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Hotel Groups

Nobu Hotel Los Cabos opens

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Nobu Hotel Los Cabos opens

The opening of Nobu Hotel Los Cabos marks the hotel group’s debut into Mexico…

Officially open today, Nobu Hotel Los Cabos, debuts 200 stylish guestrooms and suites. Both WATG and Studio PCH have blended Japanese minimalism with locally sourced Californian raw materials, such as custom furniture pieces, wood-soaking tubs, teak and stone materials, shoji-inspired closet doors and Japanese inspired lanterns.

The first Nobu Hotel in Mexico, perched beachfront on the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula, houses elegant meetings and event spaces, a luxurious spa with Natura Bissé products and, what all Nobu Hotels must have…a spectacular Nobu Restaurant and Bar with ocean views, making this the third Nobu restaurant in Mexico.

Light and bright public dining area

Image credit: Nobu Hotel Los Cabos

The natural growth of Nobu Hospitality, built on service, image, and reputation, offers the complete spectrum of hotel, restaurant and residence management for unique projects around the world.

Founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, with operations spanning five continents, the Nobu brand thrives in the world’s capitals as the ultimate destination lifestyle experience.

Also set to open in 2019 are properties in Barcelona and Chicago, with Warsaw recently announced for 2020.

Main image credit: Nobu Hotel Los Cabos

Accor’s Aparthotel brand Adagio arrives in London

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Accor’s Aparthotel brand Adagio arrives in London

Hotel Designs attended the official launch party of Aparthotel Adagio London Brentford last night, which marked the brand’s official arrival in London, UK… 

Adagio has celebrated the opening of its first London property by hosting a show-stopping party that was attended by more than 150 people.

The 100-key Aparthotel Adagio London Brentford, which informally opened in October of last year, is located just a few miles from London’s main airport Heathrow and is the fourth hotel within in the brand to open in the UK, with more in the pipeline.

“This is an important milestone for us, with many more openings in the UK to be announced,” said Karim Malak, CEO of Aparthotels Adagio at the event. “Our target is to have 20 properties in the UK by 2023.”

Aparthotels Adagio London Brentford’s public spaces have been created as an open area for guests to meet and collaborate. Each apartment offers a fully equipped kitchen, spacious bedroom and living area with a flat-screen smart TV. Guests also have access to a bar, virtual concierge, fitness centre, laundry facilities, business services and onsite parking.

Image credit: Accor/Adagio

The West London property is part of Brentford’s Kew Eye Tower GWQ development. The aparthotel is the fourth UK opening for the brand following launches in Edinburgh, Birmingham and Liverpool. The aparthotel brand is planning further properties in London Stratford, Leicester (opening by the end of 2019) and Glasgow (opening by the end of 2020).

The opening of Aparthotel Adagio London Brentford emerges as part of the brand’s strategy to open 10 new hotels this year and to double the amount of properties it has within its portfolio by 2023.

Hotel Designs will be investigating the rise of aparthotels when it puts Hotel Concepts under the spotlight in August. If you would like to contribute to this topic, please get in touch with the editorial team.

Main image credit: Accor/Adagio

The Luxury Collection debuts in Armenia

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The Alexander, a Luxury Collection Hotel becomes the first international luxury hotel in Armenia…

Following plans to open 30 new luxury hotels this year, Marriott International has annoucned the opening of The Alexander, a Luxury Collection Hotel. Owned by Tsupani CJSC., the hotel proudly brings The Luxury Collection’s rare, indigenous and captivating experiences to the capital of Armenia – one of the world’s oldest cities and a noted historical intersection between the East and West. As the country’s first internationally-branded luxury hotel, The Alexander joins a portfolio of more than 100 Luxury Collection hotels around the world. The brand’s new footprint in Yerevan also further cements the hotel group’s strategy to meet the growing demand for experiential luxury in emerging markets.

“Armenia is a destination with a deeply rooted history and rich culture, which has until now remained a mostly unchartered destination for our Global Travelers” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, The Luxury Collection. “The Alexander will allow our guests to connect with the fascinating capital city of Yerevan, marked by grand Soviet-era architecture and historic landmarks such as the Matenadaran library, and truly engage in the authentic traditions of Armenia.”

“Led by Alexander James Interior Design, the decor draws upon intricate Armenian motifs, alongside contemporary flourishes.”

Set in an enviable location in the heart of Armenia’s capital, The Alexander is mere moments away from the city’s famous Republic Square, and is a brief stroll to numerous landmarks and cultural sights. The striking hotel reflects the city’s distinctive architecture, cleverly incorporating an 18th century façade at its entrance to hint at the indigenous charms found within. Led by Alexander James Interior Design, the decor draws upon intricate Armenian motifs, alongside contemporary flourishes that bring to life the history and modernity of the destination within the property’s opulent public spaces.

Roof top restaurant

Image credit: Matthew Shaw.

“Shaped by rich traditions, coveted treasures and a storied history, the city of Yerevan truly encapsulates the spirit of The Luxury Collection,” said Jenni Benzaquen, Vice President of Luxury Brands, Europe at Marriott International. “The Alexander will provide sophisticated, independently-minded global explorers and locals alike with an unparalleled level of luxury in this fascinating destination. The unique destination experiences offered by The Luxury Collection, combined with Armenian hospitality, is also the perfect way to introduce our luxury portfolio to the region.”

The Alexander offers 114 guestrooms and suites, many of which include private balconies. The magnificent Presidential Suite is celebrated as a standout highlight of the property, occupying an entire floor and spanning over 1,700 square feet. An equally alluring feature is the Alexander Spa by Anne Semonin, providing guests with an inviting haven of wellness experiences and personalized treatments designed to relax, heal and rejuvenate. The hotel also features a state-of-the-art fitness centre, a full-service beauty salon, and the city’s first indoor pool, which boasts breath-taking vistas of the snow-capped peak of Mount Ararat.

Main image credit: Matthew Shaw/Marriott International

Marriott International announces three-year growth plan

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The hotel giant Marriott International’s growth plans include the openings more than 1,700 hotels around the world… 

Marriott International has presented the company’s three-year growth plan, which includes opening more than 1,700 hotels around the world, at its meeting with institutional investors and security analysts at the New York Marriott Marquis.

The hotel giant has outlined its plan to add between 275,000 and 295,000 rooms by 2021, supported by the strength of its record 478,000-room pipeline, including roughly 214,000 rooms already under construction. The company disclosed that its new room openings during this period could contribute $400 million in fee revenue in 2021 and $700 million annually when stabilised. The company’s three-year growth plan assumes, but does not forecast, comparable hotel revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth of one and three per cent, compounded annually.

“Starwood has made us a more formidable competitor, providing a more valuable loyalty program, brands with strong appeal to loyalty members and owners, talented associates, terrific locations, particularly in the fast-growing Asia Pacific region, significant cost synergies and meaningful scale,” said Arne Sorenson, Marriott International president and chief executive officer. “We launched our newly branded loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy, just last month. The program reached 125 million members as of year-end 2018 adding roughly 50,000 members per day.”

Given the assumptions for its three-year plan, the company could produce the following results:

  • Diluted earnings per share of $7.65 to $8.50 by 2021, a compound growth rate of 11 to 15 per cent over 2018 adjusted results;
  • Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (adjusted EBITDA) increasing by six to nine per cent compounded, with net income increasing by five to eight per cent compounded, each compared to adjusted results in 2018;
  • Cash available for shareholders could total $9.5 to $11 billion for the three years (2019 through 2021);
  • Shareholders could see $1.9 to $2 billion in dividends, assuming a continued 30 percent payout ratio, and $7.6 to $9 billion in share repurchases over the three-year period.

Marriott’s growing pipeline of new hotels is fueled by the strong profitability of its hotels, the broad selection of powerful brands available for development, its rich loyalty program, lower costs from the company’s meaningful scale, and the strong confidence of its owners and franchisees. The company disclosed that 70 per cent of its portfolio of open and signed pipeline projects is held by owners with multiple Marriott properties, and roughly one-third is held by owners with ten or more Marriott branded hotels. Marriott’s development pipeline reflects an increasing number of legacy-Starwood branded hotels. Since the merger date, the pipeline of legacy-Starwood brands has increased nearly 25 per cent to represent nearly one-third of the legacy-Starwood portfolio’s system size.

“In 2018, Marriott launched a new Sheraton brand strategy, guestroom prototype and design approach.”

The company will also discuss its success improving the Sheraton brand. With more than 155,000 rooms, Sheraton is the company’s most geographically diverse brand and the company’s third largest brand globally measured in both rooms and fees. The brand contributes significantly to Marriott’s overall scale and effectively reduces costs for all the hotels in Marriott’s worldwide system. More than one-quarter of Sheratons are already under renovation or committed to a renovation. In 2018, Marriott launched a new Sheraton brand strategy, guestroom prototype and design approach, and just a week ago, unveiled the new Sheraton logo, signaling change to owners, operators, guests and Sheraton associates. Since the acquisition, Sheraton’s RevPAR index has improved to over 100.

“Our new three-year plan, with Starwood fully integrated, demonstrates how our fee-based, asset-light business model generates even stronger and more sustainable cash flows. This allows us to invest profitably in our core business at high rates of return and also return significant amounts of capital to shareholders,” said Leeny Oberg, Marriott International’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. “Our proven business model combined with opportunities to leverage our significant scale from the Starwood acquisition uniquely position us for additional shareholder value creation.”

Main image credit: Marriott International

SPOTLIGHT ON: April’s features announced

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SPOTLIGHT ON: April’s features announced

Hotel Designs has officially dropped its April editorial features, which are Interior Design and Outdoor Style… 

Throughout April, Hotel Designs’ Spotlight On features will look at two highly topical features, namely Interior Design and Outdoor Style. Although on the surface these topics suggest that we will be investigating separate areas of the hotel, with the major indoor/outdoor trend showing no signs of slowing, the editorial team will instead look at areas in which the two areas can collide to create timeless hotel interiors.

Interior Design

In our quest to find the most influential designers from around the globe, we will be examining which colour trends are having a moment while looking into which designers are taking risks to keep hotel design edgy, fun and full of life. In line in with our in-house event Interior Design and Architecture Summit, editor Hamish Kilburn will take to the stage at the event on April 29 at London Tower Bridge London to host the panel discussion The Rising Ceiling of Creativity.

If you are an architect or interior designer and would like to attend the Summit, there are very limited spaces available. Please contact Kerry Naumburger on k.naumburger@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to meet the top architects and interior designers, contact Victoria Petch on v.petch@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

Outdoor Style

Image credit: Round Wood of Mayfield’s ÖÖD house

A regular April feature here at Hotel Designs, Outdoor Style will look at how the whole hotel’s design can be utilised. While looking at ways in which designers and landscapers can create statement outdoor areas, we will also highlight which hotels are leading the way when it comes to what is becoming the ever-lasting indoor-outdoor trend.

If you wish to find out more, or know of a product that we should be talking about, please contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk

Main image credit: Alila Ubud

MINIVIEW: Joyze Hotel Xiamen Curio Collection by Hilton

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MINIVIEW: Joyze Hotel Xiamen Curio Collection by Hilton

Opened late last year, Joyze Hotel Xiamen Curio Collection by Hilton, with all its unique design qualities, is a mere shadow of the stereotypical chain hotel you would expect check in to. Editor Hamish Kilburn dives deeper into its Chinese design story to uncover how the boutique 104-key hotel came to be… 

As a boutique hotel, the concept of a ‘floating city on the sea’ can be seen throughout the hotel design of Joyze Hotel Xiamen Curio Collection by Hilton. Combining the local cultural elements of Minnan with urban design techniques, the hotel narrates the historical changes of “the fishing village” that it neighbours. Tasked to merge architecture with interior design was Hong Kong-based design firm CCD (CHENG CHUNG DESIGN).

Image credit: CCD/Cheng Chung Design (HK)/Curio Collection by Hilton

Surrounded by mountains and seas, with the Dongping Mountain in the North, and the coastline of Huandao Road in the South, the hotel enjoys the best of both worlds. The villages in Zengcuoan are divided by walls, and the houses in the villages are scattered around. The floor plan of the hotel follows the arrangement of the villages, as different zones are divided by walls and intersected by landscapes between different areas. Look down from the above; each area is like a box, representing a household with different personalities and designs. Guests enter the hotel as if they are on a village tour, complete with alleys, walls and landscapes.

Image credit: CCD/Cheng Chung Design (HK)/Curio Collection by Hilton

The entrance of the hotel incorporates the local culture of ‘brick wall’, which is a very unique way of building a wall in Minnan architecture that uses stones and bricks of different shapes to overlay and build simple and beautiful walls.

According to the legend in the end of the Ming Dynasty that, there was a major earthquake occurred in the Southern part of Minnan region. After the earthquake, the native people used the local materials such as bricks, stones, tiles and gravels collapsed from the natural disaster to build the unique wall. And thereby, this way of wall-building has been widely practiced and followed in the region.

Image credit: CCD/Cheng Chung Design (HK)/Curio Collection by Hilton

The designer also used the mansion method to design the hotel lobby. The first sight of the guest after they get off from the drop-off area and enter the hotel is not the hotel lobby, but a door that is several meters wide, and if they are entering a mansion house. Then they will see the brick wall, followed by cultural exhibition area, then other landscapes and finally the lobby bar and reception.

“Under each box, there is a light to create a sense of levitation.”

The design concept of “Floating City on the Sea” is expressed through the subtle design method.The façade of the wall is constructed with boxes, and it transforms from empty to solid, presenting a feeling of ‘floating’, the orderly change of the gradient also presents a sense of rhythm swinging with the current. A corner of the reception desk floats into the air, becoming a warm chandelier, floating on the sea, and the entire hotel is like a floating city on the sea.

In comparison to the hotel, every box in the space is the composition of the hotel as a floating city. Under each box, there is a light to create a sense of levitation.

“The design of the guestrooms are natural, warm and cosy, creating a sense of home.”

The design incorporates natural comfort and childhood memories, vintage chandeliers, metal-trimmed glass doors, wooden tables and chairs; it brings guests back to the restaurant where they used to go with their parents. Here, the curious people walk into the old days of Xiamen.

Image credit: CCD/Cheng Chung Design (HK)/Curio Collection by Hilton

The design of the guestrooms are natural, warm and cosy, creating a sense of home. Meanwhile, it also tries to open the space as much as possible as to form a transparent visual experience. Getting rid of the traditional framework, and strengthen the interaction of spatial functions through subtle design, so that each area can be used alone and connected.

After the entrance is the cloakroom and the luggage rack, which is designed to make the walkway more functional and to make the largest use of space. In detail, it also closely follows the concept of floating city, as the wash table and the bed are suspended from the ground.

The city view and beach outside the window is one of the hotel’s business cards. The wash table, mini bar and operating desk form a small living room, so that guest can sit in the living room and enjoy the scenery with tea, just like the local residents. The texture of the old buildings in the city is projected onto the walls of the guestrooms, and the patterns of the old buildings in Gulangyu are carved into ceramic tiles, which become time fragments to record the traces of the years.

Main image credit: CCD/Cheng Chung Design (HK)/Curio Collection by Hilton

In Conversation With: Damien Perrot on defining ibis Hotels’ new design era

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The world’s most iconic budget hotel brand is undergoing a major redesign following the growing demands of the modern traveller. To understand all the design details of the new generation of ibis Hotels, editor Hamish Kilburn sat down with Damien Perrot, Senior Vice President, Design Solutions for Accor, to find out more about how the new ibis was conceived in three separate designs…

With more than 1,170 economy hotels open worldwide, ibis has become somewhat of a trailblazer in the congested budget sector of the hotel industry. Opening up in neighbourhoods that before the ‘70s may well have not existed for the modern traveller, the company’s aggressive expansion into tier two cities bridged the gap between travellers and the freedom to explore the world while on a budget.

With the aim to ‘shake up budget hotel standards’, the brand, which is known for its basic and standardised design, is now in the process of reinventing itself to become more flexible to cater to a wider demographic. Using interior design as its tool, Ibis’ latest face lift includes new guestrooms, F&B areas and living spaces. “Its transformation is primarily based on customer behaviour and how guests instinctively use the spaces,” said Steven Taylor, Chief Brand Officer at Accor in the official statement from the brand. “Today, the brand is a truly vibrant place where travellers and non-staying and local customers alike can dine, sleep, work and feel welcome.”

Leading the extensive brand renovation is Damien Perrot, Senior Vice President, Design Solutions for Accor. “I wanted to achieve a design that was living, vibrant and real,” he told Hotel Designs. “The objective, in terms of design, is to attract people and allow our guests to have a great experience that will naturally encourage them to return.”

“Perrot launched competitions in America, Asia and Europe in order to garner inspiration from all corners of the world.”

The design, marketing and brand team came together with the ambition to rethink ibis as if it was created today. “The simple fact was that we felt obliged to confront the way in which our guests’ behaviour and lifestyles have changed,” explained Perrot. “Our idea was not to radicalise the form, but instead to create a concept in line with that of the modern travellers’ needs of today.” In order to keep the thoughts open and fresh, Perrot launched design competitions open to all in America, Asia and Europe in order to garner inspiration from all corners of the world. “The brief being light in context around what we wanted was key as we did not want to restrict the designers’ creative flow,” adds Perrot. As a result, the brand was able to handpick the designers who put forward realistic and brand-worthy solutions to the challenge.

Following the competition, the new ibis was to be divided into three concepts drawn up from three separate design studios. Studio Innocad from Europe, Studio FGMF from Latin America and Studio Soda from Asia together were Perrot’s answer to the new generation of ibis hotels.

Studio Innocad – Europe

Flexible living area with hammocks by entrance - blue and while tiles

Image credit: INNOCAD Architecture

The concept is a modular, flexible and customisable approach for architecture and interior, for renovation as well as new construction of ibis hotels. Designed around the fluid transition between inside and outside, the different settings of social spaces invite travellers and locals to explore several atmospheres and areas and are importantly not limited to be in one design during their customer journey.

Studio FGMF – Latin America

Modern Scandinavian room with flexible living spaces

Image credit: FGMF/ibis hotels

Urban living comes to the heart of the hotels with the design concept from Studio FGMF while the street outside becomes an integral part of the lobby. Unveiling a new pedestrian walkway, the hotel concept is gallery of local inspiration.

Meanwhile, the guestrooms have been imagined to be comfortable in a modern style, featuring a bookshelf as a centrepiece. A functional layout opens up new possibilities for guests to relax in the home-from-home setting.

Studio Soda – Asia

Modern, opening living areas

Image credit: Soda Studio/ibis hotels

Flexible, modular and contemporary, the concept that was imagined by Studio Soda is one that offers everything the modern guest is looking for; comfort combined with warmth. The lobby has been specifically designed to welcome the outside world, with a terrace area that extends out onto the street. The result is a public area that is welcome and free for guests to eat, relax, work or play.

“When we are rethinking ‘the new’, it is essential to forget what it is today,” explained Perrot when confronting the challenges of the project. “After the big idea in terms of design, the question is how can we apply that into our existing hotels. That’s a really big challenge, but I think we have succeeded.

Portrait of Damien Perrot

Image caption: Damien Perrot, Senior Vice President, Design Solutions for Accor

“The other challenge is to not be distracted by trends. Each design concept that was accepted stayed true to the DNA of the brand, which is very modern. Throughout the project, I want to demonstrate that modernity is in line with a new way of living.”

With the ambitious plans to redesign all hotels in the ibis portfolio by 2022, the aim is not for all hotels to be identical to one another. Instead, each property is aimed to have its own quirky personality. “Each concept is not 100 per cent defined. But the designer will apply the concept on projects and select different furniture and lighting to suit the hotel,” said Perrot. “In order to be able to roll this out globally, we have to have guidelines and style book. Each document helps the designers to roll out this concept. In those guidelines, we explain the boundaries that can and can’t be broken to achieve the final design of the individual hotel.”

Each hotel to adopt the new design concept will be better equipped and better designed to personalise the overall guest experience. The refreshing, and very different, designed concepts suggest heavily that ibis strongly believe a good hotel experience is much beyond experiencing a good night’s sleep. To achieve that overall home-from-home experience, the brand has redefined its public areas, F&B environment and guestrooms allowing its guests to tailor-make their own travel experience when checking in.

Main image credit: FGMF/ibis hotels

Radisson Collection opens in Moscow

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Radisson Hotel Group has announced the opening of the Radisson Collection Hotel, Moscow. The rebrand is now complete and the hotel has become the latest addition to the group’s exceptional collection of premium lifestyle properties.

“As one of Moscow’s legendary landmarks, with outstanding architecture and world-class service, the hotel is the perfect match for Radisson Collection,” said Michel Stalport, Area Senior Vice President of Eastern Europe, Russia & Turkey at Radisson Hotel Group. “This is a one-of-a-kind property, and we’re delighted to have completed the rebranding of the hotel together with the owners.”

From the impressive, palatial exterior to the luxurious interior, featuring 501 stunning guestrooms and suites, the hotel is a Moscow landmark. The property itself is one of the capital’s ‘Seven Sisters’, a family of renowned neoclassical skyscrapers, while the rooms and public spaces echo the special nature of the building – with the finest materials and most exclusive furniture seen throughout the hotel.

A signature feature of the Radisson Collection brand is its outstanding service level, and the hotel is one of the most-awarded hotels in the whole of Russia – recognized for its service level, its professional conference expertise and luxurious hotel offers. Only recently, the hotel was awarded ‘Best 5 Star MICE Hotel in Russia’ at the Russian Hospitality Awards. The hotel’s Guest Relations Managers all ensure that no details are left unattended – all to give the guests truly memorable stays.

Located on the bend of the Moskva River, the hotel was formerly the tallest in Europe. It remains an imposing presence on Moscow’s skyline – and offers spectacular views of the capital. In fact, it’s a destination itself, with 26 on-site shops, its own art collection, a diorama of Moscow, an Olympic-sized swimming pool and its own flotilla of 10 yachts that offer city river cruises.

With Moscow’s most exceptional sky bar, the Mercedes Bar on the 31st-floor, the hotel is the perfect spot for guests who would like to get close to the twinkling stars and enjoy unparalleled views of Moscow. For gastronomy enthusiasts, there are 19 restaurants and bars on-site, serving a wide range of global cuisines from early morning until late at night.

Main image credit: Radisson Hotels

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Two new hotels with 500 rooms to arrive at Düsseldorf airport.

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H-Hotels signs a new contract for H2 Hotel and H4 Hotel at Düsseldorf airport, both slated to open in 2024…

H-Hotels Group is embarking upon the next stage of its dual brand concept by announcing two new hotels at Düsseldorf airport. The hotels will be constructed on Wanheimer Straße, in the immediate vicinity of Düsseldorf airport, and will be of particular interest to business travellers as a conference and congress venue.

The building complex will occupy grounds of around 15,000 square metres, located to the north of the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia. It will host an H2 Hotel featuring 237 rooms as well as an H4 Hotel offering 264 rooms. A generous conference centre with an area of around 1,000 square metres will be available to guests of both hotels. This will also be the case for the planned fitness centre and ‘sky bar’ on the eighth floor. Around 18,000 square metres of office facilities will occupy the area that is parallel to the hotels. An underground car park with 700 parking spaces will complete the facilities.

Thanks to its unbeatable location in the immediate vicinity of the airport, the terminals can be reached using the SkyTrain in just a few minutes. The ICE long-distance train station is just five minutes away, which means that both the city centre of Düsseldorf as well as the exhibition complex can also be reached quickly using public transport.

“Our dual brand concept with its impressive conference facilities is the perfect response to this exclusive location, right next to one of the largest airports in the country,” said Alexander Fitz, CEO of H-Hotels AG. “This means that travellers can choose between completely different accommodation options depending on their preferences.”

The real estate partners for the project are Nördliche Spitze GmbH & Co. KG, a joint venture between Reggeborgh, Delta Project Development, and Kondor Wessels. Managing Directors Johannes G.S. Hegeman and Lars Stillmann are delighted by the joint project: “In the H-Hotels Group we have found a very experienced hotel operator, whose concept corresponded perfectly with the project and its environment. Future office users will be able to take advantage of all of the hotel’s services within the building.”

Reggeborgh is a family-led investment company from the Netherlands and has also been active as a property business in Germany for more than 25 years. The company is responsible for the fund and asset management of several property funds in Germany and the Netherlands, with which Reggeborgh is also significantly involved. Another of the company’s fields of activity is the development and management of projects for high-quality residential and commercial property projects. In this respect, Reggeborgh stands for the sustainable and innovative development of ambitious property projects, as well as their implementation.

“The fundamental idea behind their property developments is the C2C concept.”

With more than 120 completed projects, primarily within Germany and the Netherlands, the Delta Group is active as a property development company. The fundamental idea behind their property developments is the C2C concept. The intelligent use of all kinds of resources – as well as the possible reutilisation of these resources – is one of the challenges facing the property sector of today and the future. The value of the group’s current portfolio, with a focus on residential and commercial properties, is in excess of €500 million.

Kondor Wessels boasts more than 25 years of experience in the development, planning and construction of residential properties, care homes, and office properties as well as mixed residential districts. With all of its projects, the company takes responsibility for the entire construction process as a partner, as well as delivering added value – all from a single source. Currently, more than 38 property projects with a total value of more than 700 million euros are being supervised by Kondor Wessels in Berlin, Frankfurt and North Rhine-Westphalia.

The project was supervised by Horwath HTL Germany – hcb hospitality competence berlin GmbH, operating as a consultant. The tenants were assisted by GVW Graf von Westphalen lawyers, and the lessors were assisted by lawyers from Bornheim and Partners.

Main image credit: H-Hotels

20 new resorts slated to open in The Maldives in 2019

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20 new resorts slated to open in The Maldives in 2019

Top Hotel Projects has announced that the region will see a large increase in developments this year as demand for luxury in the Maldives continues to grow…

The President of The Maldives has announced that the tropical region made up of 26 ring-shaped atolls will welcome 20 new resort openings this year. In his presidential address to a sitting of parliament, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has said with the new resorts, the number of beds in the country will increase to more than 47,000.

“By the end of last year, 1.4 million tourists from around the world visited the Maldives, and there were 145 resorts and 521 guest houses operating with a total of 44,860 beds,” the president said as reported by Top Hotel News.

Tourism and hospitality in the tropical nation has been steadily growing in recent years. Eleven new resorts opened in 2016, followed by at least 15 new resorts in 2017 and 20 new properties last year. Over the past few years, dozens of uninhabited islands have been leased to local and foreign resort developers as well. Several international brands have entered into the market too, increasing the number of resorts in operation to more than 140.

Singapore’s Park Hotel Group has opened its first resort in the Maldives, while major international hotel chains such as AccorHotels have entered the Maldives with three openings, including Mercure Maldives Kooddoo ResortFairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi and Mӧvenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives, with two more in the pipeline.

Brands like Hard Rock InternationalCapella Hotel Group, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Emaar Hospitality GroupBaglioni Hotels, Emerald Collection and Meliá Hotels International have all announced their own entries to the Maldives as well.

Main image credit: Radisson Blu Maldives

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HOTEL OPENING: Lincoln Plaza London’s design inspired by London Docklands

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By taking note of the exciting and vibrant spirit of the London Docklands area, RPW Design was the design firm that sensitively designed the 129-key Lincoln Plaza London… 

Based in the heart of Canary Wharf, RPW Design has announced the opening of its most recent project, Lincoln Plaza London. Conveying its location into the hotel, the experienced RPW Design team, led by Nicola Romanelli and Richard Snow, has maintained a unique and luxurious experience through the guestrooms, function and meeting spaces while staying true to the location. RPW Design took Canary Wharf as a treasure trove of inspiration; from the historic shipping and dockland past to the present day, high tech, modern, business, luxury residential living and extraordinary architecture.

When approaching the design for a property in such a vibrant area of the city, RPW Design was inspired by a quote from the design brief for the new Hilton Curio Brand: “Hotels with a special character you can’t duplicate. They’re part of the fabric of their cities: true locals, each embodying the spirit of their home”.

For Richard Snow, Senior Designer at RPW Design, this quote really stood out and inspired the design story for Lincoln Plaza London. “We drew on the rich industrial past of the area using rusty tones and finishes alongside the design of joinery and FF&E pieces with exposed metal framework,” he told Hotel Designs. “At the same time, conscious of the hotel brand and surrounding residential developments, we included quality finishes such as natural stone in the bathrooms and on joinery, as well as statement pieces like the rusty/burnished gold wall covering to the bed head wall.”

Image credit: Main image credit: Lincoln Plaza London/Curio Collection by Hilton

Lincoln Plaza London’s focus on luxurious lifestyle facilities has been seamlessly translated throughout the 129 guest rooms. The layout of the rooms was creatively developed to move away from the standard hotel offering by incorporating the vanity into the main lobby area of the room, creating a sense of space and openness in the room. A decision to remove the traditional hotel room desk was made, and instead RPW designed a multi-use table at the right height for either a work space or dining table whilst seated at the armchair. These changes allow a more residential feel. From the bespoke shelving units made of blackened steel and antique brass, through to the marble rainfall showers, all elements work together harmoniously. The guestroom artwork was carefully curated in collaboration with RPW Design’s Art Consultant, Peter Millard and Partners, in order to show some of the East End’s most famous and unique artists: Gary Hogben; Julian Bray; Kyra Cane; and Tom Clark. Meanwhile, individual sculptural pieces by Simon Bingle, positioned in every floor lift lobby, hark back to the industrial landscape still visible around the hotel. This particular bespoke artwork conveys RPW Design’s attention to details that is inherent in their projects.

Canary Wharf is a more recent business hub for London, and the Hilton Curio offers 465 square metres of event space that is distributed across seven meeting rooms.  With sleek design details, RPW Design implemented a blend of “old industrial” and contemporary design. RPW Design has created a popular new space in this centre of commerce and it is a truly unique destination for the Docklands.

Image credit: Main image credit: Lincoln Plaza London/Curio Collection by Hilton

The reflection of the historical and industrial shipping dock is continued throughout the hotel, from the lower-ground meeting and function spaces to the fitness centre. Lincoln Plaza’s fitness centre is designed to be simple and modern, reflecting the location’s industrial heritage with a concrete reception desk formed out of concrete and rusty metal effect laminate in the joinery.

Lincoln Plaza’s meeting areas can be reached by a feature staircase that is formed of shuttered concrete, poured in situ, with an exposed timber imprint remaining on view, contrasted by a polished concrete floor. The rough concrete is offset by a luxurious brushed brass handrail and stair treads, with concealed lighting to add drama. This is diffused into the pre-function space, with a concrete render-effect wall covering and rich, dark timber doors.

