unique two-day networking event…

There are less than two weeks to go until the Hotel Designs Summit takes place. And if you’re a hotel owner or manager – or if you supply this booming sector – there’s a limited time to book your place at this hugely influential event.

The Hotel Designs Summit takes place on Monday September 12th and Tuesday September 13th at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Stansted. This unique event matches hoteliers with hotel suppliers for a series of pre-arranged one-on-one meetings. In addition, a series of informative and inspirational seminars are hosted, while a gala dinner with evening entertainment, plus other networking opportunities, provide further business opportunities and peer-to-peer engagement.

An A to Z* of the UK’s leading hotel brands are attending – from Arts Club London to Best Western; Carlton Hotels to DeVere Venues; Episode Hotels to Frithwood House; Grafton Manor to Hotel Café Royal; InterContinental to Kew Green Hotels; Lemo Hotels to Merlin Entertainment; Nine Capital to Park Inn; Ravis Hospitality to Suite Hospitality; The Lanesborough to Ufford Park Hotel to Village Hotels and Wyboston Lakes (*okay, A to W… you find a hotel brand starting with ‘Z’…)

The seminar programme includes sessions from Trivago, Areen Hospitality, Edgar House, Yasmin Chopin Interior Design and the Institute of Hospitality.

There are just a handful of supplier booths available now, so contact Jennie Lane today to secure your place at the event. Contact her on 01992 374098 or email j.lane@forumevents.co.uk

Nicolas Adnet

HD Summit speaker profile: Nicolas Adnet, Studio MHNA

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The Hotel Designs Summit takes place on 12-13 September at Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted, and as well as fantastic networking opportunities and invaluable meetings, attendees will have the chance to hear talks from influential figures from the hotel and hospitality industry.

One of this year’s speakers is Nicolas Adnet, one half of the Studio MHNA design partnership, alongside Marc Hertrich. The duo have been imagining, optimising and designing solutions for over twenty years. Nicolas said: “After working in the fashion world, I met Marc and he introduced me to the wonderful world of interior design.” He added that his passion for sharing ideas was a key factor in drawing him to the industry.

According to Nicolas himself, via the medium of interior architecture and design, the pair ‘offer a certain vision of elegance, a cultured, respectful and approving look at history, but which is also serene and hungry for new technologies, arts and crafts and culture which transcends all barriers’.

When asked why events like the Hotel Designs Summit are important for the industry, Nicolas said: “It’s so important to share our experiences with the community, and to further our collective knowledge.”

During his talk at the Hotel Designs Summit, Nicolas Adnet will be discussing hotel trends for 2017 and beyond; what makes a trend and how to implement them in the hospitality sector.

If you would like more information on attending the event, please contact Jennie Lane on j.lane@forumevents.co.uk or 01992 374098.

Hotel Designs Summit

Hotel Designs Summit: Just 7 weeks left to go…

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If you haven’t heard already, Hotel Designs is hosting the first edition of its rebranded hotel event on 12-13 September – just seven weeks away – so be sure to save the date and venue in your diary.

With a new approach to the Hotel Designs Summit, which will include an exclusive gala dinner with evening entertainment, you are invited to join us for an unrivalled two days of face-to-face business meetings, educational seminars and networking at the Radisson Blu, London Stansted.

The main aim of the event remains; to bring together suppliers and buyers from across the industry by supporting new and existing client relationships. In addition, we’ll look forward to welcoming first class speakers from within this truly vast sector. You will be joining representatives from hotels like the Shangri-La at the Shard, The Lanesborough, InterContinental London at O2 and the Corinthia Hotel.

Attendees can look forward to:
– A personalised itinerary of 25 minute meetings with those you have asked to meet with;
– Endless networking opportunities;
– Educational seminars covering the latest innovations and trends;
– Meals and refreshments;
– Exclusive gala dinner with evening entertainment;
– Overnight accommodation with breakfast included at the Radisson Blu Hotel;

Places are limited and on a first come, first serve basis, so if you’d like to join us for the exciting re-launch of the Summit, please click here to confirm your place.

For more information, please contact Jennie Lane on 01992 374098 or email j.lane@forumevents.co.uk

Hotel Designs Summit announces date change

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The Hotel Designs Summit has announced a date change from May to September to accommodate the needs of all those designers, hoteliers and developers interested in coming along.

HD Publisher Katy Phillips said: “Research in to the market has shown us that the latter part of the year is favourable with this audience and in order to deliver the best event possible we need to respond to the views expressed by this market.”

Supported by partner HotelDesigns.net, the Summit will now take place on September 12th – 13th 2016 at the Radisson Blu, London Stansted.

The main aim of the event remains; to bring together suppliers and buyers from across the industry by supporting new and existing client relationships. In addition, we’ll look forward to welcoming first class speakers from within this truly vast sector.

Floral design expert Elizabeth Marsh to speak at Hotel Designs Summit

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Another week, and another fascinating speaker announced for the Hotel Designs Summit (12th-13th September, 2016 at Radisson Blu, London Stansted) – this time; the founder of the eponymous Elizabeth Marsh Floral Design.

Elizabeth MarshElizabeth is one of the last independent artists to design and install the window displays at Harvey Nicholls. She spent 20 years working at the top of the London floral scene working with Le Caprice and the Ivy back in their heyday and still working closely with the Corbin and King group today.

And Elizabeth has now extended her repertoire as the company has grown to help top retail companies such as Rolex, Mappin & Webb and Montblanc to not only protect but also galvanise their brand through the use of flowers.