Image credit: Main image credit: Lincoln Plaza London/Curio Collection by Hilton

The function areas are versatile spaces that may be configured dependent on the client’s needs and meeting planners’ specifications. The large function room can be divided into thirds when required and the buffet counters housing TV and tea/coffee facilities in the individual meeting rooms can also be concealed, thus enabling various uses from one space. A central area with a communal work table, features iconic pieces of furniture from Poltrona Frau, Walter Knoll and Porada. The cranes, such a familiar sight in the Docklands, are reflected in the pattern of two large metal work screens, dividing the pre-function area. The walls of the function rooms are designed with contrasting finishes, featuring geometric patterned wallpaper and bespoke lighting, continuing the theme.

Andrew Hart, Chairman of interior fit-out contractor Fileturn, commented: “This project was one which used all the skills of the team on site to incorporate the new designs within the existing structural shell. The fit-out areas designed by RPW included public areas, conference and meeting room facilities as well as bedrooms. The end results have produced a striking hotel in keeping with its surroundings and one the team here at Fileturn can deservedly be proud of”.

RPW Design worked alongside Fileturn to make the design become a reality, creating the perfect addition to the Curio Collection by Hilton.

Main image credit: Lincoln Plaza London/Curio Collection by Hilton

LOCATION SPECIAL: Mexico sees significant increase in hotel investment

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Investment management company JLL has released findings, proving that hotel investment in Mexico is sharply on the up… 

Following the opening of Viceroy Los Cabos and the awaited arrival of Nobu Hotel Los Cabos, Mexico’s lodging market is being viewed as more sophisticated and liquid, reflected by a 26 per cent transaction volume increase year-over-year, a study from JLL has shown.

From bustling urban locations to relaxing resorts, Mexico’s lodging market has experienced strong growth over the past six years, averaging an annual compounded revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth of nearly 5.3 percent in U.S. dollar terms, which illustrates the country’s resilient tourism industry and ability to weather unforeseen situations such as hurricanes or travel advisory warnings. Although investors are exercising caution due to the uncertainty regarding the political environment and policies, investors are anticipated to continue exploring strategic lodging opportunities in Mexico.

Light and bright guestroom

Image credit: Nobu Hotels/Studio PCH

“In recent quarters, Mexico’s lodging market has been viewed as more sophisticated and liquid,” says Carolina Lacerda, JLL Senior Vice President, Investment Sales. “The quality of lodging supply has improved and investors, particularly domestic groups such as FIBRAS, funds, and local families, are increasingly active.”

Total transaction volume at year-end 2018 reached $980 million, a 26 per cent increase over the prior year. Additionally, 2018 recorded a price-per-key average of $466,000 – the highest annual average in the past 10 years, driven by several luxury hotel sales, such as the September 2018 sale of JW Marriott Mexico City, which JLL brokered for $183 million.

“Mexico’s hotel market is estimated to deliver nearly 23,000 new, quality rooms over the next five years.”

Travel to Mexico is driving much of the growth, with the majority of visitors heading to locations like Mexico City, Los Cabos and Cancún. According to Tourism Secretary Miguel Torruco Marques, tourists are anticipated to spend approximately US$23.2 billion in 2019, a nearly four percent increase over the prior year. Three hotel assets seem to be the current preferred types among investors and owners:

  • Hotels with a mixed-use component located in cities with a strong corporate presence, such as Mexico City, Monterrey, and Guadalajara. Beyond capturing the business travel segment, having a retail or office component is viewed as a diversification strategy.
  • Hotels located in vacation destinations such as Cancún, Riviera Nayarit, and Los Cabos. Additionally, some of these hotels with a branded residential or rental component allow developers and investors to achieve more attractive returns.
  • All-inclusive resorts in international destinations with a strong vertically-integrated business model.

In response to strong tourism numbers and in turn, strong hotel fundamentals, Mexico’s hotel market is estimated to deliver nearly 23,000 new, quality rooms over the next five years, per Smith Travel Research (STR) data1. Cancún/Riviera Maya, Los Cabos, Riviera Nayarit and Mexico City are slated to see the largest increases in total incoming supply, predominately in the upper-upscale and luxury segments.

“Mexico is witnessing unprecedented growth in branded lodging supply across major resort markets and gateway destinations,” says Wendy Chan, JLL Senior Vice President, Strategic Advisory and Asset Management. “The arrival of new and different-tiered brands to the marketplace is improving the quality and maturing the overall tourism and lodging infrastructure nationwide.”

Chan also points that continued international and domestic route development and infrastructure investment in key gateway cities will be essential, as this will contribute to the further growth of the lodging industry, especially with the anticipated supply increases in the near term. “While the investor sentiment in 2019 is generally cautious given recent changes in the political landscape and growth in incoming supply, the industry should start witnessing RevPAR growth across select markets in Mexico in the coming years.”

“Driven by revenue growth in U.S. dollars and operating expenses in its devalued Mexican Peso currency, investors are able to find attractive high margins,” says Lacerda.

[1] Reflects hotels under construction or final planning only (Jan 2019). 

Main image credit: Viceroy Los Cabos

MEET UP LONDON: 3 weeks to go

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Calling all designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers: Meet Up London takes place on March 28 at Minotti London… 

Designers, architects and hoteliers can purchase tickets here.
Suppliers can purchase tickets here.

There are just three weeks to go until the industry will gather together for Hotel Designs’ Q1 networking event, Meet Up London.

Taking place on March 28 at Minotti London, the evening event is designed to bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers.

Meet Up London will be attended by more than 200 hospitality professionals. As well as providing the perfect networking stage for professionals who are working on the hotel design scene, the event will also pay special attention to young designers as it will unveil Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30 (the shortlist can be accessed here).

The latest names to the guest list include designers, directors and 30 Under 30 shortlisted finalists from the likes of B3 Designers, Yasmine Mahmoudieh Design Studio, Scott Brownrigg and M Studio.

They will join designers and directors from leading studios such as Richmond InternationalHBA LondonGenslerJestico + WhilesGoddard LittlefairProject Orange and WATG who are among the names that are also confirmed to attend.

Agenda for Meet Up London: 

 

How to attend Meet Up London 

If you are an interior designer, architect, operator or hotelier and would like to attend Meet Up London, click here to book your place.

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to attend the event, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or on z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

For more information about becoming a Hotel Designs Meet Up sponsor, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or email z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk.

Marriott to add more than 30 luxury hotels internationally in 2019

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Hotel giant Marriott International plans to add hotels across its eight luxury brands…

Marriott International has announced that it is projecting to open more than 30 luxury properties in 2019, furthering the company’s global perspective on luxury travel with its ensemble of eight distinct luxury brands. Through the world-renowned hospitality hallmarks of The Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, St. Regis, W, The Luxury Collection, EDITION, JW Marriott and Bulgari, Marriott International continues to push boundaries, creating new guest experiences which meet the needs of the evolving luxury traveller.

With hotels in more than 60 countries and territories, the hotel giant is poised to expand its luxury footprint with more than 200 properties in the development pipeline, representing 20 new countries for the company’s luxury portfolio, from Sri Lanka to Bermuda and Morocco to Kenya.

“Our eight unique luxury brands provide distinct experiences that appeal to different types of luxury travelers, no matter if your priority is residing at the best address in town, completely immersing yourself in your destination, or prioritizing your wellbeing,” said Tina Edmundson, Global Brand Officer and Luxury Portfolio Leader, Marriott International. “From the world’s most iconic destinations to the ultimate undiscovered gems, we are focused on elevating travel with highly contextualized, nuanced brand experiences that signal the future of luxury by allowing our guests to indulge their passions while sparking personal growth.”

A global luxury study, conducted in partnership with creative agency Team One, revealed that luxury travellers of today are travelling not just to discover the world, but also to discover something about themselves. Edmundson continued: “When it comes to experiences, people today are seeking more meaning and personal significance rather than just the opportunity to indulge. Travellers have become active participants in the trips they are taking – they are more engaged and vested than ever before. Ultimately, global luxurians are becoming ‘creators’ in every aspect of their travel experience and for this group, travel is no longer a departure from reality, it is the reality.” With a rapidly growing global footprint and eight distinct luxury brands, Marriott International is uniquely positioned to deliver on these new expectations, inviting globally-minded travelers to look at the world through a new lens. “For our guests, we strive to go beyond offering moments of delight, to creating experiences that will profoundly inspire and transform,” said Edmundson.

Ritz-Carlton to set a new standard of luxury 

Known for its legendary service and refined design, The Ritz-Carlton will continue to set the standard for luxury. With six openings anticipated in the year ahead, the iconic luxury brand also expects to celebrate the opening of its 100th property. The brand is expected to make its return to Australia with the debut of The Ritz-Carlton, Perthand is slated to grow in China with the opening of The Ritz-Carlton, Xi’an. Showcasing the beauty of the Moroccan landscape and culture, The Ritz-Carlton Rabat, Dar es Salam is set to offer an oasis in the country’s vibrant capital, while The Ritz-Carlton, Mexico City will invite guests to experience the city through a new perspective. With a mission to inspire travel and create memories for its guests, the brand also expects to see the completion of a major renovation of The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park and to continue to work towards the inaugural voyage of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection in February 2020.

St. Regis anticipates grand debuts in global hotspots

Currently offering more than 40 hotels in 20 countries and territories, St. Regis recently celebrated the renovation of The St. Regis Rome along with the opening of The St. Regis Zhuhai, China’s premier tourist destination on the Pearl River Delta. In the coming year, St. Regis is planning to debut the André Fu-designed St. Regis Hong Kongwhere the award-winning designer will blend the brand’s timeless elegance with silhouettes representative of the city’s architectural and cultural diversity. The brand is also set to expand its footprint in Europe with The St. Regis Venice, which is ideally situated on the Grand Canal and offers a central location from which to explore the historic city. Finally, St. Regis is also expecting to bring its modern glamour and bespoke service to Cairo, a destination that has captivated travelers for generations and one which is quickly reclaiming its place as a hot spot for the global explorer.

W Rewrites the rules

Trailblazing its way around the globe, W broke the norms of traditional luxury in destinations including Brisbane, Amman and Costa Rica in 2018. The luxury rebel also rewrote the music festival rules, taking the festival experience off the field and onto fabulous hotel grounds with the global launch of WAKE UP CALL. Bringing people closer to the music than ever before, the brand’s signature music festival series made stops at W Hollywood, W Barcelona and W Bali. This year, the brand will live out its mission to fuel guests’ lust for life with eight hotels projected to open, ranging from Aspen and Ibiza to Muscat and Melbourne. W skillfully balances the power of a global brand with the relevance and personality of a local insider and continues to revitalize its global portfolio with multi-million-dollar renovations planned or underway at more than half its properties in North America, including W Washington D.C. and W San Francisco.

EDITION continues growth in iconic destinations

In 2018 the EDITION brand doubled its footprint, growing from four properties to eight with openings in Shanghai, Bodrum, Barcelona and Abu Dhabi. The in-demand lifestyle brand was created through a collaboration between boutique hotel creator and innovator Ian Schrager and Marriott International, which offers sophisticated design, a curated taste of the destination and modern service. Next up, the brand expects to redefine luxury with its recent opening in New York City’s Times Square and will bring its distinct perspective to West Hollywood with a scheduled opening in Q2 2019.

The Luxury Collection brings authentic charm to new destinations

Offering the promise of unique, authentic experiences, The Luxury Collection is a rapidly growing ensemble of 110 hotels in more than 30 countries and territories around the world. In 2018, the brand made its debut in Savannah with the opening of Perry Lane, expanded its footprint in Paris through Hôtel de Berri and brought distinct resort design to Los Cabos with Solaz, among other exciting debuts. With each hotel serving as a portal to the destination’s indigenous charms and treasures, The Luxury Collection anticipates debuting nine properties this year in coveted locations such as Okinawa, Cesme, Buckinghamshire, and Budapest.

JW Marriott Inspires the Passions 

JW Marriott offers differentiated luxury experiences at 84 hotels and resorts in nearly 30 countries and territories, including the recent opening of JW Marriott Nashville. Inspired by its legendary namesake, JW Marriott is committed to curating uplifting experiences for guests, delivering experiences and environments that help guests be fully present and bringing people together to celebrate life’s most meaningful moments. This year, JW Marriott anticipates continuing to bring its distinct style of warm service to established and emerging destinations with planned openings from the Maldives and Shanghai to Savannah, GA.

Marriott International currently encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,900 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 130 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world.

Main image credit: EDITION/Marriott International

Ruby Hotels to open first Nordic hotel

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The 142-room property in Finland’s Helsinki is the latest installment in ‘lean luxury’ hotel brand’s expansion plan…

Ruby Hotels, since unveiling plans for UK and international expansion at the end of last year, has announced plans for its first Nordic property in the Finnish capital, Helsinki, to open in the first quarter of 2021. The new hotel forms part of an expansion plan for Ruby Hotels to unveil a total of nine new hotels by 2021.

Set within a historic 19th-century building, in the same plot which housed Finnish national poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg, the new hotel will be located in Helsinki’s charming Kruununhaka district. Enjoying a central position between the city’s main railway station and the hip district of Kallio, guests will be just steps from hotspots including the harbour and marketplace, Helsinki cathedral and the beating heart of the local nightlife, Tori Quarters.

A collaboration with Finnish project developer ICON Real Estate, the hotel will house 142 guest rooms, ranging in size from cosy ‘Nest’ rooms (13-15m²) to expansive ‘Loft’ rooms (23-38m²), a stylish 24-hour bar and breakfast area, a spacious outside terrace and – in a nod to traditional Finnish culture – Ruby Hotels’ first in-hotel Sauna.

“This works because we accommodate luxury in a relatively condensed space, similar to luxury yachts, and we forego unnecessary services,” explains Michael Struck, Ruby Founder and CEO. “Thanks to proprietary technical innovations, we plan, build and organize ourselves differently from conventional hotels. To be precise, we plan and build in a very modular way and centralize as well as automatize processes behind the scenes wherever possible. This helps us create a luxurious and unique hotel experience at an affordable price.”

A laid-back, contemporary design will take inspiration from the area’s Jugendstil art-nouveau style, with quirky touches such as the inclusion of a Marshall guitar amp in each room. Guests will be able to use the amp with their own guitar or one borrowed from reception, and will enjoy ‘Ruby Radio’, the hotel group’s own internet radio station.

Cutting-edge technology will be on offer throughout the property; in each room guests will find a personal tablet PC and smartphone pre-loaded with Ruby Hotels’ carefully-curated Helsinki city guide, social media apps and unlimited data and calls to use throughout their stay. A state-of-the-art self-check-in system will make use of tablets to reduce check-in time to under one minute, leaving guests free to make the most of their stay.

Just like the group’s other houses, the new hotel will follow Ruby Hotels’ ‘Lean Luxury’ philosophy: a top location, high-quality fittings, and outstanding design. All of this is offered at an affordable price by rigorously cutting out the superfluous and focusing on the essential.

The Ruby Helsinki development is a part of a half-city-block-sized (10,000m2) real estate project which will revitalise the neighbourhood, with a further 50-60 luxury apartments ranging from studios to 4-bedroom apartments also under construction next door.

Main image credit: Ruby Hotels

Alila in Bali achieves zero waste to landfill

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The luxury lifestyle brand, Alila Hotels & Resorts, which pledged the sustainability initiative in August 2016, has announced it has now achieved zero waste to landfill among four of its flagship properties…

Alila Hotels & Resorts has succeeded in piloting a zero waste to landfill initiative across four of its flagship properties in Bali: Alila Villas Uluwatu, Alila Ubud, Alila Mangis and Alila Seminyak, and will now replicate the initiative other Alila-branded properties.

Man walking through garden

Image credit: Alila Hotels & Resorts

The ambitious plans, which started in August 2016, were put in place following the wide-spread coverage of Bali’s waste crisis, which highlighted that much of the population’s waste ends up in overflowing landfills, contributing to the production of harmful toxic methane gas. The luxury lifestyle brand realised that the waste in Bali that does not make it to the landfill is either dumped on the side of the road, in rivers or ends up polluting both the ocean and beaches.

“In order to tackle waste at its source, the brand introduced methods so that it could recycle materials into useful resources.”

With the aim to ‘do its part’, Alila Hotels & Resorts decided to approach the issue in a new way. In order to tackle waste at its source, the brand introduced methods so that it could recycle materials into useful resources. The centrepiece of its Zero Waste Policy is an Integrated Sustainable Resource Recovery Facility (iSuRRF), an on-site laboratory where all waste streams are transformed into higher value products and services through a series of simple yet proven mechanical and biological engineering systems.

For example, plastics, glass and ceramics are shredded and crushed to produce aggregate, sand and fibre that is then reused to produce green building materials. Meanwhile, metals and high-value plastics are recycled. Uneconomical waste plastics, such as wraps and films, are converted into a light crude oil that is distilled down to diesel, kerosene and gasoline for reuse in the hotel.

In addition to the laboratory, each of the four hotels used in the pilot now feature a composting section and an organic garden.

Beyond its own zero waste efforts, the hotel brand also pledges to involve the community in order to be a catalyst for other businesses to put in place eco initiatives. Speaking at an exclusive event in London, Doris Goh, Head of Brand and Marketing for Alila Hotels & Resorts, said: “It has taken one year longer than we originally anticipated, because of how thorough we have had to be, but we are so proud to unveil to the world that we have achieved zero waste to landfill.”

All properties in the Alila Hotels & Resorts portfolio are operated to EarthChecks standards. Since adopting these regulations, the four Bali resorts have collectively reduced their wastage that would have otherwise have filled 64 20ft shipping containers.

Main image credit: Alila Hotels & Resorts

CASE STUDY: Furnishing Grand Central, Belfast

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Hastings Grand Central is more than a hotel, it’s an ode to a spectacular city. Recommended Supplier Style Library Contract explains how it helped to style the hotel in Belfast that everyone is talking about… 

Standing tall in Bedford Street, the 22-storey Hastings Grand Central, which opened in June last year, fuses glamour and grandeur with a uniquely Belfast spirit. Comprising of 300 luxurious guestrooms and suites, restaurant, bar, conferencing facilities and retail space, it is a jewel that sits at the heart of Belfast’s Linen Quarter.

RPP Architects was involved in the design of every aspect of the hotel, from the external envelope which involved the design of prominent and distinct signage, a bespoke cladding system to the different bedroom, suites and all of the public spaces. Meanwhile, the interior design was developed with Grahams construction and the Hastings Hotel group during a series of design workshops.

Situated on the ground floor, the Grand Café will catch your eye as you walk by but when you step inside you’ll want to stay. An everyday place with an easygoing elegance, it reflects the whole ambience of being “beautifully simple and simply beautiful”.

Sumptuous suite

Image credit: Hasting Hotels

Quality exudes from every angle of the bar and restaurant space; from the phenomenal cuisine and cocktails to the lavish fabrics and fittings. The art deco nods, high ceilings and sense of space add a distinctive drama and the vibe inside shifts as the day rolls in and the sun rolls round. Located on the 23rd floor, the Observatory is an aweinspiring cocktail lounge with spectacular, unique views of Belfast and beyond. The decadent décor combined with the stunning vistas make the inside feel intimate, and the outside infinite. Each of the 300 guestrooms and suites are designed for absolute comfort and relaxation. Each room has been lovingly created as an oasis of calm; a thoughtfully crafted cityscape sanctuary teeming with touchable, tactile fabrics and state of-the-art finishes.

entrance lobby

Image credit: Hasting Hotels

Mark Higgins, Associate at RPP Architects explains how they selected the materials and craftsmen for this project: “The interior design utilised local craftsmanship where possible sourcing marble and quartz from Ballymoney, specialist joinery and bedroom casegoods from Ballymena, bespoke upholstery and front of house furniture was manufactured in Carrickfergus and bespoke carpet from Portadown.

“We chose to work with Style Library Contract because of the wide selection and high specification of their fabrics and wallcoverings. Being able to specify products from across their brands enabled us to create the look we wanted for each distinct space. Products include: Zoffany curzon belvoir, Zoffany elswick paisley, Anthology veda, Harlequin mesh and sgraffito, Scion toma, Harlequin momentum aves paprika, William Morris snakeshead paper in the bar and various Anthology papers in the suites.”

Carolyn Mitchell, Group Contracts Sales Director at Style Library Contract adds, “We are delighted to have worked with RPP Architects and Hastings on this exquisite project. Our job is to provide clients with the means to create beautiful, design-led interiors. In house manufacturing and design expertise in contract specification fabrics, wallcoverings and paint, means we can be relied on for a complete project solution.”

Style Library is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Main image credit: Hasting Hotels

Moxy NYC Chelsea opens an urban design jungle

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Refined yet playful, hand-crafted yet modern, the 349-key Moxy Chelsea reimagines the urban jungle, blending botanically-inspired design with Italian romance…

Rising 35 stories high into the New York City skyline, Moxy NYC Chelsea, the micro-room, macro-amenity hotel, developed by Lightstone and part of Marriott International’s experiential Moxy Hotels brand, has officially opened. Inspired by the surrounding Flower District, the hotel blends a botanically-influenced design with Italian romance and a touch of playful wit – perfectly timed to welcome guests on Valentine’s Day.

Creating an environment that appeals to both today’s modern traveller and locals, Moxy Chelsea was developed with a collection of public spaces designed to meet the community’s dining, drinking, and co-working needs—while providing guests access to New York City at a neighbourhood level. The 349-room hotel marks the second collaboration between Yabu Pushelberg, Rockwell Group, and architects Stonehill Taylor, the designers behind Moxy Times Square and three of the industry’s most admired firms.

The newly-constructed building’s architecture riffs off the neighborhood’s retro-industrial style and feels harmonious with its location, in the heart of the Chelsea Flower Market. The hotel blends into the lush flower shops that surround it, with a soaring three-story glass atrium revealing the vertical gardens within. Guests enter through the overgrown Putnam & Putnam Flower Shop, designed by Yabu Pushelberg, which is envisioned as a “botanical library,” with planter boxes suspended from the 15-foot wall, reachable by a wheeled ladder. The shop is run by husbands Darroch and Michael Putnam, whose couture approach to floral arrangements over the years has made them a staple at celebrity weddings, including the recent nuptials of Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Falchuk.

Image credit: Michael Kleinberg/Moxy Chelsea/Marriott International

The guestrooms are drenched in sunlight and feature floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows. For the design, Yabu Pushelberg replicates the clever functionality they created for Moxy Times Square, leavened with wit and humanised with a sense of craft. In all three room types — King, Double/Double and Quad Bunk — the furniture, which includes a writing desk and chair/luggage rack, can be folded up and hung up on Moxy’s signature peg wall when not in use. Other space-saving gambits include under-bed storage and a lava-stone sink and vanity area placed outside the bathroom. Tiles in the shower stalls are printed with cheeky phrases like “SOME REGRETS” and “WILD THING,” while a bulldog-shaped beer bottle opener hangs on the door. Additional bedroom features nod to the Flower District, like reading lamps that resemble garden lanterns and faucets that recall hose reels. Unique to Moxy Chelsea is the over-the-top MONDO Suite, an entertainment suite located on the 32nd floor. With soaring, double-height 18-foot ceilings and a wall of industrial-style windows looking out onto the Empire State Building, the room is equipped for entertaining and socialising. The suite can be combined with one or two adjoining king rooms to create a place to party and sleep.

The lobby atmosphere is enlivened by a design that reflects Moxy’s trademark cheekiness, such as classically sculpted figurines making unexpected poses, like twerking, taking selfies, and wearing sunglasses. A life-size, toga-clad Roman statue rests on a column, one arm extended so it can hold a guest’s phone and pose with them for a selfie. Throughout the lobby, ample seating options invite co-working and socializing, including modular meeting studios that morph seamlessly from daytime workplace to evening social space.

Decadent rooftop bar

Image caption: The Fleur Room – credit: Michael Kleinberg/Moxy Chelsea/Marriott International

TAO Group and Rockwell also collaborated on The Fleur Room, Moxy Chelsea’s rooftop lounge, topping off the hotel on the 35th floor with panoramic 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline, from the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State building. The design features a copper-clad bar, glass chandeliers that resemble giant water droplets, and a massive disco ball salvaged from the notorious 1980s L.A. nightclub Vertigo. The real showstopper: The lounge’s glass walls descend at the touch of a button, transforming the space into an alfresco sky veranda.

“We’ve all read about how the modern traveller wants to satisfy their curiosity with unique experiences and personalised, insider access,” says Mitchell Hochberg, President of Lightstone. “Nobody really expects that at the Moxy price point. With Moxy Times Square, we proved we could flip the script; and with Moxy Chelsea, we’re taking it to the next level: We’ve doubled down on that formula—affordable rates, rooms with character, distinctive public spaces—and made it even more personal, more local, more genuinely New York.”

“With the opening of Moxy Chelsea, the Moxy Hotels brand continues to boldly reinvent the hospitality scene,” says Toni Stoeckl, Global Brand Leader, Moxy Hotels, and Vice President, Distinctive Select Service Brands, Marriott International. “When you walk into a Moxy, you know you’re getting a killer bar experience with fun, playful programming; an in-the-know Crew; stylish and functional bedrooms; and experiential moments you’ll want to share with friends during your trip. Moxy Chelsea offers all of that, with a distinctly bold, New York twist.”

The Moxy brand now has 30-plus experiential hotels open across North America, Europe and Asia. Moxy is expected to open 20-plus more hotels in 2019*, in destinations including Paris, Nashville and Boston.

*subject to change depending on hospitality landscape and market conditions

Main image credit: Michael Kleinberg/Moxy Chelsea/Marriott International

FIRST LOOK: Apex unveils Insta-worthy London suite

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Apex Hotels has unveiled the Temple Suite in London that has been designed with Instagram in mind… 

Following the Hotel Designs’ series, Designing Instagrammable, Apex Hotels has revealed a sneak peek at the fabulous, ‘Instagrammable’ interiors that lie within the £6 million extension to its hotel on London’s Fleet Street.

The Temple Suite is considered the jewel in the crown of the multi-million pound extension, which also boasts four deluxe Grand Suites. Each one is perfect for those looking for a new type of luxury in the capital, and those who want to witness #interiordesigngoals first-hand.

While the Grand Suites are already available to book, the outstanding Temple Suite has been kept under wraps – but now the first images have been released, showing exactly what potential guests can expect when the space opens for booking on March 3.

It includes original fireplaces, bespoke furnishings in rich jewel tones, luxury linens and a bathroom (complete with underfloor heating) that’s just begging for mirror-selfies to be snapped.

Image credit: Apex Hotel

Set within a Grade II listed building on the capital’s Fleet Street, dating back to 1912, the Temple and Grande Suites sit alongside ‘The Amicable Society of Lazy Ballerinas’ – a brand new stylish, decadent wine bar – and private dining rooms to really give guests a taste of the ‘suite’ life.

Guests can cosy up in the coolest of surroundings in the Temple Suite, which features a sophisticated grey colour palette that is injected with warmth thanks to the original parquet flooring and wall panelling.

There’s a chance to relax on Scandi-inspired, bold furniture upholstered in rich velvets and textured wools, whilst snapping away at contemporary features including striking pendant lighting, and the intricately detailed glassware and accessories dotted throughout.

Image credit: Apex Hotels

Before languishing in luxury with access to a personal concierge service, guests can be whisked straight into their suite for a private, queue-free check-in before settling in with a welcome drink, testing out the luxury linens and making the most of the sumptuous surroundings – including a totally personalised mini-bar.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to reveal the striking Temple Suite which, along with our Grand Suites, has come as a result of a meticulous, multi-million pound restoration and refurbishment of the stunning Grade II listed building situated right next door to our original Fleet Street hotel,” Karl Mitchell, General Manager at Apex Temple Court Hotel. “Not only are each of the suites entirely Instagram-worthy, with beautiful furnishings and facilities masterminded by our architects, ISA; each and every guest who stays within the suites will enjoy a totally bespoke stay – from a private check-in and access to a personal concierge, to a mini-bar stocked with their favourite tipples and much more. No two stays will be the same.

“Just imagine lazing in front of the fire with your favourite drink from the personalised mini bar…it’s just one of the blissful ways our guests can spend a stay at our magnificent suites.”

Guests looking for a new type of luxury in London can now book to stay at the 115 square metres of pure, opulent relaxation that is the stand-alone Temple Suite – or at one of the four Grande Suites.

 

Leading designers and architects confirmed to attend Interior Design & Architecture Summit

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Two months before the inaugural Interior Design & Architecture Summit, the event has unveiled who among the architecture and design community will be attending… 

Following the announcement of the ‘Rising Ceiling of Creativity’ panel discussion at the event, the Interior Design & Architecture Summit (IDAS) has just announced the attendees list for the meet-the-buyers event.

Dexter Moren Associates, EPR Archtiects, Goddard Littlefair, MKV Design, ReardonSmith Archiects and Zannier Hotels are all among the leading design firms that have confirmed to attend IDAS as delegates.

The event, , is aimed to bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers.

About IDAS

The one-day event, which will take place on April 29 at Hilton Tower Bridge London, is designed to connect senior executives working within the sector with product and service suppliers for face-to-face meetings and business networking.

The Summit aims to support the design and architecture sector with a unique platform to help create long-lasting and mutually beneficial business connections.

The design and architecture companies confirmed to attend IDAS are:

Aaron Chetwynd Architect Studio
Abode Architecture
Ana Engelhorn Interior Design Ltd
Anita Rosato Interior Design
Brompton Cross Construction
Burke Rickhards Ltd
Burrell Mistry Architects
CMT Design & Construction
CS Design
Dexter Moren Associates
DesignLSM
EPR Architects
Fiona Barratt Interiors
FL Interiors
Forster
Gauri Dole Design Studio
Goddard Littlefair
GA Design
GA Architect
Gereghty Taylor Architects
Gunter & Co Interiors
Harp Commercial Interiors
Hartmann Designs Limited
Harriet Forde Design
HBA London
Henry Prideaux Interior Design
Hyphen
InD Creations
Je Ne Sais Quoi
JPA Design
JCC
Jo Berryman Studio
Koubou Interiors
Kim Partridge
KCA International Designers Ltd
Lambart & Browne
LDA Design
LXA Projects
Materialise Interiors
Mangera Yvars Architects
MKV Design
Natalia Interior Design
NBBJ
NSI Design Ltd
Nine Yard Club
One Creative Environments Limited
Panache Interiors
Project (SW) Ltd
Rebecca James Studio
ReardonSmith Architects
Run for The Hills
RWD
Sapphire Spaces
Suited ID
Stop and Smell the Roses
Studio Mica
Tara Bernerd and Partners
Toca
Temza
Twinning Design
Wilson Associates
Watson Batty Architects
Woods Bagot
WS Design
Yasmine Mahmoudieh
Virserius Studio
Zannier Hotels

If you are an architect or interior designer and would like to attend the Summit, there are very limited spaces available. Please contact Kerry Naumburger on k.naumburger@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to meet the top architects and interior designers, contact Victoria Petch on v.petch@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

Click here for more information about IDAS.

Media partner: Future Contractor & Architect

London School of Architecture confirmed as headline speaker for Meet Up London

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James Soane, Director of Critical Practice at the London School of Architecture, will speak at Meet Up London which takes place on March 28 at Minotti London…

Meet Up London has confirmed James Soane, Director of Critical Practice at the London School of Architecture, as its headline speaker for the networking event which takes place on March 28 at Minotti London’s showroom.

In addition to welcoming leading designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers of all ages, Meet Up London will also carry a light theme to support young creatives. Attending the evening, courtesy of Hotel Designs, the 40 shortlisted finalists for Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30 initiative will find out on the night who among them have made the final 30 Under 30.

“Our aim for this event has always been very clear; to support young designers and architects who are proving themselves to be rising stars on the international hotel design scene,”  said Hamish Kilburn, editor of Hotel Designs. “It is therefore my honour to invite James Soane to speak at the event in order to share his experience of working with and supporting young talent within in our industry. We hope that by having James speak at this event it will help to further bridge the age gap between designers, hoteliers, architects and suppliers.”

About Meet Up London

More than 200 hospitality professionals are expected to attend Hotel Designs’ highly anticipated Q1 networking event, Meet Up London.

Following the success of previous networking events, such as The Brit list 2018 and Meet Up North, Hotel Designs’ Meet Up London will adopt the theme of 30 under 30. The leading hotel design website has asked its readers to nominate designers, architects and hoteliers of the age of 30 and under who are fast climbing the ranks to become leading practitioners.

Meet Up London, which is being styled exclusively by Minotti London, will provide a unique opportunity to network over drinks and canapés with the largest names in hospitality, interior design and architecture.

Address: 77 Margaret St, Fitzrovia, London, W1W 8SY

Evening agenda:
18.00: Guests arrive
18.30: Welcoming speech from editor of Hotel Designs’ Hamish Kilburn
18.45: Unveiling of Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30
19:00: Presentation by London School of Architecture’s James Soane (topic TBC)
19:15 – 21.00: Networking over complimentary drinks and canapés

If you are an interior designer, architect, operator or hotelier and would like to attend the Hotel Designs Meet Up London: 30 Under 30, click here to book your place.

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to attend the event, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or on z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

For more information about becoming a Hotel Designs Meet Up sponsor, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or email z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk.

 

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

 

 

 

ISH Preview: Laufen to exhibit collaboration with Patricia Urquiola

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At the upcoming edition of ISH, Laufen will present SaphirKeramik in all its forms with the return of Sonar, the refined collection designed for the Swiss company by Patricia Urquiola…

Laufen is enthusiastically preparing to participate at the upcoming iteration of ISH, the indispensable biennial event in the field of bath furnishings.

Always on the front lines of research and experimentation, Hotel Designs Recommended Supplier Laufen brings its finest innovation to Frankfurt: SaphirKeramik. High-tech and ecological, this ceramic material patented by the company has launched a new trend in the world of bathroom design, which has continued with growing success since 2013, in applications for both the residential and contract sectors.

The technical characteristics of SaphirKeramik are enviable, and never cease to amaze due to the infinite range of potentialities yet to be fully explored. Qualities like extreme strength, lightness and slimness have stimulated great designers to work with SaphirKeramik, in collaboration with Laufen, in an unprecedented exploration of form with a spirit of boundless creativity. Alongside the other collections, visitors will rediscover the allure and elegance of Sonar, designed for Laufen by Patricia Urquiola.

Winner of the iF Design Award 2018 in the Product category, Sonar has proven its capacity to bring out the exceptional qualities of SaphirKeramik. Based on a creative process full of stimulating ideas, the pieces in the collection embody a sculptural aesthetic through symmetrical volumes, minimal lines and a sophisticated balance of angles and curves. The thin, bright and lightweight surfaces of Sonar give rise to an innovative, sophisticated design that perfectly combines beauty and functional quality. Another feature also enhances the refined forms of the collection: the very fine three-dimensional texture created by Patricia Urquiola to add a decorative sign to the ceramic material. Inspired by sound waves that spread in water, the motif on the external walls of the basins runs vertically, also producing a pleasing tactile sensation.

The Sonar collection is composed of freestanding or wall-mounted, single or double washbasins in SaphirKeramik, a bathtub in Sentec, and a series of wooden cabinets. Technology is a constant presence in Laufen’s products, and once again in this case Swiss quality translates into painstaking attention to detail. Thanks to intensive design research, the flow of water is optimised and perfectly channelled, facilitating operations of cleaning and maintenance, in solutions that guarantee maximum functional performance and sustainability.

Main image credit: Laufen

Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi adds new tented jungle villas

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The hotel’s safari-style Tented Jungle Villas, designed by Bushtec Safari are a unique alternative to over-water accommodation…  

With the trend for experiential travel continuing to evolve, luxury travellers are adapting a ‘carpe diem’ mindset, pursuing adventures that allow them to traverse the world in style. Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi has announced the launch of its safari-style Tented Jungle Villas, offering an authentic alfresco experience in the heart of the resort’s inland jungle, to unleash the explorer in every traveller. The Tented Jungle Villas, designed by South African luxury tent specialists, Bushtec Safari, house an outdoor rain shower, roll-top tub and locally sourced, rustic interiors throughout.

simple and luxury interiors

Image credit: Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi

Set in their own private wonderland of wilderness, the Tented Jungle Villas are built to mirror the beauty and diversity of the island’s verdant flora and fauna. Built with wooden frames, amber-toned interiors and walls swathed in white canvas, travellers have the opportunity to get closer to nature. A harmonious balance of space and seclusion, the Tented Jungle Villas house a master suite with Californian king-sized bed and en-suite bathroom, a spacious alfresco lounge, complete with handmade wooden furnishings, and a Sala for communal dining that overlooks the private pool and outdoor bath tub.

For film aficionados, private pop-up cinema screenings can be organised in the Tented Jungle Villas, showcasing cult classics and blockbusters under the stars, while adventurers can set sail to a nearby deserted island for a castaway picnic. Gourmands can head out to sea for a sunrise fishing trip and learn the art of Maldivian line fishing, before heading back to their jungle abode for a private BBQ where they can see how fresh seafood and traditional Maldivian dishes are prepared on the private decking area. Relaxation-seekers can luxuriate in a spa treatment in the privacy of the villa, or simply bask under the swaying palms and sounds of the canopy by the beach.

Opened in May 2018, Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi is the only resort on the pristine atoll offering 112 luxury villas, each with their own private pool. In addition to the luxury Tented Jungle Villas, the Beach and Water Villas are bohemian inspired, with rustic chic interiors, copper bathroom fittings and carved wood detailing.

Main image credit: Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi

SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED: Hotel Designs’ 30 under 30

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HD

SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED: Hotel Designs’ 30 under 30

Hundreds of entries have been whittled down to just 40 talented designers and architects under 30… 

Following its search to find the industry’s next rising stars, Hotel Designs has announced the shortlist of its 2019 30 Under 30 initiative…

Nominations, which closed on February 15, came in from many leading design firms such as HBA London, The Gettys Group, WATG, Richmond International, Gensler and many more.

Further to being recognised as rising stars on the international hotel design scene, the shortlisted finalists will also be invited, courtesy of Hotel Designs, to Meet Up London to network among a sea of other leading leading names in the industry.

“Our aim for the 30 Under 30 initiative is really to bridge the age gap between designers, hoteliers, architects and key industry suppliers,” said Katy Phillips, publisher of Hotel Designs. “Our events are often attended by directors and principals of studios, but we would like to extend the invitation now to include the young talented individuals who are shaping the future of our industry.”

The shortlisted finalists are:

Adam Charlap Hyman – Charlap Hyman & Herrero

Adam  Crabtree – Chelsom

Alaa Mohamed – Pallavi Dean Interiors

Ali Bacon – The Gettys Group

Amber Peters – Bluehaus

Andre Herrero – Charlap Hyman & Herrero

Anya Gordon Clark – Dexter Moren Associates

Beatrice Fischel-Bock – Hutch

Catherine van der Heide – HASSELL

Charlotte Roe – WISH London

Daniela Anedda – M Studio London

David Jelensky – M Studio London

Gina Langridge – WATG

Gioia Corrada – M Studio London

Harry Allnatt – Richmond International

Jen Lees – HBA London

Jodie Hatton – Brintons

Jordyn Dickson – The Gettys Group

Josh Piddock – Project Orange

Karolina Samuilaite – Modus

Kate Jarrett – Scott Brownrigg

Kay Jones – Brintons

Lauren McEwen – Goddard Littlefair

Lily Kwong – Studio Lily Kwong

Lisa Liu  – WATG

Mahesh Parekh – ARA Design

Marion Pierru – Wilson Associates

Natasha Ahmed – Lulie Fisher Design Studio

Nicola Brook – Nicola Brook Design

Omar Nakkash – Nakkash Design Studio

Patrick McCrae – ARTIQ

Rasha All-Tekreeti – MMAC Design

Rebecca Quickfall – Jasper Sanders + Partners

Reem Moussalli – Dress The Space F.Z.E

Rosalynn Youdan – Jestico + Whiles

Sarah Murphy – Jestico + Whiles

Scarlett Supple – Soho House Design

Simona Miron – Gensler

Stephanie Riedl – B3 Designers

Yasmin Farahmandy – Gensler

Yosola Akinwumi – HBA London

About Meet Up London

More than 200 hospitality professionals are expected to attend Hotel Designs’ highly anticipated networking event, Meet Up London.

Following the success of previous networking events, such as The Brit list 2018 and Meet Up North, Hotel Designs’ Meet Up London will adopt the theme of 30 under 30. The leading hotel design website has asked its readers to nominate designers, architects and hoteliers of the age of 30 and under who are fast climbing the ranks to become leading practitioners.

The event, which is being styled exclusively by Minotti London, will provide a unique opportunity to network over drinks and canapés with the largest names in hospitality, interior design and architecture.

Address: 77 Margaret St, Fitzrovia, London, W1W 8SY
Time: 6pm – 9pm

For more information about becoming a Hotel Designs Meet Up sponsor, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or email z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk.

To purchase your tickets to Meet Up London, click here.

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

Mr. C Hotels to unveil first property in Q2 2019

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The new 100-key luxury property, which will be designed in conjunction with architecture firm Arquitectonica and Brit List winner Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, will open in Miami this spring…

The highly anticipated Mr. C Coconut Grove, the first Mr. C Hotel to debut in Florida from the fourth-generation hospitality leaders, brothers Ignazio and Maggio Cipriani, has announced that the property will open in spring 2019.

“It is with great pleasure that we are able to unveil Mr. C Coconut Grove to the community this spring,” said Ignazio Cipriani, Founder/President of Mr. C Hotels at the announcement. ” Our partners and associates have enhanced our vision and helped to bring this exciting project to life in such an iconic neighborhood as Miami’s Coconut Grove.”

Modern guestrom with palette of light blue and light oak

Image credit: Mr. C Hotels

Mr. C Coconut Grove is situated in the heart of one of Miami’s most notable neighborhoods and is set to provide guests with unmatched views of Biscayne Bay and the Coconut Grove skyline.

From its interior, the hotel draws inspiration from Italy’s iconic coastal style and hints at the aesthetic elements of a classic yacht. Interior design includes high gloss timber paneling, leather-upholstered blue and caramel headboards, nautical style dressers, playful and comfortable sofas and armchairs in a range of soft and airy blue, and white and pink fabrics throughout the space. Acclaimed architecture and design firm Arquitectonica, in conjunction with the Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, combined the stylish European glamour and nautical aesthetic Mr. C Hotels are best known for with the tropical surroundings of South Florida.

In addition to its 100 guestrooms and suites with private outdoor terraces, Mr. C Coconut Grove also features the Bellini Restaurant and Bar, on the hotel’s top floor. The restaurant boasts a refreshing new Italian dining concept inspired by Ignazio and Maggio Cipriani’s travels throughout Italy, and offers indoor and outdoor seating that exudes the intimate old-world atmosphere of coastal Italy while embracing a sleek and soothing Miami modern style.

Rooftop pool render

Image credit: Mr. C Hotels

For corporate meetings and social events, Mr. C Coconut Grove offers guests a top floor ballroom with panoramic views of the Biscayne Bay. The space can accommodate a seated dinner for approximately 150 guests and cocktail reception for 300 guests, with an additional pre-function space. A covered event space is also available in the hotel’s ground floor for up to 720 guests.

Other statement features include a rooftop pool and pool deck with private cabanas and a pool bar, state-of-the-art gym equipment with personal trainer and yoga classes available upon request, a Lobby Lounge with indoor and outdoor garden seating, and a private spa suite with a relaxation area, sauna and treatment room which can be reserved through the concierge team.

Main image credit: Mr. C Hotels

Top stories of the week: design love from Bangkok, hide and seek architecture and a new hotel chapter

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With architecture and construction firmly in the spotlight, Hotel Designs has witnessed another jam-packed week full of interesting stories that highlights our love in design and architecture. Breaking down these headlines is editor Hamish Kilburn… 

New York, New York! Is there anywhere else on the planet quite like it? In the original metropolis where possibilities soar high above the bustling streets below, the hotel scene is staggering. It’s latest luxury neighbour is situated on 701 Seventh Avenue on the corner of 47th Street, Times Square, and features 452 guestrooms. With four levels of public space, the hotel is, much like the area it surrounds has already done over many decades, evolving with the trends to cater to the modern man and woman.

Changing perceptions has been a theme that has stitched together this week’s headlines – and I have been fortunate enough to be the first to tell many of this week’s main features. From spending quality time in the company of interior designer Celia Chu as she prepares to complete Rosewood Bangkok, to continuing to follow Nicky Dobree on her quest to open her first hotel; it’s been a great week to be part of the industry. To top it off, we are hours away from closing the applications/nominations process for our 30 Under 30 initiative. As a young editor (26 years old), I am personally proud to support this scheme – to support young talent in our industry – with every fibre of my body.

Here are the top stories of the week:

1) EDITION arrives in New York’s Times Square

black armchair infront of black wallcoverings

Image credit: EDITION Hotels

“The Times Square EDITION is an entirely new lens on Times Square. From an aerie above the hubbub below, you can engage, observe or withdraw. The hotel is an oasis of sophistication brought to you through the insight of the incomparable Ian Schrager, my friend and partner. There is simply nothing like it,” said Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International.

> Click here to read the full story

2) The interior designer behind Rosewood Bangkok

open and airy suite with peculiar angular architecture

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels

As its highly anticipated opening is imminently on the horizon, the Rosewood Bangkok’s interior design story is one yet to be unveiled in detail. We caught up with interior designer Celia Chu to establish the narrative told within the walls of the soon-to-open 159-key luxury hotel.

> Click here to read the feature

3) Six Senses joins IHG

Aerial shot of a Six Senses hotel in the ocean

Image credit: Six Senses

The milestone moment, where IHG aquired Six Senses happened on Wednesday. As part of the IHG family, Six Senses is expected to expand to 60 properties within the next 10 years. This includes incredible new Six Senses hotels and resorts from a restored 14th-century fort in Rajasthan, to villas on a private island in Cambodia, and the brand’s first hotel in North America – a contemporary duo of twisting towers designed by Bjarke Ingles near the High Line in Manhattan’s West Chelsea.

> Click here to read the full story

4) Camouflaged hotel architecture of the 21st century

glass structure in the woods

Image credit: treehotel

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

> Click here to read the full story

5) From Concept to Completion: Restoring a 19th-century house to create Plaza 18 (part two)

Moodboard of ideas

Image credit: Nicky Dobree

In part two of our From Concept to Completion series, where we are closely following the design story of Plaza 18, Dobree’s first hotel project is beginning to take form. The building’s design is approaching the final stages before the grand reveal this Easter. Meanwhile, interior designer Nicky Dobree is able to step away from the project for five minutes – something I believe the designer is not accustomed to – in order to explain more about her relationship with the soon-to-be hotel.

> Click here to read the feature

Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels

 

Chapter Roma to open this spring

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The 42-key hotel, designed by Tristan Du Plessis of Studio A, will be the first property to open in the newly established Chapter Italia portfolio…

Opening in the vibrant and historic Regola neighborhood of Rome this spring, the 42-room hotel Chapter Roma will create an intimate atmosphere for those checking in. The first location in the newly established Chapter Italia Portfolio developed by Marco Cilia (formerly of Hotel Americano in New York City), Chapter Roma will open in March 2019. The hotel, proudly part of the Design Hotels collection, will act as a catalyst for change for Italian travel by providing something currently unattainable – an accessibility to luxury that is not just saved for five-star hotels.

 Embodying a true fusion of gritty and glamorous, with a contemporary and classic aesthetic, South African based designer Tristan Du Plessis of Studio A has breathed new life into the building which dates back to 1880. Chapter Roma’s laidback yet spirited vision in contemporary interiors brings Du Plessis’ signature industrial-chic, sultry style and strong local connection to this ancient cosmopolis. The guest rooms are centered on a few statement pieces in otherwise minimalistic spaces with clever custom-made vanity-cum-storage solutions.

“We wanted to create a design that stood out for its youthfulness whilst still respecting the traditions of the city.” – Tristan Du Plessis of Studio A

A Rome native, Cilia has seen the modern-day city change and develop over time. “We are introducing a new vibe for hospitality in Regola with the opening of Chapter Roma,” he said. “I was born here, and it is important that we put our guests in the Italian state of mind; protecting Rome’s design heritage while celebrating the future with genuine and original design, service, and food and beverage offerings. With Chapter Roma we’re telling the first part of our story, we want to create a place where guests truly feel like they’re living like a local.”

Green bed and wooden flooring

Image credit: Chapter Roma

Cilia decided upon Regola due to the area being commemorated with the names of the winding cobblestone streets. Chapter Roma itself is on Via di Santa Maria dei Calderari, or the “street of the blacksmiths,” and Du Plessis has paid tribute to this lineage by using a variety of metals throughout the property. Du Plessis employs elements of raw steel, brass, copper and bronze, adding an industrial touch to an elegant space with high ceilings, herringbone floors, and mid-century Italian furniture. The dramatic setup is rounded off nicely with a palette of dark green and rust and soft-to-the-touch velvets.

“We wanted to create a design that stood out for its youthfulness whilst still respecting the traditions of the city, by using local craftsmen, materials and aesthetics for a large amount of the hotel and collaborated with young local and international artists as well as furniture and lighting manufacturers to imbed a spirit of rebellion throughout the design,” added Plessis. “The age of the building was both inspiring and challenging, but the old walls and ancient layout made sure that each room has a unique footprint which has lent us the opportunity to create varied and interesting room types.”

Inspired by the streets of Rome along with the neighborhood’s cutting-edge galleries and furniture boutiques, a contemporary artwork by CYRCLE, a two-man collective made up of American artists David Leavitt and David Torres, as well as graffiti by local artist Alice Pasquini grace the walls of the Chapter Roma’s lobby bar.

Opening on to Via Santa Maria dei Calderari the bar features Roman arches wrapped in raw steel throughout and will be a hybrid space for work, play, and everything in between. Chapter Roma will also feature an all-organic daytime market, delivering a new kind of accessible luxury to the modern in-the-know traveler and, later on in the year, a signature restaurant.

 

The Sound Hotel opens to celebrate all senses in Seattle

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The Hotel Group and Hilton have announced the grand opening of The Sound Hotel Seattle Belltown, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. Woven into the fabric of Belltown, one of Seattle’s most vibrant and centrally located neighborhoods, The Sound Hotel celebrates the sights, sounds and tastes that are unique to Seattle. It occupies the first 10 floors of the 42-story Arrivé tower, one of the first mixed-use properties, featuring rental units, in the market.

“We are thrilled to see The Sound Hotel open its doors as the brand’s first hotel in the Pacific Northwest, particularly in a city like Seattle that is known for innovation, great restaurants and a thriving arts scene,” said Jenna Hackett, global head, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. “Just as Seattle is one of the fastest-growing cities in America, Tapestry Collection continues to rapidly expand as The Sound Hotel also marks the collection brand’s first of many 2019 openings.”

Design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) immersed itself into the hotel’s neighborhood, visiting local hotspots and meeting with the community, to create an authentic Belltown experience. Upon arriving at the hotel entrance, guests are immediately welcomed into an artist’s studio as stretched canvases, murals and finished concrete floors flow towards the reception desk. Guest rooms feature warm, wood-toned floors, echoing the feeling of a musician stepping onto a stage. Dark, moody bathrooms are reminiscent of backstage dressing rooms, with microphone lights, plush robes, metal accents and rich black linear tiles setting the perfect backdrop.

Modern guestroom in hotel

Image credit: Hilton Hotels Worldwide

Artistic elements are also featured on the exterior of the hotel. Watkins commissioned Seattle graffiti artist Weirdo, a.k.a. Jeff Jacobson, to paint an original mural on an exterior brick wall facing several of the guest rooms, effectively turning those rooms into some of the most desirable in the hotel. This larger-than-life piece features Jacobson’s signature vivid, post-Internet hyper-realism style and beautifully tells the story of The Sound Hotel through art.

The Sound Hotel features 142 exquisitely designed guestrooms with expansive views of the downtown Seattle skyline and Puget Sound, a ground level restaurant, Currant Bistro.

“The hotel’s design drew directly from the Belltown neighborhood’s deep roots in the arts and local music scene, mixed in with the natural beauty of the Puget Sound region,” said David Watkins, general manager, The Sound Hotel. “Warm, rich textures in our rooms offer visitors an authentic Northwest experience, while the artistic elements reflect Seattle as a bustling hive of creativity.”

Image of modern bathroom with large sliding wooden doors

Image credit: Hilton Hotels Worldwide

The building’s seventh-floor Lupine Room offers 770 square feet of divisible meeting space, ideal for groups of up to 35. Featuring plenty of natural light, it can easily transform into an event space to accommodate an intimate gathering. In addition to the Lupine Room, Sound Bite Lounge is a relaxed, post-meeting gathering spot with a seasonal outdoor sundeck offering stunning views of the Space Needle.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels Worldwide

 

FINAL CALL FOR ENTRIES: 30 Under 30

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The deadline for entries for Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30 initiative is tomorrow…

Time is running out for interior designers, architects and hoteliers to submit their entries for the 30 Under 30 list that will be unveiled at Meet Up London: 30 Under 30.

Styled by Minotti London and hosted at the luxury furniture company’s luxury showroom, the event has launched the list with the aim is to bridge the age gap between interior designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers.

How to apply for the 30 Under 30 list

If you are/or know of a deserving designer, architect or hotelier who is 30 years old or younger, please send in your application/nomination to: h.kilburn@forumevents.co.uk with the following:

  • 200-400 word bio, which acknowledges achievements to date and why you/he/she deserves to be recognised
  • Name of company you/he/she currently works for
  • Profile image

Deadline: February 15, 2019

The final 30 will be confirmed to attend the event on March 28 with Hotel Designs‘ compliments and the winners will be notified in due course ahead of the networking evening.

How to attend Meet Up London: 30 Under 30

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to attend the event, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or on z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

If you are an interior designer or architect and would like to attend the Hotel Designs Meet Up London: 30 Under 30, click here to confirm your attendance.

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

Six Senses joins IHG

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IHG has welcomed a new family member to its portfolio of brands, with the acquisition of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas…

Six Senses, which is renowned for its wellness and sustainability offerings, with each hotel and resort set in locations of incredible natural beauty that will stop you in your tracks, has joined IHG.

Featuring properties in 12 countries, Six Senses is behind some of the world’s most enticing hotels, resorts and spas, including: a 19th-century wine estate in the Douro Valley (Portugal), breathtaking island resorts in the Seychelles and Maldives, beach-side retreats in IndonesiaThailandVietnam and Oman, a city escape in Singapore, and residences in the mountains of Courchevel (France).

Six Senses joins a growing number of luxury brands in the IHG family, including:

  • InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest luxury hotel brand, which recently celebrated the opening of its 200th hotel and was named World’s Leading Hotel Brand title for the 12th time at the World Travel Awards (WTA). This is a brand dedicated to those who appreciate and enjoy The InterContinental Life – the glamour and exhilaration of fascinating places, mixed with international know-how and local cultural wisdom.
  • Regent® Hotels & Resorts, also recently acquired and now undergoing a repositioning which celebrates the brand’s deep luxury heritage and revered legacy. Born in 1970, this collection of modern hotels and resorts is rooted in extraordinary living, with a legacy of luxury that endures to this day.
  • Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants, the industry pioneer that first introduced the boutique concept to the U.S. The brand is now set to open in 20 new global destinations including Mexico CityParisBarcelonaBali and Shanghai, each of which will showcase bold, playful design, award-winning dining and surprising amenities to ensure guests have the ultimate boutique hotel stay.

Across IHG’s four leading luxury brands, guests can now enjoy nearly 300 luxury hotels around the world, with more than 100 set to open in the coming years.

As part of the IHG family, Six Senses is expected to expand to 60 properties within the next 10 years. This includes incredible new Six Senses hotels and resorts from a restored 14th-century fort in Rajasthan, to villas on a private island in Cambodia, and the brand’s first hotel in North America – a contemporary duo of twisting towers designed by Bjarke Ingles near the High Line in Manhattan’s West Chelsea.

IHG’s Chief Executive Officer, Keith Barr, said: “IHG’s growing portfolio of luxury brands is a collection of the very best in the travel industry. Each one offers something unique to our guests, and together they offer an unparalleled choice of locations and experiences. We’re incredibly proud to welcome Six Senses into our family of brands and look forward to opening more stunning hotels, resorts and spas – each one staying true to Six Senses’ world-renowned reputation for wellness and an unwavering commitment to purposeful travel.”

Core to every Six Senses hotel and resort is a Six Senses Spa, where guests can relax, reconnect, and completely refresh. Guests are guided on a personal path to finding harmony and balance, to ensure positive and lasting benefits. Unique to the hospitality sector, Six Senses has also taken wellness out of the spa and integrated it across the entire stay, helping guests learn something new and reconnect with themselves, others, and the world around them.

“This is an exciting new era for Six Senses,” said Six Senses Chief Executive Officer, Neil Jacobs. “IHG believes in our purpose to merge the two platforms of wellness and sustainability to promote personal health, and the health of the planet. Joining forces with IHG means we can use a wealth of systems and operational excellence to grow our brand and reach new markets without losing our quirky personality and playful touch.”

In the near future guests will be able to book their Six Senses stay through IHG’s booking platforms, such as the ihg.com website and the company’s leading mobile app, and benefit from the advantages of the IHG® Rewards Club loyalty programme.

With 15 of the world’s leading hotel brands and more than 5,500 hotels around the world, IHG offers travelers and members of its global loyalty programme IHG® Rewards Club, a hotel stay for all travel occasions.

 

The interior designer behind Rosewood Bangkok

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The interior designer behind Rosewood Bangkok

As its highly anticipated opening is imminently on the horizon, the Rosewood Bangkok’s interior design story is one yet to be unveiled in detail. Editor Hamish Kilburn caught up with interior designer Celia Chu to establish the narrative told within the walls of the soon-to-open 159-key luxury hotel…

The interior designer Celia Chu has worked for many leading international hotel brands across Europe, Africa and Asia & North America including The Grand Hyatt,  Hyatt Regency, Crowne Plaza, Intercontinental, to name but a few.

Since establishing the design firm Celia Chu Design, the combination of inspired creativity and comprehensive design strategy has been the main driving force and much of the time its competitive edge. Chu’s reputation of being a global modern designer, who can balance trendsetting statements with timeless style, inspired Rosewood Hotels, which turned to Chu to design its next luxury statement located in the ever-changing landscape of Bangkok.

With its luxury arm expanding 24 prestigious properties around the globe, being responsible for the interior design direction of a hotel branded by Rosewood requires a tenacious mindset. Balancing the interiors to be sensitive to the heritage of the brand as well as to be an ultra-modern, timeless hotel that challenges conventional design is a hurdle faced by most designers in today’s industry. However, designing a 159-key luxury hotel within the shell of a new architectural landmark – one which takes statement architecture to new global heights – was a totally new quest. Despite the boundaries, mental and physical, that were ahead when receiving the brief in 2016, interior designer Celia Chu took it all in her stride, and her vision slowly became the Rosewood Bangkok.

“It sometimes felt like I was writing a novel, taking one chapter of the story at a time.” – Celia Chu

Slated to open this Summer, the hotel has all the ingredients required to not only raise the awareness of the Rosewood Brand, but also to elevate the overall image of the city below. “To me, it’s important to first understand what kind of a story you want to tell and how you want the guests to feel,” says Chu. “When designing the concept, we become heavily involved with the culture, and all decisions have to come from the heart. Shanghai is a very modern city with a high population. As well as striving to achieve a more international look and feel, Bangkok is also very humble and it was therefore integral respect the nature of the area. I have kept this in mind throughout the entire project in order to create personal moments; it sometimes felt like I was writing a novel, taking one chapter of the story at a time.”

As well as the obvious, the sheer scale of the building and its angular architecture, there were other minor details of the site to consider when beginning the design journey. The first task for Chu and her team in the bustling Asian city of Bangkok, was to imagine a theme that would stand out from the other hotels in the area. While many designers would ‘go big or go home’, Chu opted for a more refined way of thinking. “Although it is hard to believe, because of the noise that the architecture renders have created, the site is actually very small,” Chu explains. “The design has always been very informed to feel, once completed, more like a luxury residence rather than a hotel. Therefore, the devil was absolutely in the detail.” Chu’s relationship with the architects, KFP Architect, became the fuel to the success of the overall project.

Exterior shot of the hotel

Image credit: KPF Architects/Rosewood Hotels

The building itself is visually striking – a bold move for Rosewood, which has traditionally decided to shelter its luxury abodes within classic buildings. The architecture of the 33-storey building was inspired by the Thai hand gesture of ‘wei’. “Working closely with the architects throughout the whole process, our goal for the interior design was to continue this theme of local gestures inside the property. “I love the building and our challenge was to ensure that both the architecture and the interior design blend into each other,” Chu says. “As an extension from the ‘wei’ on the exterior, in the interior design we have created all these different cultural areas, some more abstract on this theme than others. For example, while the architecture uses ‘wei’ as inspiration, there’s an area within the hotel that is inspired by another hand gesture used in Thai dance.” What many designers would consider a challenge when faced with the striking face of the architecture, Chu saw this as an opportunity to create an interesting chapter within the novel.

For Chu and her team, creating the residential look to create sophisticated tones throughout the hotel was key. To do this, she considered interesting surfaces, colours and textures. “I typically use a lot of materials the way that I design – I like to pile up layers from a base,” Chu explains. “For example, as a base I have used luxurious heavy materials such as marble, metal, leather, but to add layers I looked at traditional local materials such as wood carvings and textiles.”