She is fast developing a reputation for state-of-the-art Christmas decorations and was recently commissioned to create an avant-garde art installation for the Top Drawer giftware exhibition at Olympia.

In her book, Petal Performance: the Art and Economics of Floral Design, she talks about her philosophy on flowers and floral décor: aimed at helping managers and individuals alike to achieve the maximum value from their floral décor.

At the Summit, Elizabeth will be speaking about the economics of floral design in the hotel industry and how to get the best out of investing in it.

Previously known as the Hotel Summit and rebranded as part of Forum Events’ acquisition of Hotel Designs, the HD Summit can help you find the perfect match and can save time sourcing suppliers through a proven concept of meeting and negotiating supplier contracts.

For more information, contact Jade Oliver on j.oliver@forumevents.co.uk or 01992 374054

Interior designer Yasmin Chopin latest speaker confirmed for Hotel Designs Summit

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Yasmin Chopin Hotel Designs SummitAfter announcing Natalie Gardner and Andrew Linwood in recent weeks, the Hotel Designs Summit is pleased to welcome interior designer Yasmin Chopin to the event at Radisson Blu, London Stansted on 12th-13th September 2016 as a speaker.

Yasmin lives in Cambridgeshire and her practical advice and quirky colourful style is popular with clients across the county and further afield. She is keen to promote sourcing from UK based businesses whenever possible and supports the maker community. To help her clients find a suitable maker, and to provide a service to the interior design profession, Yasmin set up Select a Maker Ltd in 2015.

This is an online directory of UK designer-makers who accept commissions in the interiors and gardens sector. With the aim to support and grow the UK’s bespoke market the site is quickly establishing itself as a comprehensive resource.

Yasmin is regularly engaged as a speaker and writes a monthly column for HouzzUK. Her online activity has gained her a number of accolades and she is listed in the Top 100 Design Influencers by Decorex International.

At the Summit, Yasmin will be presenting on blogging and how it can help your business; where your resources should be going, how to get the most out of it and how it can open doors to new revenue streams.

Previously known as the Hotel Summit and rebranded as part of Forum Events’ acquisition of Hotel Designs, the HD Summit can help you find the perfect match and can save time sourcing suppliers through a proven concept of meeting and negotiating supplier contracts.

For more information, contact Jade Oliver on j.oliver@forumevents.co.uk or 01992 374054

Head of Areen Hospitality Andrew Linwood speaking at Hotel Designs Summit

1000 424 Daniel Fountain

Andrew Linwood Areen HospitalityThe next speaker at the Hotel Designs Summit – 12th-13th September 2016 – has been confirmed, and we are delighted to announce the Head of Areen Hospitality, Andrew Linwood will be joining us at Radisson Blu, London Stansted. Andrew is involved in and monitors all aspects of a project: from initial client contact, brief and concept development through to documentation and site installation.

Andrew has designed interiors for many of the world’s leading hotel operators including Hilton, Marriott, Radisson, Raffles, Swissôtel and Starwood.

After gaining a degree in Interior Design in London and working in the UK and Europe, Andrew became Managing Director of regional Interiors group GTD in Hong Kong and Singapore. He went on to become Senior Project Designer with globally-renowned hospitality specialists Hirsch Bedner Associates in Singapore and London, designing luxury projects in Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Russia and Thailand.

On his return to the UK he was invited to become an Associate at Richmond International – part of the Areen Group – and in 2008 he established Areen Hospitality Design.

As well as regularly featuring in hospitality publications, Andrew is a seasoned public speaker, frequently invited to leading industry events and exhibitions to share his unparalleled insight into design and the challenges facing developers and operators.

Andrew will be speaking at the Summit about the importance of ‘place and cultural context’ and ‘localisation’ in hotel interior design.

Areen Hospitality Design is currently working on projects in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India, Central Asia and China.

Previously known as the Hotel Summit and rebranded as part of Forum Events’ acquisition of Hotel Designs, the HD Summit can help you find the perfect match and can save time sourcing suppliers through a proven concept of meeting and negotiating supplier contracts.

For more information, contact Jade Oliver on j.oliver@forumevents.co.uk or 01992 374054.

Raw Concrete - Classico - Caesarstone

Caesarstone introduces Raw Concrete to Classico collection

980 378 Daniel Fountain

Tapping into the trend for apartment living and industrial-style finishes in the contemporary kitchen, Hotel Designs Summit headline sponsors Caesarstone introduces Raw Concrete, a new colour in its best-selling Classico worktop collection.

Strikingly understated, Raw Concrete combines beautifully with any style of furniture, from high gloss to painted. Sitting equally as well with other natural materials such as timber, this new finish offers a contrast to stainless steel appliances to create a look that has undertones of an industrial kitchen.

Raw Concrete - Classico - Caesarstone

Caesarstone is a beautiful engineered quartz stone, which is scratch and stain resistant and guaranteed for 15 years. Caesarstone worktops never need to be sealed and require minimal maintenance to keep them looking like new. The non-porous surface makes cleaning simple, with soap and water or a mild detergent all that are required to maintain its lustre. Available in a wide range of colour and style options, Caesarstone countertops are ideal for virtually any interior surface including kitchens and bathrooms.

Raw Concrete is available in thicknesses of 13mm, 20mm and 30mm, with prices starting at £400 per square metre.

For more details call Casearstone on 01706 863 600 or visit www.caesarstone.co.uk