Plush bathroom

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels

Within the design of a hotel of this scale, there is of course a larger context. Being a modern global designer is arguably more challenging than ever before. The double-edge sword that is technology and trends continue to divide opinions among the hotel designers in the 21st century. Chu’s experience highlights, like most, a challenge to establish ‘timeless décor’ in the ever-shifting landscape of design. “From the time we start a project start to time we finish can be up to eight years. With hotels that need to stand as a statement for a minimum of 15 years, this creates a variety of challenges when selecting styles and interior pieces,” says Chu. “My aim as a modern global designer is to support local artists, especially those who manufacturer locally. I believe I have an ethical duty to help establish the economy of where I am designing.”

Image caption: Celia Chu

If the beating heart of a luxury hotel is the lobby, then the soul within the body of the property is by far the guestrooms and suites. These areas within the Rosewood Bangkok will use night and day as an obvious theme. “Think modern Thai when imagining what the guestrooms and suites will look like,” explains Chu. “We have used a colour scheme to incorporate dark areas and light areas.” The result of this, I can envision, is a district residential feel, which echoes a similar style to that of the public areas.

While the surfaces will be layered, the lighting will be simple and effective. “Our aim in the lighting was to steer away from being complicated and instead create different light directions,” says Chu. “I find that designers are using more decorative lighting to make the whole system within the guestroom or suite easier to use.”

Lots of time they are trying to peruse an international look. In Bangkok we are trying to respect the humble nature of the area. Especially this client, we design the space I want to make it even more Thai with the history. Like writing a novel for a client. Maybe not on the scale of it, but we are certainly making an impact.

As Chu approaches writing the final pages of what she describes is her novel, complete with thick, textured and timeless pages, I am interested to go where few design enthusiasts dare to go. I am eager, before we say farewell, to unearth which area of the hotel Chu would consider to be her favourite. “That is so difficult to question, as all areas are so different and mean different things to me,” says Chu. “However, the living room/lobby lounge is such an interesting space. It is designed appropriately for an area where guests can enjoy afternoon tea and dinner. Locals too will enjoy this area, which I am very excited about. Therefore, I wanted to tell the story of the client’s memories and is inspired by a music box.”

The end of March will mark the grand opening of the Rosewood Bangkok. As Chu puts the finishing touches to her masterpiece ‘novel’, which will be unveiled to the world shortly, Bangkok’s presence as a rising modern design hub continues to develop in many interesting shapes, colours and sizes.

It’s a hat trick for Scape Design Associates as it completes three landscape design projects for Grecotel

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Internationally acclaimed landscape design practice, Scape Design Associates, has completed the refurbishment of three Grecotel resorts in readiness for the 2019 holiday season…

Design firm Scape Design Associates has recently completed renovations on Casa Marron in the Greek Peloponnese, Pella Beach in Halkidiki on Greece’s Cassandra Peninsula and the Corfu Imperial, located on the tip of the private peninsula of Kommeno on the island of Corfu. While the character of each resort is quite different, and Scape’s response completely bespoke to each project, the visions for each project share in the desire to connect with the natural landscape of the location and create numerous opportunities for guest engagement, entertainment and rejuvenation.

The very grand Corfu Imperial is set apart from other hotels on the island, not just by its stunning location surrounded on three sides by the Ionian Sea but by its Italian Renaissance-style gardens which take inspiration from the island’s historic links to Italy. Pella Beach, by contrast, is a modern family resort looking towards the Aegean Sea and Casa Marron, while also offering stunning sea views, is situated in an agricultural landscape.

“We have worked with Grecotels on numerous projects over the years, so it is very special to us when we can our philosophy to their beautiful properties,” says Philip Jaffa, Founder of Scape Design Associates and a finalist at The Brit List 2018. ”We strongly believe in a new kind of tourism that is not just about sustainability and preservation, although it includes both, but is a tourism of harmony, connection and restoration – living in conscious relationship with the earth. Landscape architects are in a unique place right now; we can be the ones who help build the bridge to connection by promoting a unique and harmonious relationship with the magnificent natural world we live in.”

Casa Marron – a modern interpretation of a Greek seaside village

Open bedroom onto green gardens

Image credit: Grecotel

Working closely with the client, Scape Design has master planned and revived Casa Marron as a luxury resort full of laid-back Greek charm, where a harmonious balance of function and aesthetics ensure contented tranquillity. Responding to the tradition of Greek communities where life takes place in the central square, the team has created a modern “village square” in the heart of this seaside destination, complete with dining pavilions, a performance area, pergolas to shade under and open-air seating terraces, all surrounding a reflecting water jet feature. The result is simple and inclusive. The square is complemented by two new beach side pools with undisturbed views of the sea, open lawn areas offering opportunities for play, retreat and reflection, and a new terraced dining pavilion which steps down to the beach.

The plan also sought to achieve better flow between the buildings across the 800,000 sq. m site, which had diminished over the years with successive additions. Starting with guest arrival, Scape Design created a new courtyard to formalise the moment, enable improved traffic management and frame the memory-making view – the new infinity pool and, beyond this, the sea. The entrance road was realigned into an olive tree lined driveway interspersed with water features and leading to a new palm tree-lined drop-off point. Service and delivery were separated from the guest experience by the addition of separate routes.

All the existing trees were preserved under a carefully considered transplantation plan, a new olive grove was planted on an extended open lawn area to provide areas of shade and avenues of trees were introduced to connect the three pools – the 40-metre main infinity pool, the 37-metre beach pool and the kids’ pool. New pathways and the central courtyard were constructed with locally sourced stone and laid in the traditional puzzle paving pattern. New white pergola structures reflect the traditional arches seen elsewhere in the resort and new timber structures echo traditional construction methods.

Pella Beach – a contemporary symbiosis of landscape, architecture and interior design

Light woods feature in one of the modern guestrooms

Image credit: Grecotel

Scape Design has redesigned the landscape of Pella Beach to harmonise with the updated building facades and refreshed interiors and to open it up to what is one of Halkidiki’s longest and most beautiful beaches. Now, generously proportioned modern pools with crisp edges are at one with the buildings and tree-lined avenues take the eye to sea and horizon, frame the green Sukabumi stone-lined pools and create an allusion of distance.

The previously outdated arrival has been transformed. A new walled courtyard offers immediate separation from the roadway outside, drawing guests into another world and, via shaded pathways, to the entrance lobby. The plan is simple and axial. One axis draws guests through the courtyard into the lobby and then beyond into the gardens and beachside restaurant. The other axis is central to the building and powerfully anchors the landscape with the architecture.

The two existing pools were replaced to match and reflect the simple, modern and clean spaces of the renovated interiors. The new restaurant pavilion and lobby bar terrace structures take inspiration from architectural forms, in particular the colonnades that flank the building. In order to ensure a view of both the garden and the sky to every guest, the restaurant has been designed as a garden courtyard surrounded by an open-air double colonnaded space. The roof slopes inwards so that during a rainstorm the internal space amplifies the effect and creates a dramatic rain garden spectacle.

The design team opted for a simple palette of materials. Large porcelain tiles, distinctive for their modernity and uniform textures, highlight the main axes of Pella Beach. In addition to the existing olive trees, new olive trees were planted and Washingtonia Palms were introduced to lend drama to the new avenues.

Corfu Imperial – a revival of the Italian Gardens

Palatial interiors in one of the guestroom at the hotel

Image credit: Grecotel

Set against a backdrop of the crystal-clear waters of the Ionian Sea, the natural beauty of the seven-hectare site, with panoramic views of the Marina and the island’s Old Town as well as the sea, sets this hotel apart. Scape’s mission was to enhance connection between hotel and landscape wherever possible, from new arrival courtyards built within characterful olive groves, to a new lower pool perched above the sea, to stylish garden pavilions. Every moment at the Corfu Imperial now offers unforgettable views far into the distance and closer at hand where the grandeur of the Italian-style gardens with its palette of Cypress trees, formal clipped hedges and colourful flowering aromatic shrubs is a feast for all the senses.

The existing upper pool was treated to elegant new cabanas and the rooftop terraces were refined.

The refurbished landscape now includes an enhanced beachfront promenade for shopping and dining and Il Boschetto – new family accommodation located within the gardens. The existing upper pool was treated to elegant new cabanas and the rooftop terraces were refined. When the Corfu Imperial re-opens this spring, guests will find a stunning juxtaposition of the elegantly modern with a classical jewel.

Main image credit: Grecotel

Hyatt Regency Valencia completes multi-million dollar renovation

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The 244-key hotel’s renovation in Valencia California has been designed for the modern traveller in mind… 

Hyatt Regency Valencia and Dimension Development has announced the completion of an expansive renovation of Hyatt Regency Valencia, and the introduction of Greater Pacific, a destination dining experience. Focusing on providing guests with a modern and effortless travel experience, the project enhanced all 244 guest rooms and suites, the lobby, public spaces, and all indoor and outdoor meeting spaces.

The new welcoming lobby opens to the sights and scents of Greater Pacific’s bar. Guestrooms feature modern design elements with a focus on premium style and comfort. Guests will enjoy large work desks, ergonomic chairs, and spacious bathrooms with upscale amenities and glass enclosed showers. Select rooms feature balconies, or views overlooking the pool, golf course or mountains.

The hotel’s 16,000 square feet of meeting space has been updated with energy-efficient lighting and each indoor ballroom features 20 foot ceilings adorned with grand chandeliers. Newly redesigned outdoor meeting space includes lush flower gardens, vine-covered terraces and manicured greens.

The hotel’s new signature restaurant, Greater Pacific, features contemporary décor with Asian and Californian influences and brings fresh fare to the community well beyond the traditional restaurants in the area. Greater Pacific’s menu illuminates a rich variety of approachable flavors and boldly crafted recipes of this country’s most fruitful state.

Main image credit: Hyatt Regency

Nadler Hotels arrives in Covent Garden, London

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The fifth boutique property in the Nadler Hotels Group’s luxury portfolio opens in London’s bustling Covent Garden… 

Overlooking The Strand in a restored Edwardian building, the 57-key The Nadler Covent Garden has opened as the hotel group’s fourth luxury boutique hotel in London.

Architecture firm PJMA designed the hotel over six floors. It’s stylish and thoughtfully designed guestrooms (ranging from Standard Double through to Deluxe) were, meanwhile, imagined by Brit List 2019 winner WISH London. Each guestroom and suite offers chic accommodation that, as per the company’s ethos, delivers on comfort, convenience and aesthetic.

“Each room features bespoke furniture, designed and handmade locally in west London.”

An elegant colourway of deep blues, clay greys and accents of cherry red sit alongside metallic touches of brass and copper. Each room features bespoke furniture, designed and handmade locally in west London, along with luxurious fabrics made from natural fibres woven on the Isle of Bute, Scotland. Upscale touches in accessories, including special edition Paul Smith Anglepoise lamps, echo the focus on quality British design and craftsmanship. Many of the rooms also extend onto balconies, with some boasting private terraces.

Image credit: Nadler Hotels

In addition to high quality pocket-sprung beds, complimentary ultrafast Wi-Fi, HD TVs (able to stream content direct from your mobile device), and versatile dining / work tables with handy USB and power points, each room features the brand’s signature Mini Kitchen, complete with a microwave, fridge, sink with BRITA filter water tap, kettle, crockery and cutlery, and Nespresso coffee machine with complimentary capsules. Spacious bathrooms include powerful showers (walk-in or over bath) and come with luxury Gilchrist and Soames toiletries.

Designed with a refined residential style, The Nadler Covent Garden aims to make every guest feel and live like a local.

Nadler Hotels currently operates three London properties in Kensington, Soho and Victoria, as well as extending the portfolio in the north with The Nadler Liverpool, which suggests a clear focus to pin its attention on the UK market.

Main image credit: Nadler Hotels

Technology expert Jason Bradbury reviews Eccleston Square Hotel in the future

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Technology expert Jason Bradbury reviews Eccleston Square Hotel in the future

Healing heating, holographic entertainment and a toilet that tells you your food printer what snacks to make, technology expert and futurist Jason Bradbury spent a night future gazing in the technologically enhanced 19th Century luxury of Eccleston Square Hotel, London

We’re living back to front. As technology marches inexorably forward, gaining speed at an exponential rate, it seems that the simple and the authentic have more value than ever before.

The resurgence of vinyl is a great example of this, independent coffee shops and organic grocers too – and so is a certain type of boutique hotel. In order to understand what a night in the hotel room of the future might be like, it’s necessary to appreciate why many of the standout disruptors in the current market are looking backwards, hiding their high-tech flaunts and instead focussing on experiences and simply good service.

Eccleston Square Hotel in London was the setting for my experiment in hotel room time travel. It’s a fine example of how well integrated smart technology can enhance a stay. Notable in-room features include LED clear-to-opaque glass in the bathroom, gestural lighting controls, a massaging bed and an improbably positioned outside/inside courtyard. All of these elements are design decisions that will have echoes in the rooms we will choose to book in the year 2049 (although few will have the Eccleston’s claim of being mere steps away from Winston Churchill’s front door).

Image of in-room ipad next to lighting controls

Image credit: Ecclestone Hotel London

 “The hotel room of the future will still rely heavily on technology, but it will be engineered for invisibility.”

30 years from now, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) that is currently the subject of deep moral conjecture will be commonplace. All retail, education, medicine, travel and data-centric areas of our lives will be handled by our personal Block-Chain driven A.Is. Much of our entertainment will be virtual visualisations; what we now call Augmented and Virtual Reality, immersive movies and games so convincing they’ll be indistinguishable from reality. It’s logical, therefore, to assume that when the mundane in life is handled by our personal A.I assistant and our persistent screen experience digital, we’ll seek out authenticity as an escape.

The hotel room of the future will still rely heavily on technology, but it will be engineered for invisibility. The down-lighters and wall switches that are currently in hotels will be replaced by neuro and mood interpreting imaging, ambient and natural light emulation, aimed at inducing calm and/or focus. Glass wall room dividers won’t just switch to opaque, they’ll transform into shimmering living jungle walls or expansive movie screens or personalised news feeds created by holographic projection. Think Minority Report, but without the need for gloves.

Modern bathroom

Image credit: Eccleston Square Hotel, London

In order to get a handle on all this future gazing, it’s sometimes helpful to have tangible examples to hand. The recently launched Magic Leap mixed reality headset offers insight into how a futuristic hotel room could be brought or augmented with ultra-high definition virtual assets. By 2049, several exponential leaps up the curve, the headset might be unnecessary, imaging handled by a projector and a glass room divider infused with highly refractive silver particles.

That’s entertainment, but what about the health and wellness opportunities offered by the hotel room of the next decade?

“Beyond just heating, far infrared light offers all manner of health benefits including immune system support, helping to alleviate stress, psoriasis and relieving joint and muscle pain.”

Astectherm is an example of an advanced technology that predicts the kind of hybrid between practical and health orientated benefits that might find itself in the guestroom in 10 years from now. I was able to install a working sample of this thin, flexible infrared thermal heating fabric between the electrically operated curtains during my Eccleston Square Hotel stay. More usually, lengths of Astectherm would be installed in walls or under floor and ceilings. Beyond just heating, far infrared light offers all manner of health benefits including immune system support, helping to alleviate stress, psoriasis and relieving joint and muscle pain. This system is an excellent example of an invisible technology that could offer in-room, spa-like health and wellness advantages for the future hotel room user checking in.

Hyper-personalisation will drive much high-end retail and leisure experiences in the future. The 3D printers that are still mainly the preserve of industry today will perhaps print bespoke, nutritionally focused meals in the kitchens of tomorrow. In order to compete, a morning in an Eccelston Square Hotel room circa 2049 will, for example, have to offer a high-end personalised breakfast and coffee experience. To give a sense of where our future caffeine fixes might come from, I tested the Ikawa Personal Coffee roaster in my room. As well as infusing the suite with a gorgeous aroma of freshly roasted green coffee beans, the tiny app-controlled machine offers concrete insight into the quick, delicious and bespoke snacks and meals we will come to expect in the near-future. In future in-room coffee machines, the ingredients will be determined by a stool and urine analysing toilet and other health monitoring wearables. If your morning bathroom routine flags a rise in your inflammatory markers, you might find turmeric in your freshly-roasted, non-dairy latte.

Image caption: Ikawa Personal Coffee Roaster – thanks to coffee gurus @Steampunkcoffeemachine & @Anyalou and Ben from imperialteas.co.uk

While we currently have the Apple Watch, in the future we’ll see far more discrete wearables, which will offer a much deeper insight into our general wellness. Take sleep for example, a critical part of any hotel room experience. At the moment, Some hotels offer a vague ‘good night guarantee’ based on little more than firm pillows. Eccleston Square Hotel already takes its bedtime more seriously than most, but as well as a mood lighting and an electronically adjustable bed, in 10 years time its beds might map guests’ REM and movement signatures. They high-tech beds might compare them to a block-chain powered pattern from thousands of my previous nights’ sleep, cross-referenced with a range of biological and psychological markers, blood sugar readings from bathroom analysis and wearables and even neurological data. And if this is all sounding a little too Sci-Fi, I took the liberty of installing a Nokia Smart Sleep sensor in my Eccleston Square hotel bed.

“The app data showed a high ‘Sleep Quality’ score of 90 per cent, only twenty seconds of snoring and a longer period of ‘deep sleep’ than on previous nights at home testing it.”

Perhaps it was exhaustion from setting up all the gadgets- or the massage – but the app data showed a high ‘Sleep Quality’ score of 90 per cent, only twenty seconds of snoring and a longer period of ‘deep sleep’ than on previous nights at home testing it. This level of detail, while insightful today will seem laughably trivial in ten years, but again, Nokia’s gadget is a fine example of where we’re heading.

Image Caption: Nokia Sleep Sensor. 2. Bed’s Massage Remote Control

The Eccleston Square Hotel has several rooms with distinctive private outdoor spaces. It achieves this by cleverly slicing up what would be larger areas and then giving each outdoor triangle the perception of space with large mirrored walls. This is another precursor to a future trend; the use of spacial sensory imaging, both auditory and visual, to create outdoor experiences, but on a considerably smaller scale. Looking beyond 2049 and it’s not implausible to imagine something like a Star Trek holodeck that transforms a tiny 24m² courtyard into an infinite forest in which you can jog by virtue of a 360° treadmill.

Image caption: Courtyard in Eccleston Square Hotel Room showing outside mirrored wall

It’s a contradiction for sure, but technology will deliver what the hotel guest of the future will desire most, authenticity. The design ethos, eco and energy awareness, food and customer service expectations of the discerning hotel guest a decade hence will still be central to their choice. What will change is the availability of bespoke, luxury personalised services, many of which will have echoes of a bygone age, a time when the gadgets that distract us today hadn’t been invented. Of course there will be no obvious gadgets in the hotel room of the future, just ‘real’ services and experiences. And when reality can’t be delivered, we’ll be happy to accept the perception of it.

Jason Bradbury can booked for futurology talks at jla.co.uk and found on YouTube  & Instagram. Thanks also to the lovely staff at Eccleston Square Hotel. 

 Main image credit: Twitter @JasonBradbury/Eccleston Square Hotel London

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts to open nine hotels in 2019

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The luxury hotel brand, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts continues with a steady portfolio expansion with openings in new markets and much-anticipated debut of first-ever standalone Private Residences in London… 

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has announced that 2019 will mark significant hotel openings, with the debut of nine new hotels and resorts around the world, plus the continued expansion of its residential portfolio.

“Four Seasons is well positioned for continued success in 2019 with the steady and strategic growth of our global portfolio,” says Christian Clerc, President, Worldwide Hotel Operations, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “Our portfolio continues to grow at a healthy pace, as we focus on projects of the highest quality, in the destinations where our guests want to be. We remain committed to offering the very highest standards of hospitality as we expand with a diverse collection of properties, including our entry in Greece and Spain, our first resort set within a world class vineyard in Napa Valley, and the opening of our first standalone residences in London.”

Clerc continues: “With a continued focus on our residential portfolio, we are solidifying our market position as the world leader in luxury branded residential offerings. Eight of the nine new anticipated openings this year include a residential component, affirming the growing importance of branded residences to Four Seasons growth strategy as well as luxury consumers who want to live with our brand and make Four Seasons their home.”

Extensive Global Growth: 2019 Portfolio Openings

Now numbering 111 hotels and resorts in 47 countries – including recent openings in Desroches Island, Seychelles; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and São Paulo, Brazil – Four Seasons is planning to open the following new hotels, resorts and private residences in 2019:

Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens 

Simple luxury hotel guestroom

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

This project marks the long-awaited entry of Four Seasons in Greece with the transformation of the famed Astir Palace on the Athenian Riviera. The hotel will offer 303 rooms and bungalows along three private beaches with three pools, a spa and seven restaurants and lounges.

Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Bangkok at Chao Phraya River 

Skyline of Bangkok

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

The return of Four Seasons to Thailand’s capital is scheduled to open this year as the fourth property in the company’s Four Seasons Thailand collection. The all-new complex spans 9 acres and 200 metres of prime river frontage with open courtyards, water features and works of art. Ballrooms offer stunning river views and outdoor spaces that are ideal for grand weddings and impressive events while three restaurants and a Latin American inspired social club bring glamour to the riverside lifestyle. With 366 Private Residences and 299 rooms and suites, many with generous outdoor terraces, the property brings the sophistication of a resort to the heart of Bangkok.

Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Bengaluru at Embassy ONE

Modern guestroom with accents of gold in the carpet

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Set in the heart of India’s technology hub as part of the prestigious new Embassy ONE development, the property will feature 230 rooms, 105 Private Residences and prime commercial retail space. Within the hotel, guests will find warm and inviting restaurants featuring interactive live counters and artisanal offerings. The outdoor pool in the lush landscaped private gardens lends a resort-like ambiance and the spa is an uplifting hideaway for modern and holistic wellness solutions. Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru joins its sister property in Mumbai as the second Four Seasons in India.

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Los Cabos at Costa Palmas 

Bathroom in a suite that overlooks the ocean

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

The oceanfront resort in the Baja Peninsula will soon be home to the third Four Seasons in Mexico. Located on the East Cape on a stunning, swimmable stretch of the Sea of Cortez, the resort will include 141 rooms as well as a selection of Private Residences with private yacht slips and a Robert Trent Jones Jr. golf course, within the exclusive Costa Palmas development.

Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Madrid

Guestroom of the hotel with the tops of buildings in Madrid seen in the distance

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

A meticulous restoration and conversion of several historic buildings in the heart of the city’s famed Canalejas district is entering its final stages, with the 200 room Four Seasons as the company’s first location in Spain. The property will also incorporate 22 beautifully appointed Private Residences.

Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Montreal

Render of the guestrooms overlooking the skyline

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

The company’s fourth property in Canada will open in the heart of Montreal’s best shopping neighbourhood, within a development that will mark the city’s very best lifestyle offerings. Guests can look forward to an all-new 169 room hotel and 18 Private Residences connected to the new Holt Renfrew Ogilvy in the Golden Square Mile neighbourhood, as well as the first Canadian restaurant by famed chef Marcus Samuelsson.

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley

Render of the guestrooms which feature dark dues in the interiors

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Glasses are already being raised in anticipation of Four Seasons first resort immersed within an estate winery, in partnership with acclaimed winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown, that will be part of the all-new resort set among the mountains and vineyards of one of the world’s top wine-producing regions. Its 85 rooms and 20 residences will extend the diverse Four Seasons California Collection as its eighth location in the state.

Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences One Dalton Street, Boston 

Exterior render of the hotel above the skyline

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Four Seasons will open its second property in Boston’s prestigious Back Bay neighbourhood, steps from the city’s best cultural, sporting, and entertainment outlets. This sleek, 61-storey skyscraper will be home to 215 hotel rooms and 160 Private Residences and will also include a Zuma restaurant, the renowned Japanese Izakaya with outposts in London, Miami, New York and Las Vegas.

Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center

Guestroom with white linen and floor-to-ceiling windows

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

The company’s return to the city will showcase the future of hospitality in Philadelphia’s tallest building. At 60 storeys and with 219 rooms, the property will showcase advanced technologies from Comcast as well as world-class dining experiences by top chefs Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Greg Vernick, and florals by celebrated creative director Jeff Leatham.

Additional future projects recently announced include hotels, resorts and residences in Dalian, China; Makkah, Saudi Arabia; Hanoi, Vietnam; and Caye Chapel, Belize.

Main image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

5 awe-inspiring hotel architecture projects currently on the boards

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5 awe-inspiring hotel architecture projects currently on the boards

To kickstart our month shining the spotlight on architecture and construction, Hotel Designs highlights five groundbreaking projects that are currently in planning… 

Long before the Burj Al Arab made its magnificent entrance onto the shores of Dubai in 1999, architects have competed with one another to break into the clouds of possibilities within international design.

Although there have always been groundbreaking architectural projects to rise from the earth, the advancement of technology over the last 20 years in particular has enabled practitioners to take architecture into a new era. The result is game-changing. No longer are guests’ first impressions made in comfort the hotel lobby. Instead, mass opinions are divided when the architects, who strive to constantly push the boundaries of what is possible, unveil their masterplans. To celebrate the architects are the top of their game, here are five projects that are currently in construction, which will shelter luxury hotels.

1) Rosewood Bangkok 

Skyline of Bangkok, which clearly shows the Rosewood Bangkok building

Image credit: KPF Architects

The award-winning building, designed by KPF Architects, was inspired by the graceful Thai hand gesture of the wei. The distinct slant of the building has opened up the opportunity for terraces, shrinking floorplates, and unique, occupiable spaces. With interior design by Ceilia Chu Design, the 30-storey high-rise tower will feature two restaurants, two bars, a luxurious spa, an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre. In addition, the hotel will shelter residential-style meeting and function space and the top-floor Sky Villa event venue will boast panoramic views of the capital’s iconic skyline.

> Read more about the project here

2) art’otel London, Battersea Power Station 

Birdseye render of the site

Image credit: Foster + Partners

Phase three of a major part of the regeneration of the Battersea Power Station site has been designed by Gehry Partners and Foster + Partners. In addition to 1,300 new homes, the new development will include the 160-key art’otel London. The Skyline, which is the building designed by Foster + Partners that will shelter the hotel, will feature an outdoor rooftop pool and bar overlooking the chimneys of the iconic Battersea power station.
> Read more about the project here

3) Four Seasons Golf Resort and Residences, Goa

Render of striking public areas on the coast

Image credit: WATG

Architecture and design firm WATG were appointed to create the exterior of the 125-key hotel in order to include design details that celebrates the history of Goa through Colonial Portugese structure and contemporary form. The hotel has been designed to attract erudite travellers from around the world to experience beauty, relaxation and Indian hospitality. Using the rugged coast as an architectural reference, the firm’s renders tell a quintessential local design story that, when completed, will anchor the architectural theme throughout.

> Read more about the project here

4) KoolKiel, Germany 

Render of the complex which depicts the two high-rise buildings

Image credit: MVRDV

The most recent update on this project is that the mixed-use development building’s form will be determined in consultation with the community. The Koolkiel complex, which is being designed by MVRDV, will include two buildings that will be wrapped by customisable concrete panels. With the aim to amplify the city’s creative edge, each of these silhouette-like panels can be cast in different shapes. Although the brand and name is yet to be announced, a 250-key hotel will be sheltered in the complex.
> Read more about the project here 

5) Murcury Tower, Malta

View of Murcury Tower in Malta

Image credit: Zaha Hadid Architects

The renovation and redevelopment of Mercury House, led by Zaha Hadid Architects, integrates residential apartments and boutique hotel within Malta’s most dynamic urban environment. Creating new public spaces and amenities for the island’s residents and visitors, the design responds to Paceville’s key urban challenges by investing in its civic realm and increasing its limited housing supply.

Derelict for more than twenty years, the 9,405 sq.m. site includes the remaining façades of the old Mercury House that date from 1903. Two underground vaults created during the Cold War are also within the site’s boundary.

The 31-storey tower of residential apartments and hotel is aligned at street level to integrate with Paceville’s existing urban fabric and to reduce its footprint, maximizing civic space within the new piazza.

Conceived as two volumes stacked vertically, the tower incorporates a realignment that expresses the different functional programmes within.

> Read more about the design here

Main image credit: WATG

Top 5 stories of the week: Lighting the mood, surface trends and Meet Up developments

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Concluding January and looking ahead to the future of lighting, surfaces and hotel development, Hamish Kilburn writes the top five stories of the week…

As January turns to February, there is much anticipation in the air around developing trends. The must-watch lists of hues, textures and materials that landed in my inbox on January 1 have filtered subtly into the designs of new hotel spaces. Designers working outside the box establish how they can create a timeless statement scan the floors of the trade shows. The next in the calendar is the Surface Design Show in London (February 5 – 7). Ahead of the show, this week we took a closer look at the trends on the walls, floors and ceilings. Closer to home, Hotel Designs had some developments of its own to announce. Here are the top five stories of the week.

1) 6 trends to look out for at Surface Design Show 2019

dark bathroom design

Image credit: SIBU

Taking place next week in London’s Business Design Centre, Surface Design Show will showcase the latest products and technology in surface design. Ahead of the event, as Hotel Designs is a media partner of #SDS19, here are top surface trends to be mindful of.

> Read more about the trends here

2) Meet Up London: 30 Under 30 Announces Early Bird Tickets

Until February 7, designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers will be able to purchase early bird tickets for Hotel Designs‘ highly anticipated Q1 networking evening, Meet Up London: 30 Under 30.

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

> To book your tickets, click here

3) One-third of consumers believe lighting helps to eliminate January Blues

A study has revealed that one in three people believe that lighting is important to creating a relaxed and calm atmosphere before bed.

As the January blues well and truly set in for some, new research has revealed how lighting can have direct impact on mood and wellbeing in the hotel environment.

> To read more about the study, click here

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

render of the exterior of a manor-like building

Image credit: SUSD

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

> To read more about the plans, click here

5) Editor Checks In: January ’19

To round up January – and to help understand the crossroads many designers are at – it felt appropriate to use the metaphor of two worlds colliding. I am, of course, referring to the opportunities that result from authentic collaborations.

> To read my editor’s letter, click here

If you would like to be kept up to date with the latest happenings and news in international hotel design, subscribe to receiving our newsletter here.

Main image credit: ITC Natural Luxury Flooring

Editor checks in: January ’19

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When two trendy worlds collide in January…

Excitement and optimism are both thick in the January air. My train carriage on the Eurostar is full to the brim of creative people. Half the passengers on board are interior designers on their way, like me, to Maison&Objet. The other half are fashionistas, bloggers and journalists preparing to arrive at Men’s Paris Fashion Week. Two worlds collide to converge in conversations around this season’s must-see designers and emerging trends to keep an eye on. It reminds me of yesterday when I published my exclusive interview with lighting designer to the stars, Moritz Waldemeyer. In 2007, the young, enthusiastic Waldemeyer found himself in the same unfamiliar setting when fashion legend Hussein Chayalan asked him to create a lighting installation unlike any other for one of the shows.

11 years on from Waldemeyer’s first dip into high fashion and, while trends have shifted, the core of our creative business remains concrete; we are never afraid to knock on doors to chase inspirational ideas.

Ever since 1995, when the show first launched, Maison&Objet has powerfully set the industry up for the year. Yes, recently have witnessed somewhat more of an upsurge in attendees compared to early years, but the show has always given apt context to many of the discussions that ripple through the rest of the 11 months as things undoubtedly develop from the ‘trends’ that ping through to our inboxes on January 1.

“Investigating three separate luxury travel markets over three weeks (aviation, rail and cruise ships), we launched the series Hotels At New Heights.”

Altering course for a moment in order to explore which other worlds are in fact colliding, the cruise industry in recent years has been reaching out to more and more hotel designers to imagine the interiors of future fleets. Investigating three separate luxury travel markets over three weeks (aviation, rail and cruise ships), we launched the series Hotels At New Heights with the aim to understand how our industry can benefit from coming together with other markets.

At the core of all of these topics, bringing the loose strands of ideas together through conversation, is networking. Following the success of Meet Up North and The Brit List 2018, I am proud to announce that our Meet Up London: 30 Under 30 event will take place in Fitzrovia’s trendy neighbourhood on March 28 at Minotti London’s stylish showroom. The deadline for suppliers, designers, hoteliers and architects to claim their early bird tickets is fast approaching (February 7), so click here to purchase your tickets.

I look forward to continuing this adventurous journey with you as Hotel Designs itself prepares to enter a new chapter.

Editor, Hotel Designs

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts to arrive in Okinawa, Japan

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Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Okinawa, which will shelter 120 guestrooms and suites, is expected to complete in 2023…

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Berjaya Okinawa Development Co. Ltd. (“Berjaya Okinawa”) have announced its new development on the island of Okinawa. The project will debut as part of the development’s master plan as Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Okinawa.

Comprising a total of 100 acres (more than 40 hectares) of beachfront, the project site is located along the western coast of the island, approximately 31 miles (50 kilometres) northeast of Naha International Airport, with easy access by highway from the airport and close to tourist attractions. The Resort will comprise 30 acres (12 hectares) of the project development land area, with 120 hotel rooms, 120 residences and 40 villas. The project is expected to take approximately four years to complete with a total development cost of USD 400 million and estimated gross development value of USD 1 billion.

“Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Okinawa is another iconic project in Japan for the Berjaya Group, emulating the success of Four Seasons Hotel and Residences Kyoto, which officially opened in December 2016,” said Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Vincent Tan (“TSVT”), Founder and Executive Chairman of BCorp. “I am sure that with the prestigious Four Seasons branding and management, along with its strategic location in central Okinawa, the hotel will be one of the best on the island of Okinawa.”

“We are proud to continue our successful partnership with Berjaya Group with another exceptional project in Japan, extending our presence in the region and offering both guests and residents more chances to experience Four Seasons,” says Bart Carnahan, Executive Vice President, Global Business Development, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “Together with Berjaya, we will not only create the very finest resort and residences of the highest quality, but will also offer a level of unparalleled service, one that is synonymous with the name Four Seasons around the globe.”

The master plan for Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Okinawa, including planning and landscape architecture, is developed by internationally renowned landscape architecture and urban design firm EDSA Inc, and world-renowned Japanese architects Kengo Kuma and Kuniken will serve as joint architects of the project. Kengo Kuma’s work has been internationally acknowledged and he was chosen to design Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium for the 2020 Olympic Games recently; and Kuniken is the largest architecture firm in Okinawa.

The vision is to create a destination that portrays the cultural heritage of Okinawa island along with its natural landscape and resources. The Resort will be anchored by a resident beach club nestled on the east side, where guests as well as the homeowners will be able to access the natural beach. Additionally, the low-density layout of the resort will also allow guests and homeowners to access every amenity by foot, bicycles or golf carts. The resort facilities will include an all-day dining restaurant, specialty dining and lounge, retail shops and recreation facilities, as well as public grounds and gardens.

Main image credit: Four Seasons Resorts

In conversation with: Dimitris Manikis, President and Managing Director (EMEA) for Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

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Hotel Designs Editor Hamish Kilburn caught up with Dimitris Manikis, the new Managing Director (EMEA) of  Wyndham Hotels & Resorts to find out more about how he plans to expand the brand as it enters a new chapter…

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, the hospitality giant with more than 9,000 hotels worldwide, recently announced the appointment of Dimitris Manikis as the company’s new President and Managing Director for Europe, Middle East, Eurasia and Africa (EMEA).

I met Manikis in a quaint, tucked-away boutique hotel in Soho, London. Wearing what I believe to be the most fabulous glasses in the industry, Manikis’ beaming ear-to-ear smile led me to believe that I would click with him instantly. My first impressions of Manikis was that of surprise. Surprised that someone can remain so calm while carrying the weight of 460 hotels in more than 40 markets in the EMEA (and counting) on his shoulders. We both laughed as we compared glasses and sat down to discuss how he plans to maximise the performance of the group.

Left: Dimitris Manikis Right: Hamish Kilburn

Left: Dimitris Manikis, President and Managing Director (EMEA) for Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Right: Hamish Kilburn, Editor Hotel Designs

Hamish Kilburn: What are the Wyndham Wyndham Hotels & Resorts’ unique selling points?

Dimitris Manikis: Our brand cannot be replicated. For us, we want to keep the authenticity. We want that to reflect in a way that can marry various cultures and locations. Wyndham Grand in Athens, for example, has a beautiful rooftop bar that overlooks the acropolis. You cannot have an acropolis anywhere in the world. Design is absolutely crucial for our brand. We actually have an Architecture, Innovation and Design team who work in-house, which allows us to continue to create twists in our hotel narratives.

I think, through our USPs, we have helped to make travel more affordable in a very consistent manner.

Wyndham Grand Athens

Image credit: Wyndham Grand Athens

We introduced a soft brand – in terms of allowing properties to have their own attitude and personality. The design-centric Trademark is a brand that is very close to our hearts here in Europe. It’s a brand where you do not box the property into a standard category. We allow each hotel to have its own personality and authenticity, but we allow the team at the hotel the opportunity to piggyback on the group’s distribution and reputation.

HK: What are the basic requirements that guests want when checking in to a hotel?

DM: For them to smile and for them to be happy to be there. We feel, as a franchise model, that we give the owners the flexibility to use the destination as the backdrop and the inspiration.

We want our guests to feel as if they are checking in to a home-from-home, and also that the Wyndham brand is giving them all of their needs to meet the basic requirements of the company DNA (safety, service, etc). Only then can we focus on the add-ons to make our guests feel special. It’s not easy, but our individuality is our key!

DM: I’m not supposed to ask questions, but I will ask anyway. So in your job, what makes you say, ‘that hotel works’?

HK: Do you know what’s really interesting? So many hotels open every day, all over the world. My job is to try to find gems; the hotels that are really worth writing about. Soon after finding a gem, I want to know all about the design story. For example, I reviewed a hotel once that was reopening in Sierra Nirvana in Spain. It wasn’t the location that captured my attention so much than the story behind the renovation. The hotel had in fact burnt down. The same design company that was involved in the original build was commissioned back, and that was the angle for me. It was like watching the hotel rise from the ashes! It was also fascinating to find out which elements the design company changed in the redesign, almost as if they were given a second chance to improve it to create the perfect hotel. The result was amazing!

Wyndham Grand Phuket, Kalim Bay

Image caption: Wyndham Grand Phuket, Kalim Bay

HK: Who is your biggest inspiration?

DM: My dad. He’s the only person I know who does not have a passport. In fact, he has never left Greece.

HK: Where, from a location point of view, is of most interest at the moment?

DM: Honestly, I think everywhere that planes fly to. Our brand is very diverse and that includes opening hotels in tier 2 cities, which we believe is a huge opportunity.

HK: With all the stories in the wider press about Turkey, does the region create any concern for the hotel brand when it comes to opening new properties?

DM: I can tell you that our hotels in Turkey are doing extremely well. We are growing at a fast rate, with 65 properties in Turkey alone, and growing, we are one of the major hotel brands in the region. People will not stop travelling. Where ever travelers go, we plan to be there with a Wyndham hotel to welcome them.

Guestroom at Wyndham Istanbul Kalamis Marina

Image caption: Wyndham Istanbul Kalamis Marina

HK: What advice do you have for people starting out in this industry? 

DM: My personal motto is to have ‘Ethos, pathos and logos’, which translates to ethos, passion and logic. If you have passion, add logic and have a strong, positive ethos then you cannot go wrong, in my opinion.

HK: How did you get into hospitality? 

DM: I originally wanted to study history and psychology in Greece, but someone persuaded me to go into business. I did four years at university studying business before I met the general manager at the Intercontinental in Athens. I applied to be a trainee. I was there for one year and six months. I cleaned more glasses and peeled more potatoes than most people would clean and peel in a lifetime. However, I learnt so much. I remember the GM, he was amazing! He used to carry his notebook around like a John major and had such a grand aura around him. For me, a 22-year-old aspiring to one day be a GM, he was gold. After that, I decided to ditch business to work in hospitality. I came to the UK to study tourism. The rest, as they say, is history – although I’m still not a GM!

As we wrap up our meeting, I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to work with Dimitris. The man in retro-orange glasses also had an aura around him – one that was fun, fair and full of energy for the brand.

 

The number 1,000 written in people on the beach

IHG celebrates 1,000th hotel opening in EMEAA

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The opening of InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort in Vietnam marks the 1000th IHG hotel opening in the Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa (EMEAA) region…

Following this month’s Hotel Designs spotlight feature on Hotel Groups – and after announcing the launch of a new upscale brand voco, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced the opening of its 1,000th hotel in the Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa (EMEAA) region.

InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort will open Vietnam as the hotel brand’s 1,000 hotel, which adds to an already strong portfolio in EMEAA, with hotels across eight brands, working in partnership with more than 500 hotel owners. IHG has an extensive development pipeline in EMEAA with 321 hotels (63,500+ rooms) set to open in the next three – five years.

“Reaching 1,000 open hotels in the region with the addition of InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort is a significant achievement for IHG,” said Kenneth Macpherson, Chief Executive Officer, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa at IHG. “Our EMEAA region encompasses 71 countries, 26 time zones and some of the world’s most visited cities. This milestone is testament to the appeal of our brands, the strength of our owner relationships and our well-established strategy to leverage scale and accelerate growth in some of the world’s fastest growing markets.”

InterContinental® Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort is located on the pristine Phu Quoc island, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve off the coast of Vietnam. The resort combines InterContinental’s signature luxury with the island’s unique natural beauty and features 459 luxurious rooms, suites and villas, an exclusive beachfront, six restaurants and bars, and state-of-the-art meeting facilities.

IHG’s EMEAA region is playing a key role in the company’s ambitions to grow at pace in key global markets. In addition, the rollout of voco plans to open more than 200 voco-branded hotels globally over the next 10 years.

 

 

Space-themed suite

SPOTLIGHT ON: technology and hotel groups

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Throughout June Hotel Designs will focus on two essential components that together make up interesting discussions happening in hotel design – technology & hotel groups…

This month Hotel Designs is diving head first into the world of tech and hotel groups to investigate how consumer demands are changing and whether VR will ever become part of the fabrics of a modern hotel. We also have exclusive Q&As with leading hotel groups to uncover why 2018 is being seen as the year to expand…

HOTELS NEED TO MOVE IN LINE WITH CONSUMER DEMAND

With us working in such a competitive environment, installing state-of-the-art technology has long been a great way for hoteliers to stay ahead. Through trial and error over the years, hoteliers have slowly realised that technology is not a cue to install ridiculous robots and fingerprint keys that don’t work. Instead of adding gimmicks to confuse guests, hotels now realise that consumers want technology that they can use with their own devices. So where are we now in the race to be tech-savvy, and will VR ever be a reality in the modern hotel? Stay tuned to find out more…

ON YOUR MARKS, GET SET, OPEN!
It’s been well-reported that this year, many hotel groups internationally are seeing a significant expansion to their portfolios, opening in new regions around the globe. Our team want to find out what challenges lie ahead for hotel groups in 2018 and beyond…

WANT TO AMPLIFY YOUR TECH PRODUCTS TO A LARGER AUDIENCE?

If you’re a technology supplier and want your products to reach more than 40,000 hoteliers, interior designers and architects per month, there are plenty of ways you can get involved with these features this month, from supplying an opinion piece to working with us on a targeted mini-series.

If you wish to find out more, please contact Jennie Lane on 01992 374098 or j.lane@forumevents.co.uk

 

Jumeirah to launch new lifestyle brand in 2018

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The new year hasn’t yet arrived, but it’s already stacking up to be a consequential one for the hospitality industry, with a number of large hotel companies dedicating resources to the launch of new lifestyle brands and other initiatives.

One such example of this is Jumeirah Group, which is launching a new brand that it hopes can stand out to consumers as a lifestyle option that appeals to the “millennial minded,” the companies interim CEO Marc Dardenne has said. This new brand is slated to launch in early 2018, and when it does it will have smaller rooms but locations in key desirable areas, while also retaining a strong focus on food and beverage services. Dardenne has also said that the new brand, which has not yet been named or fully revealed, currently has three to five new projects that have already signed on to be a part of it.

Jumeirah Hotels has been around for two decades, and this recent decision to launch what will become just its second brand was inspired in part by a desire to access markets where the company already has existing properties that are under the Jumeirah name. This is far and away one of the most common motivations that large hotel companies have cited for launching additional brands, with recent examples of companies that have done this including Trump Hotels and its new Scion brand, Langham with its Langham Place brand, and Capella Hotels with Solis.

Although the lifestyle segment is becoming somewhat crowded within the global hospitality space, Jumeirah is confident that its new creation will stand out a bit from the pack, which contains many lifestyle brands that have been in this arena for 15 to 20 years old now, making them seem a bit dated to guests. Jumeirah leadership has painted its late arrival to the lifestyle segment as a great opportunity to ensure that it is able to provide some of the most modern and up to date offerings of any hotel in the space.

No star rating or category has yet been assigned to the brand, but Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts are likely above its price range, and the new brand will not be associated with Jumeirah’s loyalty program, Sirius. Leadership does, however, hope to have a little bit of association between it and the Jumeirah brand so that savvy travelers will draw a connection between the two.

www.jumeirah.com

La Boucherie Starlight VIP Booth - LA IHG

Introducing three new luxury hotels from IHG

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InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), one of the world’s leading hotel companies is proud to announce the opening of three new hotels – in Los Angeles, Perth Australia and Singapore.

InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown
The recently opened InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown elevates the Los Angeles skyline at 1,100 feet and 73 storeys, making it the tallest building on the West Coast of the US. The hotel occupies floors 31 to 73 of the Wilshire Grand Centre and has 889 elegant guestrooms. The property also boasts a Club InterContinental Lounge, a swimming pool and five dining outlets including Spire 73, the tallest open-air bar in the Western Hemisphere on the 73rd floor with unparalleled 360-degree views of LA’s cityscape and skyline with fire pits, fountains and innovative cocktails.

InterContinental Perth City Centre
Located amongst the charming theatres, cafés and luxe boutiques of ‘The King Street Precinct’, the new InterContinental Perth City Centre is the sixth InterContinental hotel in Australia. The hotel’s 240 rooms, studios and penthouse all have a residential feel and views over Perth’s cityscape. The property also features specially commissioned sculptures, paintings, bespoke ceramics and glass works by renowned artists from Western Australia. The hotel’s stylish line up of restaurants and bars focuses on regional food producers, growers, brewers and wine-makers.

InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay
Set amidst a vibrant neighbourhood along the Singapore River, known for its wide array of restaurants and art galleries, the residential-inspired InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay offers 225 luxurious studios and suites, including an expansive Penthouse, which has unparalleled views of both the Singapore River and vibrant city via floor-to-ceiling windows. The hotel also features a 24-hour Club InterContinental Lounge, four dining options including a 389-seat Italian restaurant & bar, Publico, five meeting and event spaces, a swimming pool and a 24-hour fitness studio.

www.ihg.com/intercontinental

Redefine|BDL Hotels to manage new Manchester property

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Redefine|BDL Hotels (RBH) has announced that it will manage the upcoming Hampton by Hilton Manchester Northern Quarter, which is set to open in 2020. The £17.5 million, 221-bedroom hotel will sit on the corner of Rochdale Road and Sharp Street, within the city’s thriving Northern Quarter neighbourhood.

The hotel, perfectly placed for both leisure and business travellers wishing to explore Manchester, will also feature a restaurant, fitness centre and meeting space.

RBH – the UK’s leading independent hotel management company – which already counts Hampton by Hilton London Docklands and Hampton by Hilton London Gatwick Airport among its portfolio of properties, will manage the hotel once complete.

Redefine|BDL Hotels to manage new Manchester propertyThe project is being funded by Hong Kong-based IP Investment Management in conjunction with asset manager Maven Capital Partners. The venture represents RBH’s continuing partnership with Maven Capital Partners, with three other properties asset managed by the private equity firm counted among RBH’s portfolio of more than 75 hotels.

Andrew Robb, RBH’s Chief Business Development Officer, said: “Hampton by Hilton Manchester Northern Quarter will be RBH’s third Hampton by Hilton property, and our fourth property in Manchester. We’re thrilled to add yet another hotel to our growing portfolio.

“We’re also delighted to be continuing our successful partnership with Maven Capital Partners and building a new relationship IP Investment Management.”

Redefine|BDL Hotels to manage new Manchester propertySelina Williams, Investment Director at IP Investment Management said: “Hampton by Hilton Manchester Northern Quarter will be IP Investment Management’s first investment in the hotel sector, so we’re delighted to be partnering with such an experienced manager as RBH. It is our second investment in the Greater Manchester area, following our recent forward funding of a build to rent scheme in MediaCity, Salford, showing our confidence in the Manchester market.”

RBH’s portfolio includes private label and branded properties, including IHG, Hilton, Accor, Marriott and Wyndham hotels.

www.redefinebdl.com

Meet the Top 5-Star Hotel Brands in the Middle East

Meet the top 5-star hotel brands in the Middle East

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Forbes Middle East recently named its list of the top 5-star hotel brands in the Middle East, a group of 20 that was determined based on the status of their hotels in the region.

At the top of the list is the Swiss hospitality company, Mövenpick, which has 47 five star hotels spread throughout 10 countries in The Middle East, adding up to a total of 12,592 rooms. Mövenpick is followed by Hilton Hotels and Resorts, which has 29 hotels and 9,631 rooms spread throughout eight countries in the Middle East. In third place was Sheraton, which has a hospitality presence in 10 of the region’s countries.

Meet the Top 5-Star Hotel Brands in the Middle EastForbes reports that to formulate its list, associated researchers screened more than 800 five star hotels from 190 total brands, gathering their information primarily from those hotels’ websites as well as from some of the other major travel websites within the industry. They also determined three benchmarks to use in the ranking: the number of countries that a brand is represented in, the total number of estimated hotels and rooms, and equal weights. This list, however, did not take into account the revenue numbers that were generated by each brand, and it did not calculate the average price of the rooms there. Neither of those financial concerns were factored into this study, meaning that sheer quantity of properties and their spread were the backbone of this ranking.

Of the top 20 brands that landed on Forbes’ list, there were 375 hotels and resorts that added up to a grand total of 116,454 rooms in 17 total countries, those countries being: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar, Lebanon, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Tunisia, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Palestine, and Algeria.

The three most dominant countries were no surprise, with those being Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, which is home to the red hot tourism market of Dubai, one of — if not the most — popular markets in the entire world. Hotels and resorts in those three countries take up 66.4 percent of the list, adding up to 349 total properties and 71.9 percent of total rooms, with 83,711 rooms. These are numbers that are nothing to scoff at.

The other brands represented on the list include: InterContinental Hotels and Resorts, Rotana Hotels and Resorts, Radisson Blu, Le Meridien, Sofitel Hotels and Resorts, Marriott Hotels and Resorts, and Four Seasons, among others.

www.forbesmiddleeast.com

ALHI adds new hotels in New York, Texas and Utah

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Associated Luxury Hotels International has expanded its worldwide portfolio and US options with the recent addition of five new member hotels.

This includes: New York City’s renowned InterContinental New York Barclay; the picturesque The Woodlands Resort, situated just 30 minutes from downtown Houston, Texas; the AAA Four-Diamond, all-suite Hotel Contessa in downtown San Antonio, Texas; the Forbes Five-Star Stein Eriksen Lodge in breathtaking Park City, Utah; and the 140-room The Chateaux Deer Valley, also in Park City, Utah, within steps of the world-renowned Deer Valley Resort.

Already one of New York City’s most celebrated hotels, the InterContinental New York Barclay (main image) completed a dramatic $180 million, 20-month renovation and restoration in 2016. Opened in 1926 as part of the Grand Central Terminal expansion, the elegant hotel is ideally located in Midtown Manhattan on East 48th Street. Among its many honours was being named “North America’s Leading Business Hotel in 2017” by the World Travel Awards. The hotel features 702 redesigned guest rooms and suites; 20,000 square feet of meeting space, which includes two large ballrooms and five additional breakout rooms; a 24-hour fitness centre; a 24-hour business centre; and the sophisticated Barclay restaurant.

Conveniently located a short drive from downtown Houston, The Woodlands Resort is situated within the natural forest of The Woodlands 28,000-acre master-planned community. In addition to its soothing and beautiful forest setting, the resort also offers 402 newly renovated guest rooms and suites,60,000 square feet of indoor meeting space (which includes a 13,430-square-foot ballroom) and 12,500 square feet of outdoor meeting space. The resort also features two on-site championship golf courses, a world-class tennis centre, a five-pool waterpark complete with a lazy river, a spa, a fitness facility.

ALHI adds new hotels in New York, Texas and UtahThe all-suite Hotel Contessa features an ideal location in downtown San Antonio, directly on the world-famous River Walk on the banks of the San Antonio River. Offering 265 spacious suites with floor-to-ceiling windows, the AAA Four-Diamond hotel features 11 conference rooms with a total of10,000 square feet of event space, plus three scenic terraces. Groups also have access to an additional 20,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor event space at the adjacent Briscoe Museum.

ALHI adds new hotels in New York, Texas and UtahSurrounded by stunning views of Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, Stein Eriksen Lodge is an authentic European lodge that was awarded “World’s Best Ski Hotel” by the World Ski Awards, and is Utah’s only Forbes Five-Star Hotel & Spa. Nestled mid-mountain, the chic all-season lodge is known for its first-class accommodations and facilities, world-renowned skiing and winter sports, array of outdoor recreation options and impeccable service. Featuring 180 European-inspired guest rooms and suites, the hotel also offers over 24,000 square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor meeting and event space (which includes a 6,036-square-foot ballroom and a recently renovated 4,050-square-foot ballroom), Utah’s only Five-Star spa, ski-in/ski-out access, dining at the Forbes Four-Star Glitretind Restaurant, and a 10,000-bottle Wine Cellar.

ALHI adds new hotels in New York, Texas and UtahAlso located mid-mountain in the majestic alpine setting of Park City, Utah, the Forbes Four-Star The Chateaux Deer Valley is just steps from Deer Valley Resort. Offering 140 guest rooms and suites that feature contemporary mountain décor, the hotel was designed with productive mountain inspiration in mind. Property highlights include 34,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, which includes a 6,600-square-foot ballroom (the largest in Park City), and a 12,000-square-foot outdoor courtyard with views.

ALHI adds new hotels in New York, Texas and Utahwww.alhi.com

Strong finish to 2017 for Best Western GB despite Brexit

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Market uncertainty caused by Brexit has helped Best Western Great Britain post a record year for number of hotel applications and activations.

The membership organisation for independent hotels has seen a 110% increase in hotels joining year on year including the first additions to its newest brand Sure Hotels by Best Western which has economy, midscale and soft brand options.

Les Asplen, managing director of Best Western Great Britain, said: “The last 12 months have been brilliantly busy for us. We realised 18 months ago that the market uncertainty was increasing interest in Best Western so we restructured our teams to handle the enquiries and that interest has converted into active members and a significant pipeline of new properties for launch in 2018.

“In times of uncertainty, independent hotels of all ratings want a structure that allows them to keep their independence but benefit from the security of working with a global brand. Best Western has always offered that but because we have changed for the better in the last three years – launching new brands, increasing quality and services and responding to our guests needs – right now, we are probably in our strongest ever brand position and that is being reflected in our recruitment numbers.”

The first hotel to join the new Sure Hotels brand is the city-centre-based Lincoln Hotel

The first hotel to join the new Sure Hotels brand is the city-centre-based Lincoln Hotel

The first hotel to join the new Sure Hotels brand is the city-centre-based Lincoln Hotel in which sits in the new soft brand, Sure Hotel Collection by Best Western.

Stephen Marriott, general manager of the Lincoln Hotel, said: “It’s great to be the first property in Europe to go live in the Sure Hotels by Best Western brand. We joined because it offers us access to the power of the Best Western brand which we are familiar with, along with the flexibility to have our own local branding. It’s the perfect fit for us and I’m sure it will be the perfect fit for many other owners too.”

Les Asplen added: “Since widening our appeal to 10 brands Best Western now has an option for every hotel and every guest. We already have 30 hotels in the pipeline for activation across our existing brands in 2018 and are quietly confident with current interest generated by Sure Hotels by Best Western that we will be reporting back-to-back record years as we continue to strengthen in the next 12 months.”

www.bestwestern.co.uk

Preferred Hotels and Resorts expands portfolio

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The world’s largest independent hotel brand, Preferred Hotels and Resorts, has added 25 new properties to its international roster of luxury hotels and resorts.

The newest members of the Preferred Hotels and Resorts portfolio are located across the globe in eight different countries in some of the world’s most desirable destinations, from Hawaii to India and Mexico.

These new hotels were integrated into the consortium’s collection between August and October of this year and the move was announced via a press release on the group’s website at the beginning of November. Preferred Hotels and Resorts is a sales-centric organisation that partners with independent hotels across five branded sectors that has a membership of over 700 properties. The luxury properties that are part of the group’s umbrella offer guests unique experiences in coveted destinations that surpass the expectations of the ordinary traveller.

Among the new raft of hotels are the Cala de Mar Resort & Spa Ixtapa in Guerrero, Mexico, The Commonwealth in Virginia, United States, Myconian Naia in Mykonos, Greece, Turyaa Chennai in Chennai, India and The Longemont Hotel Shenyang in Shenyang, China. Preferred Hotels highlighted some specific hotels in the press release, which are located in Lebanon, Hawaii, China, India and Spain.

Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii is slated to open in December 2017 after extensive refurbishment. The 839-room luxury resort will feature breathtaking oceanfront views, a pool deck with a saltwater infinity pool and cabanas, and five exciting culinary concepts. A 280,000-gallon saltwater Oceanarium that will be home to a multitude of indigenous marine life is one of the main features of this stunning hotel.

10 METROPOLITAN in the Catalan capital of Barcelona, Spain is located in the city’s Eixample District. This historic 85-room hotel evokes the charm of 19th century industrial Barcelona and some of the city’s best shopping and dining options are a short stroll away, as well as famous local attractions like the Sagrada Familia.

Shahpura House in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India was once the royal palace of the ruling Shekhawat clan of the Rajputs and this magnificent 65-key heritage hotel presents a mixture of Mughal and Indian architecture. Located in a residential area of Jaipur, the hotel is flanked by a web of lanes that offer up their secret stash of colorful stalls, temples, verdant gardens and lakes. There is also an on-site spa offering specially curated signature treatments and massages.

preferredhotels.com

UNWTO condemns Donald Trump's travel ban

Room prices plummet at Donald Trump’s hotels

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It’s more bad news for Donald Trump and his presidency’s impact on his business empire, as it has emerged the average price of a room at Trump hotels across the world have dropped by as much as 64% in some locations.

Just over 300 days after becoming the 45th US President in January, the price of a luxury room at his hotels has dropped by an average of 20 per cent, FairFX reveals.

Out of 13 Trump hotels and resorts researched around the world, the cheapest room can be found at Trump Las Vegas, where prices have dropped to £232 for two nights. This is over £400 cheaper for the same room type than in January, a 64% reduction. The second least expensive room is at the Trump Panama, priced at £234, a 32% decrease since January.

The most expensive room is the Trump Townhouse at £37,907, however this will cost £10,000 less than during inauguration weekend. Two night stays at the Trump Vancouver, Canada, at Macleod House and Lodge in Scotland, at Trump Doonbeg in County Clare Ireland or at the Trump Doral in Florida will fall just short of £400.

The average cost for the best available room this weekend is down by £1,374 since January from £6,821 to £5,447, a 20% decrease since Trump’s inauguration.

Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO of FairFX, said: “When it comes to holidays timing is everything, and just 300 days after Trump’s inauguration, prices for a weekend in one of his hotels have for the most part decreased.

“Whilst the big events, like the inauguration in Washington, will usually cause prices to rise in that city for a particular weekend, the decreases in other places suggest that it doesn’t necessarily pay to be presidential.”

YTL Hotels Monkey Island, Bray

YTL Hotels’ Monkey Island Estate, Bray to open early 2018

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In Spring 2018, YTL Hotels UK’s newest property Monkey Island Estate will open in the historic village of Bray-on-Thames, Berkshire. The island, with an intriguing history dating back 800 years, has been the haunt of monarchs, aristocrats and artists, along with writers, famous performers and Berkshire locals.

Monkey Island has constantly reflected the mood of the time, from medieval religious power, serene Georgian privilege or restrained Edwardian leisure – even the joyous freewheeling 1960s. Alongside its unique early 18th century fishing retreats built by the Duke of Marlborough with their famous monkey artworks, it has been immortalised in one of the great works of early 20th century literature, published its own journal and, for the last 180 years, provided some of Britain’s most unique hospitality.

Following YTL’s superb renovation, visitors from London and beyond will yet again have their very own private countryside escape to enjoy. The striking white bricked Pavilion and Temple buildings will now make up the main hotel areas of YTL’s Monkey Island Estate, surrounded by picturesque views of the River Thames and beautifully manicured gardens.

Set across seven acres, the restored Monkey Island Estate will consist of 27 bedrooms and three deluxe suites, all designed by the award-winning New York-based Champalimaud Design, who orchestrated distinctive interior design projects for YTL’s first British property, The Gainsborough Bath Spa, as well as Green Leaf Niseko Village and the most recently launched Ritz Carlton, Koh Samui. The furnishings of Monkey Island will juxtapose timeless glamour and traditional features with a modern, relaxed countryside style, creating a unique blend of past and present.

Monkey Island will be the perfect retreat for those wanting to take a foodie pilgrimage to the culinary excellence of Bray. The only village in the world that lays claim to two three Michelin-starred restaurants, including Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck and the Roux brothers’ Waterside Inn, Bray has long been a destination for gastronomic-enthusiasts. Monkey Island will also be making its own mark on the area with their relaxed Monkey Island Brasserie serving up modern British cuisine.

Steeped in stylish yet laid back luxury, Monkey Island will be the perfect spot for weekend escapes from the city, weddings and romantic breaks. For those who want to enjoy Bray-on-Thames in comfort and style, the hotel will be the ideal retreat to experience the rejuvenation of this historic landmark to its full former glory.

www.ytlhotels.com

Eight new Hotels join Worldhotels group

Eight new hotels join Worldhotels group

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Worldhotels is welcoming eight new hotels to its global portfolio. From a boutique hotel in the 7th arrondissement in Paris, to a luxury 5-star accommodation in Shanghai, these new Worldhotels provide authentic guest experiences for both leisure and business travelers.

Hotel Juliana, Paris, France (main image)
Hotel Juliana is located on a quiet street in the heart of Paris, only half a block from the Seine riverfront. Beautiful artwork, extravagant chandeliers and statues from around the world decorate the interior of the intimate Art Deco hotel. All rooms and suites offer plenty of luxurious comforts including espresso coffeemakers, Japanese toilets and Jo Malone toiletries.

Hongqiao Jin Jiang Hotel , Shanghai , China
The Hongqiao Jin Jiang Hotel is located strategically between downtown and Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport. The hotel is inspired by a timeless European-Oriental appeal. Multiple dining options include a restaurant on the 27th floor with astounding city views, as well as, five other award-winning restaurants and bars.

Eight new Hotels join Worldhotels groupBai Hotel Cebu, Cebu, Philippines
Nestled between the bustling cities of Mandaue and Cebu, Bai Hotel Cebu will open its doors soon. With its ultra-modern amenities and facilities, the hotel offers everything for the discerning business traveler. Over eight different dining options cater all culinary needs, including authentic Japanese dishes, a steakhouse and the Twilight Roof Deck with spectacular views.

Hotel Erzgiesserei Europe, Munich, Germany
A 5-minute drive from Munich’s central train station, the modern Hotel Erzgiesserei Europe provides a tranquil oasis on a quiet street close to the charming Old Town. The relaxed atmosphere continues at the hotel’s international restaurant and its summer terrace. Some of the rooms have balconies or a terrace.

IH Hotels Milano Watt 13, Milan, Italy
IH Hotels Milano Watt 13 with its minimalist, artistic vibe is within easy reach of the historic city center and all the main attractions of Milan. The hotel offers spacious and soundproofed rooms which are elegantly furnished and decorated in subtle, calm tones. The modern lobby showcases contemporary art.

ARTE Seminar- und Konferenzhotel, Olten, Switzerland
Surrounded by shops and restaurants and close to the banks of the Aare River, the ARTE Seminar & Konferenzhotel features a modern vibe and superb conference facilities. The hotel allows easy access to the surrounding cities of Basel, Bern and Zurich. Featuring colorful, art-inspired décor and box-spring beds, its trendy rooms provide a peaceful retreat.

Eight new hotels join Worldhotels groupPoint Hotel Ankara, Ankara, Turkey
Art plays a big role in the décor of Point Hotel Ankara. Over 200 exhibits enhancing the hotel’s public areas. Guests start the day with breakfast and a side order of panoramic city views from the top floor restaurant. A perfect night’s sleep is guaranteed in the soundproof rooms thanks to its complimentary chillout CDs and 101 Secrets to a Quality Sleep guides.

Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, United States
The perfect blend of yesterday and today, the Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square features sleek décor and furnishings, vibrant colours, and modern technology within in a historic building. Everything says ‘impressive’ at this legendary downtown hotel, from the classic limestone façade to the grand, two-story lobby, and from the designer décor to the huge, 24-hour fitness centre.

www.worldhotels.com

Showcase: EDITION launching 8 hotels in 2018

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SHANGHAI | BODRUM | TIMES SQUARE | BARCELONA | BANGKOK | ABU DHABI | WEST HOLLYWOOD

With seven new properties scheduled to launch across three continents, and many more in the pipeline, 2018 will mark a pivotal moment for EDITION.

Created through a ground-breaking partnership between boutique hotel creator and innovator Ian Schrager and the global hospitality powerhouse Marriott International, the EDITION brand is slated to grow exponentially from a collection of four to eleven properties by the end of 2018.

2018 is expected to see EDITION firmly positioned as the travel industry’s first truly global luxury lifestyle hotel brand. With each hotel distinctive in its own right, EDITION will continue to break new ground and take the hospitality industry into bold, uncharted areas. Its timeless design, uncompromising quality, true originality and impeccable modern service, has defined the boutique hotel category.

Following The Sanya EDITION’s launch in December 2016, EDITION’s Asian presence is scheduled to expand with two additional properties launching in Shanghai and Bangkok in 2018. In addition, the brand’s second and third European hotels are set for launch in Bodrum and Barcelona. EDITION will launch its first outpost in the Middle East in Abu Dhabi, whilst EDITION’s plans to increase its US presence with two properties located in New York’s Times Square and West Hollywood.

The brand’s rapid expansion is expected to continue with the addition of nine further hotel launches planned across five continents by 2020, reaching a 20-strong property portfolio by the end of the decade and many more to come.

The Shanghai EDITION
LAUNCHING MID 2018
The Shanghai EDITION, to be located at the northeast corner of Nanjing Road East and Henan Road in Puxi, West of Huangpu River and just a 5 minute walk from The Bund, is a unique combination of two separate towers featuring 147 guest rooms. The hotel’s design includes 10 levels of public space including 5 meeting studios and 2 forums, totalling to over 2,800 sq. ft. Food and beverage outlets include a signature Japanese restaurant on the 23rd floor, a Cantonese dining venue featuring 5 private dining rooms, an all-day dining venue, a lobby bar, a member’s club bar with a screening room, an indoor nightlife venue and a rooftop bar. www.editionhotels.com/shanghai

The Shanghai EDITIONThe Bodrum EDITION
LAUNCHING MID 2018
The Bodrum EDITION will be located just 3 kilometers from Plamarina in Yalikavak at the western point of the Bodrum peninsula. The hotel features 99 guest rooms, suites and villas all with views of the Aegean Sea — some with private pools, balconies and gardens. The hotel’s design includes an infinity pool, garden lounge, state-of-the art spa facilities with Turkish Hammam and fitness centre, kids’ club and an exclusive beach club with jetty that houses private cabanas. Unique food and beverage outlets include a library bar, gourmet specialty grill overlooking the bay, night club, and an all-day dining venue. The hotel also has over 4,000 sq. ft. of indoor/outdoor meeting and event space including meeting studios, a ballroom and boardroom. www.editionhotels.com/bodrum

The Bodrum EDITIONThe Times Square EDITION
LAUNCHING MID 2018
The Times Square EDITION, to be located at 701 Seventh Avenue on the corner of 47th Street, features 457 guest rooms with four levels of public space including a 5,000 sq. ft. performance venue, a 1,900 sq. ft. meeting studio, state-of-the-art fitness centre and a lobby lounge at check in level. The hotel also boasts distinctive food and beverage outlets including a signature restaurant leading out onto a 5,800 sq. ft. beer garden and event deck overlooking Times Square, and an all-day dining venue also featuring terraces with views of Times Square. www.editionhotels.com/times-square

The Barcelona EDITION
LAUNCHING MID 2018
The Barcelona EDITION will be located in the Ciutat Vella District on the edge of El Born District, only 15 minutes from the beach. The hotel features 100 guest rooms, a signature restaurant, lobby bar/café., Sky bar, swimming pool and state-of-the-art fitness centre and a night club. www.editionhotels.com/barcelona

The Barcelona EDITIONThe Bangkok EDITION
LAUNCHING MID 2018
Known as Thailand’s tallest building, The Bangkok EDITION will be located along Naratiwat Road, close to North Sathorn Road junction. The hotel features 155 guest rooms and 5 levels of public space, offering over 5,500 sq. ft. of combined meeting space including a boardroom, main function room and outdoor banquet terrace. Food and beverage outlets include two signature restaurants, a lobby bar and pool bar. A pool, state-of-the-art fitness centre and spa with 4 treatment rooms will also be available for hotel guests. www.editionhotels.com/bangkok

The Bangkok EDITIONThe Abu Dhabi EDITION
LAUNCHING LATE 2018
The Abu Dhabi EDITION will be situated in the downtown district on the waterfront of Al Bateen in the Abu Dhabi Marina. The hotel features 244 guest rooms and 57 exclusive residences. Unique food and beverage outlets include 2 signature restaurants, a gourmet market, lobby bar, tea lounge, pool bar and 3-story nightclub. A pool, state-of-the-art fitness centre and spa with 7 treatment rooms are also available for hotel guests. The hotel also has over 107k sq. ft. of meeting and event space including several meeting studios, ballrooms and boardrooms. www.editionhotels.com/abu-dhabi

The West Hollywood EDITION
LAUNCHING LATE 2018
The West Hollywood EDITION, to be located at 9040 West Sunset Boulevard on the east corner of West Sunset Blvd. and North Doheny Drive, features 190 guest rooms, 20 luxury residences and over 5,200 sq. ft. of meeting space. Food and beverage outlets include a signature restaurant, a lobby lounge, rooftop venue and a nightclub/bar. Also available will be a rooftop pool/pool deck and a 4-treatment room spa. http://www.editionhotels.com/west-hollywood/

www.editionhotels.com

The Luxury Collection signs IRAPH SUI on Okinawa

The Luxury Collection signs IRAPH SUI on Okinawa

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The Luxury Collection has signed IRAPH SUI, a luxury hotel in Okinawa, Japan.

Owned by The Mori Trust Group and slated to open in late 2018, the new island resort will be will be located in the city of Miyakojima, in Okinawa Prefecture and will be the third Luxury Collection hotel in Japan.

The new Luxury Collection resort will be located on an elevated headland on the southwestern coastline of Irabu, a small island in the Miyako Island group, where its 57 guest rooms will enjoy stunning sea views.

In addition to nine suites with private plunge pools, the resort will also feature 10 luxurious Junior suites and one Executive suite. Amenities will include a 72-foot outdoor swimming pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center and spa. IRAPH SUI will also feature an all-day restaurant, a relaxing pool bar and beach club.

Glasgow Pond Hotel Hotelroom © Leonardo Hotels

Brexit ‘no deterrent’ for Leonardo Hotels in European expansion

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The managing director of the UK’s newest hotel group has outlined plans to press ahead with further expansion to follow its impressive market entry in Scotland.

Daniel Roger, MD at Leonardo Hotels Europe, says the company has not been deterred by the Brexit and is fully focused on its growth strategy to create a strong portfolio across Europe.

The hotel group – which opened Leonardo Royal Hotel Edinburgh as its flagship Scottish unit after a £6.1 million refurbishment to the former Premier Inn earlier this year – has now taken over Portland Hotels, adding five more locations across Scotland to its portfolio.

The new Leonardo Hotels in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Perth take its number of properties to more than 85 in 40+ locations, with Scotland representing a prime focus destination for further growth by the group.

But Daniel has stressed that plans for progression do not stop there. He said: “With the market launch in the UK two years ago (the opening of the Leonardo Hotel London Heathrow Airport), our main targets were to increase our portfolio and strengthen the recognition of Leonardo Hotels brand in Scotland.

“This plan underlines our latest coup, which is the takeover of the Portland Hotels with five properties in Scotland; expanding our portfolio to include two hotels in Edinburgh as well others in Glasgow, Perth and Aberdeen.

“Leonardo’s portfolio will grow to seven hotels with 1,048 bedrooms, which represents a significant strengthening of our presence in the UK, and Scotland in particular. And we still have a lot to offer.”

When asked about the impact of Brexit, Daniel was unequivocal in his response, saying: “We have just taken over five hotels in the UK. This is a clear statement.

“The ultimate target of the company is to promote and strengthen the brand Leonardo Hotels Europe-wide. Our future strategy is to continue our investment in growth and to have 100 hotels across Europe by 2020.”

The design of the new Leonardo Royal Hotel Edinburgh was the work of respected designer Andreas Neudahm and ties in with the group’s philosophy of creating sites which reflect their location. The Haymarket location aims to appeal to both leisure and business guests with excellent tram and rail links nearby and a generously sized car park.

Plans are also advancing for the five Portland Hotels to be rebranded as Leonardo Hotels, including proposals for some to undergo a refurbishment programme.

www.leonardo-hotels.com

Autograph Collection

Autograph Collection announces fourth hotel in Italy

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Autograph Collection Hotels has announced its fourth hotel in Italy with the opening of Hotel Sina Villa Medici, located in the historic heart of Florence.

The hotel joins a diverse portfolio of more than 125 Autograph Collection Hotels around the world – all one-of-a-kind properties that champion values of vision, design and craft.

Housed in a historical residence dating back to the 19th century, the hotel has a new, resplendent look following an extensive nine-month refurbishment by. Boasting design elements including vaulted ceilings, marble bathrooms, silk wall coverings, and antique furniture, the hotel is befitting of its majestic city surroundings.

Modern artworks created especially for the hotel by locally born artist Marco Lanza have been added to the ground-floor entrance hall, the gallery and the lounge bar, depicting details of original paintings of Caterina de Medici that now hang in the Uffizi Gallery.

The hotel’s 99 guestrooms and suites offer the perfect mix of traditional features and contemporary finishes with parquet flooring, mood lighting, USB outlets and modernized bathrooms. Almost all guestrooms have balconies or terraces offering stunning views of Florence”s iconic monuments.

Historic Georgetown hotel - The Graham - joins Tapestry Collection by Hilton

Historic Georgetown hotel – The Graham – joins Tapestry Collection by Hilton

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Tapestry Collection by Hilton continues to expand with the signing of the distinguished The Graham Georgetown, in Washington DC, slated to join the collection in early 2018.

With stunning rooftop views across the Georgetown neighbourhood and its picturesque waterfront, the seven-story Federalist building is home to 57 guest rooms, including 32 one-bedroom suites with generous living space. As part of Tapestry Collection by Hilton, a growing portfolio of original upscale hotels, The Graham will continue to celebrate its authentic spirit while offering guests an independent hotel stay backed by the value and reassurance of the Hilton name and its award-winning Hilton Honors program.

“In our pursuit to offer guests the best of both worlds – through hotels that are as unique as they are reliable – The Graham truly embodies the travel experience we are committed to delivering,” said Mark Nogal, global head, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. “With its rich background, distinct personality and historic location, we look forward to welcoming this charming, local property to our collection in the back yard of Hilton’s headquarters next year.”

Originally opened in 1962 as the Monticello, the hotel’s discreet brick façade with Colonial-inspired sash-over-sash windows fits beautifully into the traditional architecture found throughout the prestigious Georgetown neighbuorhood. The property takes its name from renowned inventor Alexander Graham Bell, who pioneered countless inventions, including the telephone, just minutes away from the hotel at the famous Volta Laboratory and Workshop.

To take in the historic locale, request the Frank Sinatra Suite, named after the rumored regular, featuring a 200-square-foot outdoor deck overlooking the surrounding area. From the roof down to its chic lobby, the hotel carries a look that is distinctly contemporary with a fresh color palate of earthy grays, cool blues and crisp whites, reminiscent of old Hollywood glamour.

The Graham will remain open as usual during its transition process. Renovations will include updated furnishings to select areas of the hotel’s public spaces, new finishes to the lobby and an enhanced check-in and concierge experience.

Five to Watch: Virtuoso's luxury hotel openings

Five to Watch: Virtuoso’s luxury hotel openings

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Travellers in the know seeking the next great upscale hotel look no further. Luxury and experiential travel network Virtuoso, along with its more than 16,000 travel advisors worldwide, has revealed the hottest hotel openings around the globe for this autumn and beyond. From relaxing resorts to iconic urban landmarks, these five properties are sure to make an indelible impression on guests when they open or reopen over the next several months:

Bulgari Hotel Shanghai, China – Opening late 2017 (Main Image)
Situated in a tranquil riverside location in the heart of the city, Bulgari Hotel Shanghai will feature contemporary, spacious rooms and exceptional guest amenities including Maserati transportation. Offering stunning views of the city’s dramatic skyline, the hotel is located just minutes from attractions such as the iconic Bund and the museums of People’s Square. Virtuoso guests will enjoy an upgrade at arrival if available, breakfast for two daily offered 24 hours a day, hotel credit valued at $100 USD, complimentary Wi-Fi, and early check in and late check-out if available.

Montage Los Cabos, Mexico – Opening spring of 2018
Perched upon 39 acres of white-sand beachfront, Montage Los Cabos will feature 122 expansive rooms and suites when it opens. The resort will offer spectacular views and unique walk-in access to the finest swimming, diving and snorkeling in the region. Guests can take advantage of wellness programs and treatments at Spa Montage, and fitness offerings including two pools and tennis and recreational lawn facilities. Virtuoso guests will receive an upgrade when they arrive if available, daily breakfast for two, special amenity, complimentary Wi-Fi, and early check-in and late check-out subject to availability.


Raffles Europejski Warsaw, Poland – Reopening spring of 2018

Originally opened in 1857, the legendary hotel in Warsaw’s historic district has recently undergone restoration to preserve its heritage and character. Raffles Europejski, Warsaw will offer 106 elegant guestrooms and suites, a restaurant with an outdoor terrace showcasing Poland’s cuisine, a bar and cigar lounge, a patisserie and a spa. Virtuoso guests will enjoy an upgrade upon arrival, based on availability; daily buffet breakfast for two; hotel credit worth $100 USD; complimentary roundtrip private airport transfers; complimentary Wi-Fi; and early check-in and late check-out, subject to availability.

Five to Watch: Virtuoso's luxury hotel openings
Hotel Lutetia, France – Reopening spring of 2018

The hotel on the Left Bank in Paris, opened in 1910, has attracted celebrities from the worlds of arts, culture and politics over the years. The Art Nouveau gem will offer 184 rooms and suites, a spa, fitness facilities, and jazz and cigar bars. Its esteemed Lutetia Brasserie will feature a bar, terrace, show kitchen and private dining room. Virtuoso guests will enjoy an upgrade upon arrival, based on availability; daily breakfast for two; $100 USD equivalent credit to be used during stay; complimentary Wi-Fi; and early check-in and late check-out, subject to availability.

Five to Watch: Virtuoso's luxury hotel openings

Six Senses Bhutan, Bhutan – Opening late 2018
Five unique resorts in different locations will unite under the Six Senses name to offer an intimate new lodging experience with only 82 suites among all the properties. Each resort focuses on a specific theme, such as culture, and will feature the signature Six Senses qualities, including eco-friendly design, personalized service, world-class cuisine and wellness. Virtuoso guests will receive a daily buffet breakfast for two, special amenity, complimentary Wi-Fi, and early check-in and late check-out if available.

Six Senses Bhutan

www.virtuoso.com

Mantra Accor

Accor in big Mantra bid to cash in on Australia tourist boom

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France’s Accor SA has bid Australian $1.18 billion (£696 million) for Mantra Group Ltd – a deal that would combine the two biggest hotel owners in Australia, both seeking to capitalise on surging tourism in the country, according to a Reuters report.

Accor, already the biggest hotelier in Australia, offered $3.96 (£2.34) a share, or a 23 percent premium to Mantra’s closing price on Friday. The total offer is worth $4.02 (£2.37) per share if a six-cent final dividend paid in 2017 is included, Mantra said in a statement.

Mantra said it was allowing Accor to conduct due diligence “to determine if a transaction can be agreed and recommended unanimously by the Mantra board.” An Accor spokeswoman had no immediate comment.

Fresh Lime signs agreement with Malmaison to develop hotel in Bournemouth

Malmaison moves closer to arriving in Bournemouth

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Malmaison Hotel du Vin, the leading lifestyle hotel group has taken an exciting and important step closer to bringing the famous Malmaison brand to Bournemouth.

The brand is pleased to announce that it has signed a development agreement to build a multi-million pound stunning Malmaison hotel on Bath Road.

The site has already received outline planning permission to be developed and construction work is set to begin in 2018. The new hotel will offer over 100 stylish bedrooms and stunning suites, with the development expected to generate 85 new local jobs.

The hotel will also bring Chez Mal Bar and Brasserie to Bournemouth. Its stylish surroundings include a rooftop bar and terrace, which provide the ideal setting for those looking to take on Malmaison’s famously creative cocktails and mouthwatering menus. For those wanting to mix business with pleasure, the hotel will also include the brand’s ground-breaking meeting and events concept, Work + Play, mixing Malmaison’s classic style with high tech systems, private meeting pods and flexible pricing. The hotel will also boast a gym, swimming pool and beauty rooms, allowing guests and local residents the opportunity to work off calories and beautify in true Mal style.

The news comes at an exciting time for the Group, following a period of significant growth over the last 12 months. Recent highlights include the plans to introduce Malmaison to York and the continued roll-out of Chez Mal and Work + Play, both part of a wider multi-million pound investment programme in the brand.

Guus Bakker, Chief Executive Officer, Malmaison Hotel du Vin, said, “Bournemouth is a fantastic destination. The vibrancy of the town means that it is also a perfect location for the Malmaison brand. We look forward to working closely with all local stakeholders to bring this exciting opportunity to life.”

Mottram Hall - Redefine|BDL

Redefine|BDL Hotels expands portfolio

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Redefine|BDL Hotels has assumed management of a prestigious portfolio of 26 four-star luxury hotels on behalf of new owners, real estate investment company, Aprirose.

The 26 hotels, which have an annual turnover in excess of £190 million, were acquired by Aprirose from QHotels in a £525 million deal.

The contract represents the continuation of a successful partnership with Aprirose, which owns Hampton by Hilton London Docklands and Mercure Bristol Holland House and Spa – already part of the RBH portfolio.

As a result of the partnership RBH will now manage more than 75 hotels, including a diverse mixture of branded and private label properties – bringing together more than 11,000 rooms across the country.

Located across the UK, the QHotels portfolio includes luxury hotels and leisure resorts boast a host of facilities including spas at 24 of the properties and golf courses available to club members at 10 of the hotels.

Helder Pereira, Chief Executive Officer of Redefine|BDL Hotels, said: “This is another landmark addition to the Redefine|BDL Hotels portfolio. Leisure amenities such as spas and golf facilities represent key revenue streams for us, so we are very pleased with the quality and prestige of the properties we will now be managing. We look forward to continuing – and strengthening – our already successful working relationship with Aprirose as a key hotel owner.

“This acquisition will increase the Redefine|BDL Hotels portfolio to more than 75 hotels, and is in line with the company’s growth targets within the UK.”

Chief Executive Officer of Aprirose, Manish Gudka, said: “The QHotels portfolio is a made up of a diverse set of assets to add to our multi-faceted real estate portfolio. The 26 QHotels, located throughout the UK, make up 3,680 beds and represent the largest hotels acquisition in 2017.

“We have established a successful partnership with Redefine|BDL Hotels, which was appointed both on our Hampton by Hilton London Docklands and Mercure Bristol Holland House hotel assets, so the new properties will be operated to the same excellent standards.

“Each of the new Aprirose properties being managed by RBH are completely unique, and include the iconic Midland Hotel in Manchester, Mottram Hall Hotel in Cheshire, Slaley Hall in Northumberland, Chesford Grange in Warwick and Forest Pines Hotel & Golf Resort in Yorkshire.”

Palladium Hotels

Palladium Hotel Group to launch two luxury properties in Mexico

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Palladium Hotel Group’s newest addition to its portfolio of luxury five-star accommodations will introduce a brand new development to the northeast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

Set to open in autumn 2018, the project will include a five-star family-friendly property, the Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa, and the adults-only TRS Coral Hotel, accompanied by a ‘Village’ comprising of a variety of restaurants, bars, kids clubs, and amphitheatre.

While this will be a completely brand new development, Palladium Hotel Group has maintained its ethos of sustainable tourism, executing extensive environmental studies to ensure minimal impact on the land, while maintaining the highest standard of quality at the properties.

Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa will provide 673-rooms, alongside all of the five-star luxury services and facilities found at the other Grand Palladium properties, ideal for the whole family. A unique system of canals will allow guests to access all points of the resort by boat. Each room will boast a balcony or terrace overlooking the impressive views of the resort and out to sea. Some rooms will include premium features like direct access ‘swim-up’ pools or hydro massage hot tubs on their private balconies.

TRS Coral Hotel will provide adults with an exclusive and tranquil setting to rejuvenate and escape. Guests have access to the facilities and services offered at Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa and the Village, located close by, where they will be offered unlimited and preferential access.

The resort’s highlights include international culinary experiences at four á la carte restaurants in addition to the nine restaurants at Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa and an Ibiza style beach club with an infinity pool and poolside service, creating a glamourous, yet relaxing beachside retreat. Alongside the revitalising, world-class spa and fitness zone, guests can continue to be pampered and relax at the infinity pool with mesmerizing views overlooking the ocean.

Apex Hotels - Bath property now open

Apex Hotels’ £35m Bath hotel opens for business

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The latest addition to the Apex Hotels portfolio, in the city of Bath, has opened its doors to guests.

The launch of the £35 million Apex City of Bath Hotel marks a significant milestone for the group, as it takes the company’s portfolio to 10 hotels across the UK, and represents its first opening in England outside of London.

With 177 bedrooms, the property is the city’s largest in terms of number of bedrooms, and is Bath’s only purpose-built city centre conference facility for up to 400 delegates.

It also features a restaurant, bar, gymnasium and pool – and sits at the heart of the city, minutes from Bath’s major tourist attractions including the famous Roman Baths.

The Bath opening follows a highly successful financial year for the company which saw an 11.8 per cent rise in underlying profits before tax, up from £9.2m to £10.3m in 2016.

Angela Vickers, Chief Executive Officer, Apex Hotels said: “The opening of Apex City of Bath Hotel marks a major milestone for the business, and is the result of years of hard work by the entire team, and in particular the local team on the ground, ably led by General Manager Tim O’Sullivan.

Tim O’Sullivan, General Manager, Apex City of Bath Hotel said: “We are absolutely thrilled to open the doors to our stunning new hotel and the team is poised to give our guests – from locals who have seen the hotel built from the ground up, to those from further afield – the warmer welcome that Apex hotels are renowned for.

The opening of Apex City of Bath Hotel comes as work continues on a £1.5 million revamp of Apex City of London Hotel, including the development of a new restaurant – The Lampery – and a spa facility in partnership with PURE Spa & Beauty.

Refurbishment plans are also in the pipeline for Apex Grassmarket Hotel in Edinburgh and Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa in Dundee, with £6 million being invested in a 20-bedroom extension and wine bar and cellar at Apex Temple Court in London.

www.apexhotels.co.uk

Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel joins Relais & Châteaux

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With its reputation for combining five star service and luxury within a relaxed and intimate environment, Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel, is extremely honoured to announce that they have been invited to join the prestigious hotel group, Relais & Châteaux.

Relais & Châteaux is a collection of elite, mainly family run hotels in lovely locations with wonderful facilities, great food, warm personal hospitality and five-star services. All of these qualities Calabash has as their core values, and this will continue as they always strive to exceed their guests’ expectations.

Grenada's exclusive Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel joins Relais & Châteaux

“It is a huge honour to be part of such a highly regarded hotel group and we feel that there is much synergy between ourselves and Relais & Châteaux. So we are looking forward to a great partnership and bright future together!” Comments Director of Sales & Marketing, Adele Garbutt.

Grenada's exclusive Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel joins Relais & Châteaux

Earlier this year, Calabash was also honoured with the top Trip Advisor Traveller’s Choice Award, after being named the No.1 Hotel in the Caribbean, showing the consistently excellent standards held by the Grenadian hotel.

Grenada's exclusive Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel joins Relais & Châteaux

The Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel & Spa is due to complete an extensive upgrade project in early October, which includes the renovation of reception, the bar area and spa, raising the benchmark for the standard of accommodation on the island.

San Diego W

San Diego W Hotel to be re-branded as Autograph Collection Hotel

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Hotel Republic San Diego is preparing to debut mid-October as the city’s newest boutique luxury hotel property within Marriott International’s repertoire of Autograph Collection Hotels.

Located at 421 West B Street in downtown’s civic district, Hotel Republic will provide guests with an insider experience of San Diego through artisans, amenities and local culinary talent.

Hotel Republic stands on the historic site of the original San Diego Steam Laundry company building, which was built by Swedish immigrants in the late 19th century.

Now in 2017, following a top-to-bottom renovation—and a deliberate transformation from the former W Hotel to the Renaissance San Diego Hotel by owner Rockpoint Group and management company HEI Hotels & Resorts—Hotel Republic will act as a new social and business hub within San Diego.

Black and White Hospitality

Black and White Hospitality extends hotel portfolio

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Black and White Hospitality has secured a new hotel management contract, and will now operate London’s newest concept venue, the independently owned New Road Hotel.

Known as the brand behind the Marco Pierre White Restaurant Group, this latest partnership joins an already impressive portfolio, which boasts the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel and Spa Bristol South, Hotel Indigo Birmingham and the Hampton by Hilton Sheffield.

The New Road Hotel, due to open in October 2017, is located on the site of a former textile factory in Whitechapel, with an interior which reflects the venue’s past purpose and the heritage of the East End.

The boutique hotel is designed to target business commuters and young travellers alike, with exclusive suites including hot tubs aimed at the higher spenders, and more affordable rooms with large communal areas for those wanting a more sociable hotel experience.

The hotel’s concept will focus around stripped-back luxury, with exposed brick work, open lobby spaces flooded with light and five-star service. It’ll pride itself on high functionality and necessity instead of frills and opulence.

Securing the management contract of the New Road Hotel further shows Black and White Hospitality’s versatility, highlighting its desire to work with independent, unique sites such as this, as well as full service hotels with health clubs and spas. With the hospitality brand being synonymous with excellent dining experiences, the New Road Hotel will house London’s first Mr White’s English Chophouse, the Marco Pierre White franchise which specialises in quality cuts of British meat. The menu will focus around steaks, grills and chops.

Along with five Marco Pierre White restaurant franchises and its ever-growing hotel business, Black and White Hospitality also operates theclubandspa in both Birmingham and Bristol. Nick Taplin, CEO of Black and White Hospitality, said: “The New Road Hotel is definitely one of the most exciting and unique openings in the capital this autumn, and the hotel is a perfect fit for our brand. It’s so different to other spaces in London, and we can’t wait to open this October.

“The business is growing nationally at a fast pace, and winning the management contract for such a sought after location in one of the biggest cities in the world is a credit to the hard work we put in at every level of Black and White Hospitality.

“The other big news that comes with this opening is the launching of our Chophouse brand at the hotel. It’ll be the first time we’ve brought a Mr White’s English Chophouse to the capital, and with a sizeable menu of prime cuts of meat, we know the guests at the New Road Hotel won’t be leaving hungry,” he added.

For more information on the brands operated by Black and White Hospitality, visit www.blackandwhitehospitality.com

Bespoke Hotels appointed to manage Manchester’s Townhouse Hotel

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Bespoke Hotels is delighted to announce that it has been appointed to oversee management of Manchester’s Townhouse Hotel. Set beside the city’s renowned Portland Street, the 85-bedroom property, itself a former cotton warehouse with a history dating back to the Industrial Revolution, has been acquired this month by Fragrance Group.

Set to feature within Bespoke Hotels’ portfolio alongside the award-winning Hotel Gotham, itself just a stone’s throw away in Central Manchester, The Townhouse Hotel forms part of a significantly expansion into the UK market by the Singaporean Fragrance Group. Purchased alongside a number of properties across the country, including The Palace Hotel in Torquay and Blackpool’s Imperial Hotel, the Townhouse is seen as a central pillar of their strategy, particularly given Manchester’s robust trading performance in recent years.

Townhouse Manchester
“We are extremely pleased to have reached an agreement to take The Townhouse under our wing”, commented Haydn Fentum, CEO of Bespoke Hotels. “Following on the heels of Hotel Gotham’s notable success, we have long been investigating means to further our commitment to Manchester and increase our presence within the city, with a historic property such as this providing the ideal vehicle through which to do so.”

“Bespoke Hotels have a proven track record across both Manchester and the wider UK market”, added James Koh, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Fragrance Group Ltd. “The city forms a cornerstone of our UK investment strategy, and the Townhouse is a property that we view as having tremendous potential within this. We are excited to be investing in Manchester at a time when it is rapidly establishing itself as one of the foremost destinations in Europe, both commercially and in the eyes of tourists.”

InterContinental Hotels Group

Women in IHG senior staff reaches record high

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InterContinental Hotels Group has announced that female senior talent across Holiday Inn Express hotels in Southeast Asia (SEA) is at an all-time high. This follows the appointment of two GMs who completed the company’s General Manager Express Lane programme.

IHG graduates Nattareutai Thanapoomikul (Aimmy) and Ashleigh Garside are now at the helm of the operational teams at Holiday Inn Express Bangkok Sukhumvit 11 and Holiday Inn Express Singapore Katong respectively.

Launched in 2014, the General Manager Express Lane programme identifies potential candidates based on flexibility, business acumen and resilience, and supports them with learning and development and in-house mentorship.

To date, IHG has placed three General Managers from the programme into hotels across SEA.

Leanne Harwood, vice president, operations, South East Asia and Korea, IHG, said: “Having strong leaders in our hotels makes absolutely all the difference in not just driving performance for our business and owners, but also how we develop and grow the talent in our hotels teams.

“The programme has also addressed the gender balance, with more than half our Holiday Inn Express General Managers being female across the region and all Holiday Inn Express hotels in Thailand have female leaders at the helm.”

Virtuoso Collection Awards

Awards: ‘Best of the Best’ named at 2017 Virtuoso Travel Week

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International luxury travel network Virtuoso announced the winners of the eagerly awaited 2017 Best of the Best awards at the 29th annual Virtuoso Travel Week.

The 11th annual ceremony celebrated this year’s top 11 hotels and hoteliers before 1,600 of luxury travel’s crème de la crème attending the Hotels & Resorts Dinner. Of particular note, Palazzo Seneca in Italy received the sought-after “Hotel of the Year” honour.

Virtuoso received input from its 800-plus travel agency partners and more than 16,000 professional travel advisors to name the winners in each category, from best dining experience to best wellness program.

Editors of VIRTUOSO LIFE, the network’s multi-award-winning magazine, offered their expert insight and hotel savvy to select the nominees on which the advisors voted. This year’s Best of the Best award recipients will be highlighted in the publication’s September/October.

With a broad-ranging portfolio of more than 1,200 hotels, resorts, villas and private island retreats in over 100 countries, Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts is revered as the industry’s most prestigious hotel program,e. Founded in 1992 with just 20 hotels, Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts is marking its 25th anniversary in 2017, celebrating the remarkable growth, quality and diversity that have become trademarks of the program over the past quarter-century.

2017 Virtuoso Best of the Best categories and winners:

Hotel of the Year: Palazzo Seneca, Norcia, Italy
“The Bianconi family doesn’t just own a lovely hotel. They are beautiful people indeed, who care for others less fortunate, love the land where they were born, and take good care of this land.” – Julia Kostina, Renshaw Travel, a Virtuoso Agency

Best of the Best Award Winners Named at Virtuoso Travel Week
Best Achievement in Design
: Six Senses Douro Valley, Lamego, Portugal
“What sets this resort apart is that it retains the charm and beauty of a large country manor set among rolling hills and vineyards. There’s a prevailing sense of quiet, calm and relaxation as soon as you enter.” – Linda Zelisko, Travel Experts, a Virtuoso Agency

Best Dining Experience: La Terrazza – Hotel Eden Rome, Rome, Italy
“Have you ever eaten pasta surrounded by vapored dry ice? It is simply the most innovative dish I have ever seen.” – Jonathan Phillips, Camelback Odyssey Travel, a Virtuoso Agency

Chef Fabio Ciervo in his kitchen

Chef Fabio Ciervo in his kitchen

Best Bar: Bar Hemingway – Ritz Paris, Paris, France
“Walking into Bar Hemingway is like stepping back in time. Head bartender Colin Field is a book of stories. You can sit back, listen and just imagine.” – Liora Manilof, Forest Travel Agency, a Virtuoso Agency

Best Family Programme: The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, Naples, Florida, USA
“They have great options for families to visit local museums, bird sanctuaries, and a special program with a local artisan who leads their glass blowing classes. They really go out of their way to make the experiences as engaging as possible for the kids.” – Nick Cutrone, Vista Travel Consultants, a Virtuoso Agency

Best of the Best Award Winners Named at Virtuoso Travel Week

Best Wellness Programme: Canyon Ranch, Tucson, Arizona, USA
“The combination of four areas – physical, emotional, spiritual, and medical – is very unique in the wellness community. Most spas will cover a couple of the areas. Canyon Ranch can do it all. It has a wider range of options for the consumer than any other spa and the quality is outstanding!” – Peggy Purtell, Travel Experts, a Virtuoso Agency

Best of the Best Award Winners Named at Virtuoso Travel Week
Best Virtuoso Experience
: Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, Mexico
“From the moment you arrive in the Sanctuary Lounge and make a wish by throwing a little stone in the cenote, you know you are in a special place. Everything in the hotel is an experience so that makes it unique.” – Areli Guzman, Viajes Terranova, a Virtuoso Agency

Best of the Best Award Winners Named at Virtuoso Travel Week
Best Virtuoso Newcomer
: Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown, New York, New York, USA
“The large wrought iron front doors give a luxurious first impression. But the standout feature is the beautiful spiral staircase and long hanging cascading sculpture on the ground level.” – Sylvia Betesh Lebovitch, Ovation Vacations, a Virtuoso Agency

Best of the Best Award Winners Named at Virtuoso Travel Week
Sustainable Tourism Leadership
: Cavallo Point – the Lodge at Golden Gate, Sausalito, California, USA
“Sustainable tourism can sometimes lead to unexpected opportunities. It’s a tale of tourism helping transform swords into plowshares.”- Costas Christ, Global Strategist, Sustainability, Virtuoso, of the former military base now transformed into an urban eco-resort

Best of the Best Award Winners Named at Virtuoso Travel Week
Best Virtuoso Hotel Ambassador
: Kees Hogetoorn – Grand Hotel Amsterdam, an Accor Hotel
“I knew nothing about his hotel prior to meeting Kees and he truly allowed the property to come to life. His passion and enthusiasm is unmatched.” – Jessica Renshaw, Renshaw Travel, a Virtuoso Agency

Best of the Best Award Winners Named at Virtuoso Travel Week
Hotelier of the Year
: Susanne Hatje – Mandarin Oriental, New York, New York, New York, USA
“There is a peace of mind when I send clients her way because I know they will be taken care of by her amazing team that lead by her example. She makes every client stay memorable. She has an incredible vibrant and energetic personality, always engaging with guests.” – Miriam Omphroy, Forest Travel Agency, a Virtuoso Agency

Best of the Best Award Winners Named at Virtuoso Travel Week

www.virtuoso.com

Hyatt Regency

VIDEO: Hyatt Regency brand celebrates 50th anniversary with a new film

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The Hyatt Regency brand is celebrating its 50th anniversary with the launch of a new film titled, ‘Come Together’.

The film celebrates bringing groups together to build community and share unique ideas, which is exactly what the Hyatt Regency brand has done over the past 50 years. The ‘Come Together’ film is an extension of the recently launched World of Hyatt platform, which is built on a simple belief that a little understanding goes a long way and further underscores the incredible things that happen when groups come together.

Featuring spoken word artist Tarriona “Tank” Ball and directed by award-winning director Simon Benjamin, the “Come Together” film is inspired by the brand’s rich history – in 1967, Hyatt Regency Atlanta was among the first hotels in the city to open its doors to civil rights leaders.

Through her poetic spoken word style, Ball tells the Hyatt Regency brand’s story of understanding with grace and care, while encouraging people to come together to share their ideas and perspectives.

www.hyattregency.com

Leading Hotels of the World

Hotel Group Focus: Leading Hotels of the World welcomes eight new members

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The Leading Hotels of the World is pleased to announce the addition of eight new members to its collection of over 375 independent, luxury hotels. Of these, six are also new to the hospitality scene in 2017. Spanning the globe from Canada to Spain to Korea, these distinguished properties offer varied styles of architecture and design, and immersive cultural experiences delivered by passionate hoteliers.

“We are delighted to welcome these celebrated new members to The Leading Hotels of the World,” said Deniz Omurgonulsen, Vice President, Membership, The Leading Hotels of the World. “Our guests are in search of quality and distinctiveness when staying with us and these global properties deliver both seamlessly. With the exciting new additions, our travelers can stay in a Venetian palace on the Grand Canal, a shikumen lanes home in Shanghai, a historic mansion in Montreal or St. Petersburg, or the fifth tallest high rise in the world in Seoul.”

Le Mount Stephen opened its doors in May 2017, proudly embracing the dynamism of today’s Montréal, while paying homage to the city’s rich heritage. The property isin the Golden Square Mile and the entrance and dining venues are withinthe George Stephen House, a historical monument and mansion built by Lord G. Stephen, the first president of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Beyond the entry the present is celebrated in a sleek contemporary tower that houses 90 prestigious rooms and sky-loft suites which all feature floor-to-ceiling windows. The interiors exude timeless elegance, showcasing a unique style and character while offering state-of the-art amenities.

Leading Hotels of the WorldBürgenstock Hotel (Obbuergen, Switzerland)
The newly built Bürgenstock Hotel will officially open August 28, 2017, boasting modern architecture, contemporary design and incomparable views over Lake Lucerne and the Alps. The property is part of the legendary Bürgenstock Resort, located in Central Switzerland, 500 meters above Lake Lucerne. Hospitality is a tradition here and famous guests like Audrey Hepburn and Charlie Chaplin have visited since the first Grand Hotel opened in 1873. Explore the expansive grounds, that include a 10,000-square-meter spa, a healthy living center, 12 restaurants, numerous boutiques, and a 9-hole golf course. Opportunities for active recreation also await, with tennis, golf, curling, water sports, hiking and bike trails all nearby.

Leading Hotels of the WorldLesante Blu Exclusive Beach Resort (Zakynthos, Greece)
True to its name, Lesante Blu Exclusive Beach Resort is surrounded by spectacular views of the Ionian Sea, offering privacy and peace of mind to the experienced traveler. The property opened in May 2017, with 65 guestrooms all facing the sea. Lesante Blu’s “it’s all about you” mentality is exhibited through its adults-only concept, private pools, state-of-the-art suites and discreet staff. Fine dining restaurants with Mediterranean flavors prepared by the Executive Chef George Plotas enhance the culinary offerings, while complete tranquility and rejuvenating moments can be enjoyed in the Essence Spa with a Germain de Cappucini treatment. For a picturesque arrival and departure, guests can arrange a helicopter transfer directly with Lesante Blu and take in all the sights of the Greek islands.

Palazzo Venart Luxury Hotel (Venice, Italy)
The stunning Palazzo Venart Luxury Hotel began welcoming guests through its 16th-century doors in August 2016, following a nearly 50-year closure of the historical edifice. The property is centrally located right on the Grand Canal and each of its 18 fastidiously decorated rooms and suites is based on an aspect of Venetian history and culture. Original features, including Renaissance frescoes and marble fireplaces, have been expertly restored by local specialists and are complemented with antiques and custom furnishings to display the Palazzo’s noble past. Helmed by an award-winning chef, Enrico Bartolini, GLAM Restaurant serves exclusive menus designed by the exceptionally talented culinary artist.

Gran Meliá de Mar (Mallorca, Spain)
Set in its own exclusive cove, Gran Meliá de Mar is surrounded by a magnificent garden of pine trees under the beautiful blue palette of the Mediterranean sky. Unique to Mallorca, Gran Meliá de Mar is an adults-only resort. It is inspired by an indulgent culture of relaxation where exquisite service and contemporary elegance meet. Guests will find spacious rooms and exceptional suites, all with balconies andspectacular views overlooking the sea.Fine dining with surprising Majorcan cuisine is available at four dining venues, and a Luxury Spa by Clarins offers the latest beauty and well-being treatments.

Leading Hotels of the WorldLotte St. Petersburg (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Lotte Hotel St. Petersburg is located onSt. Isaac’s Square with an enviable view of the city’s famous cathedral, the Moika River, the Blue Bridge, and in walking distance to the Hermitage Museum, Nevsky Prospect and Mariinsky Theatre. The hotel opened in July 2017 and is a piece of history unto itself, occupying a mansion built for the honorary citizen Mrs. Yakunchikova. The first traces of the building appeared in the beginning of 19th century. John Quincy Adams, the first ambassador of the U.S. to Russia and the sixth President of the U.S., lived in the house from 1810 to 1811. The hotel features 150 classic and modern rooms, including seven suites. It features smart technology, state-of-the-art facilities and haute cuisine. Enjoy a meal at the Lounge restaurant or the premium Japanese MEGUmi restaurant. Two banquet halls and a Balinese Mandara Spa are also on site.

Leading Hotels of the WorldCapella Shanghai, Jian Ye Li (Shanghai, China)
Located in the cultural preservation zone of Xuhui District, Capella Shanghai, Jian Ye Li will open in September 2017, following a highly anticipated restoration and conversion project. The compound houses 22 rows of shikumen lanes, connecting more than 200 two-story houses dating back to the 1930s. Set against the glistening skyscrapers of Shanghai, original shikumen houses, which first appeared in the 1860s are a cultural rarity. Sensitively restored for discerning modern travelers, the striking buildings blend traditional Shanghainese and French architectural styles. The hotel portion of the luxury, urban resort consists of 55 three-level villas. The property will also be home to three-Michelin star chef Pierre Gagnaire’s only restaurant in Mainland China, Le Comptoir.

Leading Hotels of the WorldSigniel Seoul (Seoul, Korea)
Set in the greater Gangnam area, the Signiel Seoul opened in April 2017 and is located in the landmark Lotte World Tower, the fifth tallest high rise in the world. Soaring above the city, all rooms offer mesmerizing skyline views and combine classic and contemporary design, harmoniously blending influences of East and West. Guests can indulge in cuisine created by Michelin-starred chefs or sip on some bubbly at BAR 81 with the largest champagne collection in Korea, both located 342-meters up in the air. An impressive Evian spa, fitness center and a swimming pool are also available for some rest and relaxation after a bustling day in Seoul.

Leading Hotels of the WorldReopening after renovations:
Hôtel Barrière Le Fouquet’s Paris
reopened in July following a six-month renovation. The 81 spacious rooms and suites boast refined materials and delicate fabrics and lighting, reflecting the distinctive signature of interior designer Jacques Garcia. Fouquet’s famed brasserie is also back on center stage on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, with Chef Pierre Gagnaire reinvigorating bistro cuisine.

Leading Hotels of the World

www.lhw.com

Hilton Digital Key

More than half of Hilton portfolio to be ‘Digital Key’ enabled by end of 2017

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Hilton has announced Digital Key will now be available at 362,000 hotel rooms across 2,000 hotels worldwide with the introduction of the exclusive technology at the Hampton Inn & Suites Washington DC-Navy Yard.

The milestone demonstrates Hilton’s continual ability to launch technology that improves the guest experience and do it on a global scale. Every new hotel that is opened worldwide, roughly one a day, is equipped with Digital Key technology.

The award-winning Hilton Honors app is designed to make travel easier and put control back in members’ hands so they get more out of their travel experience. From their smartphones, guests can book a room, check-in, choose their desired room from a digital floor plan set against Google Maps and request additional items to be in their room upon arrival. Hilton Honors members have widely adopted the app’s technology features and continue to set new records for usage and engagement, including 30 million digital check-ins, 3 million room key downloads and more than 13.6 million doors opened. In the month of July, a door was unlocked with Digital Key every two seconds.

“We know our customers operate in a digital world and we are obsessive about embracing technology that helps remove the friction points from our guests’ travel experiences. We’ve built a world of experiences at your fingertips with our app – you can check in, choose a room, set personal preferences and unlock your door using Digital Key,” said Geraldine Calpin, chief marketing officer at Hilton. “We’ve more than tripled our rate of Digital Key hotel installs since 2016 and are on pace to exceed our goal of 2,500 hotels by the end of 2017, enabling us to scale across our 14 brands worldwide to deliver exceptional and consistent experience for guests everywhere.”

Digital Key is live worldwide in 185 markets today, and Hilton will continue to expand to new regions throughout the remainder of the year. By the beginning of 2018, Hilton has committed to have well over half of its portfolio of hotels across all 14 brands, equipped with Digital Key, creating a consistent technology experience for guests regardless of where they stay across the globe.

Radisson BLU Hotel Belgrade

Hotel Group Spotlight: Radisson Blu

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Unique architecture and interiors, combined with a rich history and heritage, form the foundations of these eight hotels within the upscale Radisson Blu collection, which are located in some of Europe’s most popular, dynamic and stylish cities.

These include Radisson Blu Strand Hotel, Stockholm; Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Copenhagen; Radisson Blu Old Mill Hotel, Belgrade; Radisson Blu Hotel, Amsterdam; Radisson Blu Hotel, Frankfurt; Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin, Radisson Blu Hotel, Madrid Prado and Radisson Blu Hotel, Zurich Airport.

With interiors by acclaimed designers, creative culinary concepts by world-renowned chefs and housed within architecturally striking or deeply historic buildings; these hotels effortlessly blend a sense of place with an innovative and inspirational approach towards hospitality. With an eye firmly on the future, 2017 and 2018 will see fresh enhancements to hotels within the collection, the launch of creative collaborations and exciting brand developments; making the brand the one to watch in the hotel world.

Radisson Blu Strand Hotel, Stockholm
Stylish Nordic design meets a rich history dating back to 1912, when the 170-bedroom hotel first opened its doors; since which it has played host to the great and the good, from Ingrid Bergman to Greta Garbo and Zara Larsson. Sky high luxury can be enjoyed in the Tower Suite with panoramic views over Stockholm, whilst Autumn will see the hotel welcome a new culinary hot-spot, The Strand. Within walking distance of the hotel, guests will find the best of the city’s shopping, nightlife and cultural experiences.

Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Copenhagen
Renowned Danish architect Arne Jacobsen designed the sleek, modern Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Copenhagen, which is just a short walk from some of this Danish capital’s top attractions such as the Tivoli Gardens. Iconic design features include the hotel’s spiral staircase and unique “Swan” and “Egg” chairs. Guests can expect an iconic design-led experience throughout the 260 room and suite hotel, with memorable moments created by a world-class service delivery from the dedicated team.

Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Copenhagen
Radisson Blu Old Mill Hotel, Belgrade

Industrial-chic awaits at this award-winning design hotel in emerging tourism destination Belgrade. Behind the design is Graft Architects who’s use of natural materials such as oak, copper and brick, combined with contemporary touches, have breathed life into this historic 19th century building. Guests can enjoy Serbian inspired dishes at the hotel’s OMB LARDER + LOUNGE and explore this lively city, beautiful lakes and beaches.

Radisson BLU Hotel Belgrade

Radisson Blu Hotel, Amsterdam
This 18th century former merchants house encapsulates the maritime heritage of Amsterdam and is embraced on either side by two canals. History meets modernity in the one-of-a-kind suites and Pastorie Bar, which was once connected to a clandestine church and is now known for its insta-factor. Locally, guests can shop along the Nine Streets, full of one-off boutiques and galleries and quirky independent stores.

Radisson Blu Hotel, Frankfurt
The only round, all-glass hotel in Europe cost over $100 million to build and is a true architectural wonder, both outside and in, with interiors designed by dynamic trio John Seifert, Adam Tihany and Matteo Thun. Two new WOHNIDEE Suites launched in March, a creative collaboration between Wohnidee Magazine and Joi-Design with items in the suites available to purchase. 16 state-of-the-art conference rooms including one Brain Box room and show rooms for car launches.

Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin
Guests can expect a truly unique arrival at Radisson Blu Hotel Berlin, where sophistication and sea life await. The hotel lobby is home to the world’s largest freestanding cylindrical aquarium, the AquaDom. After a day spent exploring Berlin and its eclectic art and fashion scene, guests can relax and unwind at the hotel’s Heaven Spa & Fitness, complete with a bio and Finnish sauna, swimming pool and spa treatments. The hotel boasts 15 state-of-the-art meeting rooms, including the DomLounge for sky-high views.

Radisson Blu Hotel, Madrid Prado
This boutique 54 bedroom and suite hotel in the El Barrio de las Lestras district provides guests with a stylish base in the heart of cosmopolitan Madrid. After a day spent experiencing the sights and sounds of the city, including the nearby Prado Museum and Retiro Park, guests can relax and unwind with a drink in hand at the hotel’s Cask Restaurant, Bar and Terrace. Down below the hotel, a swimming pool and spa can be found.

Radisson Blu Hotel, Zurich Airport
The only hotel with direct access to the terminal at Zurich Airport is also just a 10-minute train ride into down-town Zurich and offers Switzerland’s largest meeting and conference facilities with 52 different spaces. Come February 2018, guests will be treated to an exciting new culinary concept by Chef Haim Cohen, who is known for fine dining with contemporary Middle Eastern and Mediterranean influences. The exterior was designed by Atelier WW Architekten and is a Swiss landmark.

Radisson Blu ZurichWith thanks to Grifco PR, which has been appointed by The Rezidor Hotel Group to handle the consumer public relations for selected Radisson Blu hotels.

Niu Mannheim

niu settles in Mannheim with a new opening

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Mannheim proudly presents its new project of the coming year. The NOVUM Hotel Group, together with the project developer GBl AG, is planning a Millennial brand niu hotel on Seckenheimer street near the historic city centre.

The opening of this 170-room hotel is scheduled for November 2018. Together with GBI AG, the Hamburg group is already planning several hotel projects.

The facade is being designed by the Prasch Buken Partner architect”s office and JOI-Design is responsible for the interior design.

“The strategic selection of our location is the most important part of our dynamic expansion. Mannheim is the economic and cultural center of the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region and is located directly in the “Dreiländereck”, the tri-border area,” says David Etmenan, Chief Executive Officer & owner of the NOVUM Hotel Group.

Roxy-Pacific acquires second hotel asset in Japan

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Established property and hospitality group with an AsiaPacific focus, Roxy-Pacific Holdings, has announced the acquisition of its second hotel asset in Japan, Tenmabashi Grand Hotel Osaka.

Launched in May 2017, the 154-room Tenmabashi Grand Hotel Osaka is an 8-minute walk away from Tenjibashi shopping street – the longest shopping street in Japan. Nearby tourist hotspots include the Osaka Tenmangu Shrine, Osaka Castle Park, as well as the famous Cherry Blossoms at the Osaka Mint Bureau.

The 9-storey hotel comprising 3,672-square-metres of total floor area will, upon completion of the acquisition in October 2017, be self-managed by the Group’s Noku Roxy hospitality management arm, which currently operates a boutique hotel in Kyoto, Japan – Noku Kyoto.

Through its furnishings and curated list of attractions and F&B offerings in the vicinity, the Noku Roxy brand aims to showcase the best version of the city, as well as hidden gems only visited by the locals. Attention to detail and personalised experiences also create a differentiated stay for guests.

Osaka received a record number of foreign visitors in 2016 exceeding 9.4 million, representing a 31% hike from 20152. The city also boasts one of the highest hotel occupancy rates of any major city in Japan.

Amongst the Noku Roxy hospitality brand asset pipeline includes a 50-villa resort in Maldives, and a separate resort in the Chalong sub-district of Phuket, Thailand, planned for launch in the last quarter of 2017 and 2019, respectively.

Glasgow Pond Hotel Lounge and Reception © Leonardo Hotels

Leonardo Hotels purchases Scottish Portland Hotels

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Leonardo Hotels has reported it has acquired a strategically placed portfolio in Scotland increasing the company’s presence in Edinburgh and gaining a presence in Glasgow, Perth and Aberdeen.

Portland Hotels will add 536 additional bedrooms across Scotland and will take Leonardo’s presence in Edinburgh to 445 bedrooms joining the Leonardo Royal which was acquired in October last year.

The newly acquired portfolio will join the Leonardo Hotels family and will be integrated into the wider Leonardo portfolio, which will comprise over 80 hotels after the recent acquisition. Together with Leonardo Hotel London Heathrow Airport, Leonardo’s portfolio in the UK will grow to seven hotels with 1,048 bedrooms.

Edinburgh Capital Hotel Meetingroom © Leonardo Hotels
The Edinburgh City Hotel is a charming 52 bedroom boutique hotel located at the heart of the capital city of Scotland below Edinburgh Castle and minutes from Grassmarket night life, West End Shopping, Haymarket Station, the central business district and the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. The Edinburgh Capital is located strategically between Edinburgh city centre and Edinburgh Airport.

Glasgow Pond Hotel Hotelroom © Leonardo Hotels
In addition to its 111 rooms, the Edinburgh Capital hotel has seven meeting rooms available with a capacity of up to 320 persons and an excellent leisure club with a swimming pool. The Glasgow Pond Hotel with its 137 rooms and three meeting rooms for up to 130 persons is located in the prosperous West End of Glasgow in close proximity to the key cultural attractions including Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow University and the area’s cafés, restaurants and boutiques. In Perth, the Huntingtower Hotel provides 34 bedrooms.


An extensive capacity for holding premium events as well as expansive gardens make it an ideal facility for meetings and private celebrations. The Speedbird Inn with 202 rooms is located immediately adjacent Aberdeen Airport and features a large parking facility with park, sleep and fly options as well as being a favourite with business travellers.

Daniel Roger, Managing Director of Leonardo Hotels Europe said: “When we entered the market in the UK two years ago, we made it our goal to further expand our portfolio and strengthen the name recognition of the Leonardo Hotels brand. The purchase of Portland Hotels underscores this. I am convinced that our guests will love and appreciate this expansion of our offerings in key destinations across Scotland”.

Pentahotels launches global brand refresh

Pentahotels launches global brand refresh

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Pentahotels, the neighbourhood lifestyle hotel group, has revealed its new brand message – “We don’t do normal” – introducing a fresh vision within the traditional hospitality industry, as the brand gears up for ambitious expansion plans in new premium destinations worldwide.

Expansion will begin with its second pentahotel in Hong Kong opening this week and the brand’s first hotel in Russia, in Moscow, opening next year. Pentahotels’ global brand refresh underlines the brand’s competitive advantages designed to meet the changing demands from a new generation of urban nomads. This refresh reinforces the existing brand philsophy that “Penta is not a hotel. Penta is a state of mind.”

Pentahotels launches global brand refresh
From the roll-out of new “penta PlayerPads” which feature private gamer gadgets in selected suites, to its pioneering “check in at the bar” concept, pentahotels reinforces the “We Don’t Do Normal” persona by staying innovative, approachable and constantly pushing the boundaries. As part of this brand refresh, the group will roll out a holistic brand communications campaign, focusing on digital channels including an updated web presence, a vibrant brand video, social media activations, guerrilla marketing campaigns, fresh collateral for guests, clients and investors, and a new CRM system to strengthen pentahotels’ customer engagement capabilities.


Expansion Kicks-Off in Hong Kong

The brand is also set for substantial growth with several openings scheduled for 2017, and many other developments in the pipeline. Pentahotel Hong Kong, Tuen Mun, which opened its doors this week, joins sister pentahotel Hong Kong, Kowloon and is the first international brand hotel to set anchor in the up-and-coming Tuen Mun area of the New Territories in Hong Kong. The former industrial highrise building has been completely renovated into a trendy 298-room hotel sporting the signature “penta” style throughout, with a contemporary rustic decor that seamlessly blends with whimsical local cultural references. Pentahotel Hong Kong, Tuen Mun promises modern technology features and uncomplicated service for stylish, independent-minded business and leisure travelers. The result is a mix of fun with functionality, comfort with creativity, and style with simplicity.

Pentahotel Moscow – Arbat Opens in 2018
Pentahotels has also finalised definitive agreements with Capital Group, one of Russia’s most respected property developers, to open pentahotels’ first Russia hotel in Moscow in time for 2018 FIFA World Cup to be hosted in the city. Pentahotel Moscow – Arbat, will be situated within one of the four famous “Book Houses” located on Novy Arbat, around one mile from the Red Square. Featuring 228 guestrooms, the hotel will feature pentahotels’ trademark offerings, including pentalounge, European-led design elements, as well as meeting space and a gym. With lifestyle features including billiards tables, digital entertainments and other non-standard services, pentahotels will bring an entirely new energy to the area, welcoming tourists and Muscovites to a stylish, comfortable and modern reflection of Moscow’s dynamic environment.

Moscow view of the Novy Arbat and houses Books

Moscow view of the Novy Arbat and houses Books

“Penta’s global journey has just begun,” says Sonia Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of Rosewood Hotel Group, pentahotels’ parent company. “Pentahotels has developed a strong operational structure and highly successful, cost-efficient financial system. Today, we are excited to share our revolutionary vision and renewed brand values. We are and want to be seen as bold, different, everything but normal. With its first entry in Bangkok and Moscow, and a second hotel opening in Hong Kong, pentahotels is ready to advance its plan to extend its footprint in gateway markets worldwide.”

Hastings Hotels invests more than £60m in growing portfolio

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Hastings Hotels, Northern Ireland’s leading collection of hotels, has announced the continued investment of over £60 million into its growing portfolio. In addition to investing £53 million on its seventh hotel which is due to open in 2018, it has also completed a £10 million renovation programme on its six other hotels.

Howard Hastings, Managing Director of Hastings Hotels said: “Despite the current economic uncertainty across Ireland, we have continued to invest heavily in our properties. We are currently making our biggest single investment to date in the Grand Central Hotel of £53 million and upon completion it will be Northern Ireland’s largest hotel with 304 bedrooms.

Culloden Estate
“At Hastings Hotels we have a long term philosophy to reinvest year on year in our people and our properties which is why we have the leading hotels in Northern Ireland. We do not rest on our laurels and have invested over £10 million in recent years in the continuous investment programmes of our six hotels as we strive to ensure we offer our guests the very best facilities and experience on every visit.

“We have recently completed a £4.8 million renovation of the Culloden Estate & Spa, a new £1.5 million Grand Ballroom at the Everglades Hotel which is now the largest facility of its kind in the North West, invested £2 million in the Europa which has included a new entrance and lobby bar as well as £1 million in the Stormont Hotel with a new look high-tech conference and event facility, lobby and bar area,” Howard continued.

Hastings HotelsEarlier this month Hastings Hotels celebrated 50 years of the ownership of the jewel in its crown, the Culloden Estate & Spa. The luxurious property was purchased in June 1967, and over the course of the last 50 years, under the direction of Sir William Hastings, it has transformed in size and luxury.

The continued investment has been recognised recently with Hastings Hotels picking up five prestigious gongs at the 2017 Irish Hotel Awards. The Slieve Donard Resort & Spa was named Irish Hotel of the year, Conference & Business Hotel of the Year and employee Raymond Edgar picked up Groundsman of the Year while the Culloden Estate & Spa was named Luxury Hotel of the Year and Natalie Gourley from the Stormont Hotel won Conference Manager of the Year.

In addition to this, the Culloden was highly commended at the first ever Georgina Campbell Breakfast Awards 2017 in Dublin in the Best 5-Star Hotel category. The judges stated “It is a lovely place to stay, The Culloden has always taken particular pride in the food served and its provenance. Fine dining in the Mitre Restaurant, overlooking the lough, can be memorable, and the excellent Irish Breakfast that is also served here is keenly anticipated by guests.”

www.hastingshotels.com

Mantra Group - Melbourne

Mantra Group acquires new-build hotel in Melbourne

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One of Greater Melbourne’s fastest growing areas will benefit from a $70 million hotel development that will service the rapid increase of activity in Melbourne’s booming northern suburbs.

Epping will be the site of the 214-room hotel that is being designed to capitalise on both the history of the northern suburbs and the unique attributes of Epping.

Located right near Melbourne’s new wholesale fruit, vegetable and cut flower market and The Northern Hospital, construction is due to start in the latter part of 2017 with opening scheduled for mid-2019. The hotel is being developed by Too Build and will be operated by Mantra Group.

Operating as Mantra Epping Hotel, it will feature both hotel rooms and apartments, a café/restaurant, brewhouse, conference and meeting facilities, gymnasium, and an open car park containing 143 marked bays and secure bicycle storage.

Occupying a prime corner position at 250 Cooper Street within the prestigious Northpoint Enterprise Park at Epping, Melbourne’s fastest growing expansion corridor just 18km north of the CBD, the four-star, two-wing hotel has been designed by leading architect Peddle Thorp and Bruce Henderson Interiors.

One of Australia’s largest construction companies, Hacer Group, has been engaged to complete the project build, creating an expected 300 construction jobs.

Bonham Hotel

Edinburgh’s Bonham Hotel enters the Bespoke Hotels fold

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Bespoke Hotels is delighted to welcome Edinburgh’s Bonham Hotel to its midst, which joins the rapidly-growing independent hotel group from its enviable position in the city’s stately West End.

A notable addition to Bespoke’s burgeoning Scottish portfolio, The Bonham boasts 49 bedrooms, alongside a stylish bar and restaurant, events space, and a superb location beside the renowned Princes Street in Edinburgh’s New Town district.

Bonham Hotel
Surrounded by bustling cafes and upmarket shopping destinations, The Bonham is also within easy reach of the city’s Old Town and St Giles’ Cathedral, the Royal Mile, as well as the world famous Edinburgh Castle. With its individually-decorated bedrooms and Victorian townhouse façade, the property offers elegance and privacy, alongside a wider range of dining options and superb views of the neighbouring Drumsheugh Gardens.

Bonham Hotel
“We are thrilled to be working alongside the new ownership of the Bonham Hotel”, commented Haydn Fentum, CEO of Bespoke Hotels. “We are fortunate to have come on board at a very exciting time in the property’s development, as we seek to consolidate its well-earned reputation and invite travellers to explore this beautiful city.”

Bonham Hotel
“Scotland has always held a special appeal to me, which began with my interest in the beautiful Art Nouveau works produced by artists including Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald,” added US-based businessman and philanthropist Richard H. Driehaus, who has recently acquired the Bonham Hotel. “I am proud to join the Edinburgh community.”

www.bespokehotels.com

www.thebonham.com 

Bespoke Hotels take over Roxburghe Hotel

Roxburghe Hotel acquired by Bespoke Hotels

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Roxburghe Estates and Bespoke Hotels have announced they have agreed terms for the transfer of ownership of the Roxburghe Hotel and Golf Course near Kelso in the Scottish Borders. Completion of sale is expected to take place at the end of July, 2017.

Bespoke Hotels is the largest independent hotel group in the UK, and the Roxburghe’s 22-bedroom luxury hotel and championship golf course is an attractive fit within a collection that includes the Chester Grosvenor, Storrs Hall in Cumbria, as well as a robust Scottish portfolio, featuring the Carnoustie Golf Hotel, Tulloch Castle, Dingwall, and Stonefield Castle, Tarbert.

The opportunity for expansion of the facilities at the Roxburghe, alongside the development of self-catering lodges, is actively being considered. In 2010, planning consent was granted for 60 holiday lodges, a new clubhouse and conversion of the existing clubhouse to a 10 bedroom dormy house, all of which stood as a key factor in Bespoke’s strong interest and decision to acquire the business. The creation of a luxury destination resort is the principal vision of the new owners, building on the outstanding facilities and reputation which the Roxburghe enjoys.

Roxburghe HotelThe Duke of Roxburghe commented: “I am delighted that we have reached agreement with Bespoke, knowing that they have exciting plans for the future and will invest significantly in the business. We look forward seeing the Roxburghe grow in the years ahead under new ownership and achieving our long-term vision of a high-quality resort destination. We strongly believe the Roxburghe has a secure and successful future under Bespoke Hotels’ management.”

“The business has been a particular interest and focus of mine since it first opened as a country house hotel in 1982, which subsequently expanded with the development of the first championship golf course in 1995. It has given me enormous pride and satisfaction to see it develop successfully over the years, but it became clear that a new investor needed to come aboard for the Roxburghe to move to the next level and become a world class destination. We are therefore extremely pleased to hand over the business to such an experienced and committed operator as Bespoke.”

“I know how much the quality of service is valued by our customers, together with the high standards maintained in the hotel and on the golf course. I am therefore pleased to be able to confirm that all the existing staff will be retained, and I would like to pay particular thanks to the team for ensuring the Roxburghe has achieved such high standards in all areas. Although ICMI will not be continuing as managers, I am confident the professionalism, high standards and attention to detail for which the estate has become known will long be maintained into the future.”

Haydn Fentum, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Bespoke Hotels, added: “We are hugely excited by the potential of The Roxburghe and look forward to taking the business into a new era. We are keen to build on the excellent work done to date by both Roxburghe Estates and ICMI, which has given us an extremely sound platform on which to build.”

“We would like to extend our thanks to the outgoing management team, as well as to both the hotel and golf course staff, with whom we hope to build a fruitful relationship moving forward. We are particularly grateful to the support of the Duke of Roxburghe and Roddy Jackson, chief executive of Roxburghe Estates, alongside whom we are delighted to be working, and whose enthusiasm for the business is an ongoing source of inspiration.”

www.bespokehotels.com

Susan Bland - Redefine|BDL

In Conversation: Redefine|BDL’s Susan Bland on Brexit Plans

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As Brexit negotiations kick off and uncertainty lingers following the general election, there are growing concerns over the UK’s pipeline of skilled employees, particularly within the hospitality industry. Redefine|BDL Hotels’ (RBH) Chief Human Resources Officer, Susan Bland, explains why the hotel industry should keep calm and carry on attracting and developing the best talent.

The UK’s leading independent hotel management group has an expert team of over 110 hotel specialists based in offices in London, Glasgow and Frankfurt. Its portfolio of more than 45 properties unites over 8,000 rooms and 2,500 employees throughout its managed and leased properties.

In an industry that will undoubtedly be impacted by any final deal extended to the UK by the EU due to its employee demographic, RBH is already starting to make plans to strengthen its employee pipeline.

Susan, who chairs the Hotel Employers Group (HEG) – which represents the majority of the UK hotel industry’s biggest businesses – says that while Brexit negotiations will take time, attracting more home-grown talent is a much-needed step towards injecting new blood into the hotel industry, and should be the priority.

She said: “HEG is working closely with the British Hospitality Association (BHA) as it develops its Brexit strategy. It’s an impressive piece of work, which focuses on a 10-year plan including ‘rebranding’ the industry to make it more attractive to the UK workforce looking for long-term careers, by tackling the long-standing stigma of unsociable hours, low pay and the belief that hotel work is ‘just a holiday job’.

“It’s a strategy that is required regardless of the current political and economic climate – it just becomes more time-bound if we see the European employee pipeline dry up as a result of uncertainty or fear caused by ongoing Brexit negotiations.”

And while HEG is pulling together a comprehensive plan of action, RBH is working on attracting more home-grown talent and upskilling its existing employees.

Susan continued: “The HEG strategy is targeted at numerous groups across the UK, from ex-service personnel and their families, to the next generation of potential employees and their parents as influencers on career choice.

“At RBH we’re already working to herald the ‘return of the Saturday job’, as we call it. We want to work with young people to attract them to the hotel industry and instil in them a strong work ethic. We’re also developing our apprenticeship programme in line with the new standards and focusing on building on our great base of existing talent, such as developing our kitchen porters into chefs.”

While the focus is on developing and nurturing the UK employee pipeline, Susan does recognise potential issues that Brexit could cause for RBH and other businesses within the industry.

Of RBH’s total UK workforce, 27% are EU Nationals, but the figure rises to around 40 per cent in London – which is consistent with the UK average within the hotel industry.

She said: “So far, a number of our European team members have been sitting tight and waiting to see what happens as negotiations take place, but staff retention has been impacted to a certain extent following the EU referendum.

“The devaluation of the pound – which means some European employees haven’t been able to provide for their families as much as they had hoped – coupled with uncertainty has pushed a number of these employees to return home over the last year.

“However, we haven’t come across any issues in terms of recruitment. Our pool of applicants is exceptionally diverse, and there hasn’t been a substantial shift in our applicant profile, which is great to see.”

Although the most recent developments have seen the publication of plans for EU citizens to achieve ‘settled status’ – with the same residency, employment, health, welfare and pension rights – after five years in the country, uncertainty remains until these plans are confirmed.

And while there is an element of uncertainty, Susan is pleased to see the Government prioritising the rights of EU Nationals and the potential impact on free movement and the labour market as part of its negotiations in Brussels.

She said: “As a business, we had accepted that there would likely be some form of restriction around free movement, and removing uncertainty for European employees has always been key. I’m glad the Prime Minister is prioritising this.

“While the current plans would see those resident in the UK for five years granted ‘settled status’, there are still uncertainties around other EU Nationals who have lived in the UK for shorter time periods. On that front, if any restrictions were to be imposed, we would like to see these introduced via a phased approach.

“I’d be frustrated to see any EU Nationals tied into the existing sponsorship programme for non-EU workers, which is very onerous. Simplicity will be key.”

Susan – and the wider RBH team – will be focusing on factors within their control when it comes to Brexit, and urges employees and prospective industry employees to do the same.

She said: “The government is just weeks into negotiations. In the meantime, I’d urge anyone from Europe living in the UK and keen on working in the industry to take any and all available opportunities, and to get the required paperwork started if applying for citizenship is a consideration. The negotiations will take time, and it’s business as usual for us.”

www.redefinebdl.com

Raffles to open hotel in London’s Old War Office

Raffles to open hotel in London’s Old War Office

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The Hinduja group has signed a deal with Europe’s largest hotel chain – Accor Hotels Group – to turn the UK’s iconic Old War Office building, once the office of Britain’s war-time prime minister Winston Churchill, into a luxury hotel.

Raffles Hotels and Resorts, the luxury brand that is part of France’s Accor Hotels Group, has announced the signing of an agreement with the Hinduja Group and Spanish firm Obrascon Huarte Lain Desarrollos (OHLD) to transform the building in Whitehall into the most unique hotel and deluxe residences in London.

“The Raffles Hotel in London will be the heart and soul of this exciting landmark destination”, a statement said. “Raffles Hotels and Resorts is delighted to complete its already stunning portfolio with such an exclusive asset in such strategic city and location, the group said in the statement.”

Steeped in history, the first Raffles Hotel was opened in 1887 in Singapore, named after the British statesman and founder of Singapore, Thomas Stamford Raffles.

The Old War Office, with its 1,100 rooms across seven-floors, and two miles of corridors, was completed in 1906.

It was the office to many of the UK’s most important and influential political and military leaders of the twentieth century, notably Churchill, David Lloyd George, Lord Kitchener, Herbert Asquith and T E Lawrence. It was also the offices of the British Secret Service.

Close to 10 Downing Street, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, the Old War Office was bought by Hinduja Group and OHLD in December 2014 following a public bid.

Leeu Collection adds Florence property to European portfolio

Guest Blog – TOPHOTELS: ‘Italy, a sure thing for hotel developers’

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Italy has an ever-appealing charm – the food, the passion, the beautiful coastline and incredibly historic cities, the architecture and of course, the landscapes. For centuries, Italy has attracted holidaymakers, and continues to do so today, making it almost a sure thing for hotel developers.

One of the more recent hotel projects to open was the La Bagnaia Golf & Spa Resort Siena, a luxury 5-star development branded under Curio by Hilton and situated close to the picturesque town of Siena, known for its medieval brick architecture. The 101-key hotel, resort and golf course allows visitors to take advantage of the serene setting while playing golf or indulging in the swimming pool set within the idyllic grounds of the hotel. The resort is also equipped to handle large events and conferences.

The ultra-modern La Lama in Rome is currently under construction and set to open in the second quarter of 2018. Nicknamed “The Cloud” because of a nebulous structure in the interior of the hotel, the 409-key luxury new build complex will house a 5-star hotel as well as an 1,800 seater auditorium for conferences and events. The complex will be built with sustainability in mind and incorporate modern technologies in its construction and design.

IHG is in the process of building their first hotel in Venice, the InterContinental Venice – Palazzo Nani. Under construction at the moment, the new 51 room luxury hotel will be house in a converted 16th century palace, which will be refurbished to the highest standard, keeping the palace’s stunning ceiling frescoes and hand-carved wooden beams. Set to open at the beginning of next year, the hotel will also have wellness facilities and corporate spaces.

More information on hotel construction in Italy can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS.

Hilton crowned most valuable hotel brand

Hilton pips megagroups, hospitality trends to be named ‘most valuable’ hotel brand

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Global hospitality giant Hilton has been crowned the world’s most valuable hotel brand. The 2017 annual report Brand Finance Hotels 50 has ranked the Hilton group as leaders in the hospitality field in terms of their net worth, which is valued at $8.4 billion (£6.4 billion).

The brand is AAA rated, putting it among the top names in the hotel industry, along with Marriott, Sheraton and the Holiday Inn. North American brands are placed in the top four spots of the leader board by the report carried out by the valuation and strategic consultancy firm Brand Finance, cementing North America’s position as a commercial heavyweight in an increasingly competitive industry, with alternative markets such as China and Asia Pacific growing steadily.

The news will be welcomed by Hilton, whose worth up 7% on 2016. The hotel brand has staved off competition from new trends in hospitality in the form of temporary accommodation such as AirBnB, poshtels and boutique hotels, who appeal more to a younger demographic such as millennials. Hilton has built a loyal client base since its foundation nearly 100 years ago, surely a contributing factor to its sustained popularity. The power of the Hilton brand has been bolstered by new initiatives in sustainability and recycling, and also by new brand partnerships and acquisitions.

Premier Inn was listed at the top of the report as the world’s most powerful hotel brand. The UK group’s draw lies in the sheer quantity of hotels it operates, and the reliability of the brand in terms of economy and service it provides. Holiday Inn and Days Inn follow suit in the power brand category, pointing to a steady demand for mid-range accommodation that serves a wide range of customers.

New hotels join Small Luxury Hotels Of The World

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This May Small Luxury Hotels of the World is welcoming five new luxury properties to its portfolio. Introducing a brand new eco-certified hotel in Cap Corsica, a newly opened palazzo turned boutique retreat in Rome, a serene forest dwelling in Izu, Japan and a sophisticated retreat wrapped up in bright botanic gardens in Puerto Vallarta.

Le Domaine Misincu: Corsica

Opening June 2017
Due to open in June 2017, set in 35 hectares of natural parks and gardens, Le Domaine Misincu will be the only five-star rated environmentally friendly and eco-certified luxury boutique hotel in the region of Cap Corsica. Highly protected, savage and unspoilt in natural beauty, Cap Corse is the last remaining “wild” part of the island and therefore nicknamed as “the island on the island” which sets its history apart from the rest of the island. Aiming for Corsican modern luxury living at its best, Le Domaine Misincu is an epitomised “barefoot casual luxury” experience with a holistic approach. Contemporary yet traditional in style, the hotel pays homage to Corsican heritage and the outstanding beauty of its natural surroundings coupled with 21st century amenities for today’s luxury leisure travellers. Whether it is the vast range of local products in the F&B outlets, Corsican fabrics, materials and woods to be used for anything interior design or the fleet of Tesla cars available for guests, any stay here is to reflect an authentic Cap Corse experience.

Casa Velas: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Found amidst blooming grounds of tropical flora, the adult-only hotel and ocean club, Casa Velas, sets the scene for a perfect romantic seaside escape. The 80 suites offer guests a private piece of luxury in the botanic gardens and the wooden beams and furniture and earthy tones are inspired by traditional Mexican designs. The hotel is just minutes from the beach, an 18-hole golf course and the buzzing boardwalk of Puerto Vallarta. The treatments at Casa Velas Spa draw on ancient wisdom and local ingredients, with treatment rooms for couples and singles, a hydrotherapy area and beauty salon. The on-site restaurant, Emiliano, is an AAA Four Diamond rated a la carte fine dining restaurant, headed up by one of the area’s leading chefs, serving Mexican and international cuisine. Alternatively guests can opt to take a short stroll to the Ocean Club for Asian-inspired cuisine and cocktails on the beachfront.

Margutta 19: Rome, Italy

Opening July 2017
This brand new Roman boutique hotel will open its doors on July 1 2017. Tucked away on Via Margutta – known locally as ‘the artist’s street’ thanks to famous prior residents such as Picasso and Stravinsky, this elegant palazzo has been given a modern make over. Despite its city location Margutta 19 provides a chic and restful escape, away from the buzz of Rome. The 16 rooms have been styled in gentle shades of sage and ivory, with parquet floors, travertine marble bathrooms, king size beds and Frette linens. Classic and deluxe suites overlook the cobbled Via Margutta and its terracotta buildings, while the Garden Suite comes with its own 43 square metre terrace. Restaurant Assaggia is courtesy of angelo Troiani who serves his own inventive spin on Roman classics, including recipes handed down through generations of the hotel owner’s family.

ABBA Resorts Izu: Izu, Japan

Situated on the stunning Jogasaki coast, ABBA resorts Izu is an intimate, 30 room retreat, featuring an indulgent Neen-spa and three world-class restaurants serving French and Japanese fare. Built in the ryokan style of a traditional inn, the luxurious Abba Resorts Izu, blends seamlessly into its ancient forest backdrop. The resort’s natural garden was created from diverse lava formations and the villas come with their own open-air bath, filled with warm, soothing mineral waters flowing in from the Ukiyama Hot Springs that Izu is known for. The rooms are designed to calm and soothe, with woven tatami straw mats and other natural touches in abundance.

São Lourenço do Barrocal: Monsaraz, Portugal

This 200 year old family run, fully working farm-come-luxury boutique retreat (main picture) seamlessly blends contemporary scandi-style décor with vintage homestead touches. Every element of the hotel celebrates its Alentejo surroundings. Guests can wander the grounds, take a seat in the wooden deck chairs amongst the orange grove, stroll through the wine and vegetable garden, take a dip in the pool or pack up a picnic and cycle to the estates lake. At night guests are invited to enjoy farm-to-table dining at the onsite restaurant, where classic Alentejo flavours are served up using home grown and locally sourced produce alongside the winemakers selection from the onsite vineyard. The 40 rooms, suites and cottages are a tasteful mix of old and new, with white fabrics, wool blankets, carefully selected vintage features and farm views. Certain suites and cottages also come with a private terrace, perfect for star-gazing. A spa by organic Austrian brand Susanne Kaufmann, features an oak wood hot tub and an outdoor pool, as well as a variety of treatments.

Historic Hotels of the World

17 properties join Historic Hotels family

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Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide have inducted 17 ‘historic hotels’ into membership during April 2017. Some of the hotels joining date back to the 13th century. The 17 iconic hotels represent different independent hotels, brands, and collections from around the world and from 10 countries.

Historic Hotels of America has inducted these hotels through April 2017:

Inn at Willow Grove (1778) Orange, Virginia
Hotel fun fact: During the Revolutionary War Generals Wayne (Georgia) and Muhlenberg (Pennsylvania) camped at Willow Grove during the southern campaign to assist Marquis de Lafayette in forcing the British to surrender. Inn at Willow Grove was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and the Virginia Landmarks Register in 1978.

Penn Wells Hotel (1869) Wellsboro, Pennsylvania
Hotel fun fact: The Philadelphia Inquirer called it “the gem of the Roosevelt Highway.” During World War II, Corning Glass Works, the predecessor to today’s Corning Inc. celebrated its Christmas party at the hotel, and in appreciation, presented the iconic American flag made of 1,438 Christmas ornaments which can be seen today in the lobby.

Hotel Saranac, Curio Collection by Hilton (1927) Saranac Lake, New York
Hotel fun fact: An iconic landmark in the Saranac Lake village, the hotel has been thoughtfully restored and renovated while maintaining its historic charm and fascinating architecture, including the Great Hall, inspired by a 14th century Italian palace.

17 properties join Historic Hotels familyAlpenhof Lodge (1965) Teton Village, Wyoming
Hotel fun fact: The Alpenhof Lodge, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2016. Alpenhof, the first lodge built in Teton Village, preserves its Bavarian-heritage style similar to those in many Alpine ski resort destinations.

17 properties join Historic Hotels familyHistoric Hotels Worldwide has inducted these hotels through April 2017:

NH Collection Florence Porta Rossa (13th Century) Florence, Italy
Hotel fun fact: The windows of the hotel bear an inscription in Italian, Per non dormire “[A reward] For not sleeping,” the motto of the Salimbeni family, the first owners of the ancient palace. This hotel is thought to be among the oldest in Italy.

17 properties join Historic Hotels familyOld Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa (1400) St. Andrews, Scotland
Hotel fun fact: The Old Course at St. Andrews is one of the oldest golf courses in the world. Golf became popular in the Middle Ages, so much so that the game was banned in 1457 by King James II of Scotland, who felt it was distracting young men from archery practice. Succeeding monarchs repeated this ban until James IV became a golfer himself.

17 properties join Historic Hotels familyNH Collection Amsterdam Barbizon Palace (15th Century) Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hotel fun fact: Located across from Amsterdam Central Station, the heart of the hotel is built from several 17th century Dutch townhouses that have been seamlessly combined. The hotel’s predominant meeting space is the 15th century St. Olaf Chapel. The chapel, named for the Norwegian monarch from 1015 to 1028, is believed to be one of the oldest standing structures in Amsterdam and is accessible through an underground passageway.

Domus Renier Boutique Hotel (1608) Chania, Crete, Greece
Hotel fun fact: For centuries, Chania Harbor served as the first defense against invading armies from the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Peninsula, and the Ottoman Empire. The entire Chania area, including its classic architecture, spectacular towers, awe inspiring gates, tranquil monasteries, opulent palaces, clandestine underground exits and entrances, and historic fortifications, is pending approval and designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hotel complex that houses the palazzo, constructed in the beginning of the 15th century, is also home to a small family chapel, the Panagia of Renier, which is located on the back side of the mansion itself. This chapel, as well as the gate to the palace, have remained untouched. They have been preserved and are in magnificent condition.

Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden (18th Century) Dresden, Germany
Hotel fun fact: Taschenbergpalais had a prominent role in the history of the Saxony region and the city of Dresden. Originally built by a celebrated patron of architecture, and King of Poland, Augustus II the Strong, the palace became the home for generations of Crown Princes and their families. Following an incredible restoration that began in 1992, the palace was transformed back into a luxurious celebration of its royal past and opened as a luxury hotel.

17 properties join Historic Hotels familyNH Collection Madrid Palacio de Tepa (1808) Madrid, Spain
Hotel fun fact: Located in Barrio de las Letras, Madrid’s literary district, and first built for the last Viceroy of Spain in Mexico, the hotel is a former, neoclassical palace. Genuine 16th century artifacts are displayed behind glass panels at the reception desk. The hotel sits in front of the Church of San Sebastian, built in 1554.

17 properties join Historic Hotels familyNH Collection Amsterdam Doelen (1815) Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hotel fun fact: Overlooking the beautiful Amstel River and dating from the 15th century, the original building, The Swych Utrecht tower, was built in 1481 as part of the complete defense wall that protected the city. The tower was used as a military training space, or a “doelen,” for the Kloveniers, who were civic militia guards. In 1642, the civic guards assigned Rembrandt van Rijn to produce a group portrait of their militia company. This painting was later called The Night Watch and became one of the most famous paintings in the world. By the 17th century, the tower had been expanded into the City Hall, and in 1815, it was transformed into a hotel. The hotel’s Rembrandt Suite is along the wall where The Night Watch was first displayed.

17 properties join Historic Hotels familyNH Collection Venice Palazzo Barocci (1890) Venice, Italy
Hotel fun fact: The hotel is located in a former Venetian palace, overlooking the Grand Canal and the Rialto Bridge, and built on the site of the former Teatro San angelo (1676). Renowned composer Vivaldi premiered many of his famous operas in this theater. Today, the images that line the walls of the hotel are all historic Venice from the Alinari collection; Fratelli Alinari being the world’s oldest photography studio dating back to 1852.

Grand Hotel Kempinski High Tatras (1894) Strba Strbske Pleso, Slovakia
Hotel fun fact: Grand Hotel Kempinski High Tatras consists of three parts, all of which were established in different periods. The oldest is the Jánošík, which was completed in 1894, followed by the Kriváň, which was completed in 1906, and finally the Hviezdoslav, completed in 1923. All of these buildings were eventually linked together to form one hotel complex.

NH Collection Roma Palazzo Cinquecento (1900s) Rome, Italy
Hotel fun fact: Originally built as a post office in the early 1900s this historic hotel overlooks an idyllic garden. In front of this garden is a section of the Servian Wall, which was constructed to protect “The Eternal City” in the 4th century BC.

Hotel Adlon Kempinski (1907) Berlin, Germany
Hotel fun fact: Hotel Adlon Kempinski is one of the most legendary hotels in Germany. The list of famous guests that stayed at the original Hotel Adlon is a virtual “who’s who” of celebrities and entertainers. Albert Einstein could often be seen in the window of his corner suite, which overlooked the Brandenburg Gate, waving to pedestrians on the Pariser Platz below. Suite 101-114 was the preferred room of Charlie Chaplin. Other famous guests include industrialists Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, Presidents Herbert Hoover, Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt; and Hollywood luminaries Mary Pickford and Josephine Baker. The second Hotel Adlon re-opened on August 23, 1997 and celebrates over 100 years of history.

17 properties join Historic Hotels familyNH Collection Brussels Centre (1926) Brussels, Belgium
Hotel fun fact: This Art Deco hotel near the Rue Neuve, was built for visitors to the 1930 World Exposition. In honor of its centennial, Belgium welcomed guests from around the world to two massive fairs in Liege and Antwerp. The hotel was designed by Michel Polak (1885-1948), a famous Belgian architect recognized for his art deco, classicism, and modernism architectural styles. He is credited with numerous projects within Europe including the renovation of the personal Villa for Henri Nestlé, founder of the Nestlé Company, in Montreux, Switzerland.

17 properties join Historic Hotels familyTivoli Lisboa (1933) Lisbon, Portugal
Hotel fun fact: The Tivoli Lisboa is just a short walk from traditional Portuguese neighborhoods such as the Bairro Alto and Chiado. The hotel’s name is from the landmark music hall/cinema (Teatro Tivoli) that still occupies the western corner of the Avenida da Liberdade. Beatriz Costa was the biggest star of musical theatre in Portugal and Brazil. She lived the last 30 years of her life in room number 600 and is the “soul” of the hotel.

17 properties join Historic Hotels family“We are delighted to have inducted these four legendary historic hotels into Historic Hotels of America and these 13 iconic historic hotels into Historic Hotels Worldwide through April 2017,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Director, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “We are very pleased to announce new partnerships with NH Collection Hotels and with Kempinski Hotels and look forward to inducting additional historic hotels in 2017 from each of these companies. We commend these companies for their tremendous stewardship of their historic hotels. Based on nominations currently in review, we expect to announce later this year the induction of many more independent historic hotels as well as historic hotels representing many brands and collections into both historic programs.”

www.historichotels.org

Soori Bali

LHW introduces eight new members to its ‘curated collection’

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The Leading Hotels of the World is pleased to announce the addition of eight new members to its curated collection of over 375 luxury hotels. From the blue water and pristine white sand of Bali’s south-western coast, to the snow-capped peaks of the French Alps, each new member is as authentic and vibrant as the location in which it is found.

“For over 80 years The Leading Hotels of the World has been committed to providing unforgettable and authentic travel experiences,” said Deniz Omurgonulsen, Vice President, Membership, The Leading Hotels of the World. “We are pleased to welcome these eight distinguished new members that will offer our guests an array of unique travel experiences and enhance our portfolio’s global offerings.”

Sun Gardens Dubrovnik, Croatia
With its enviable seafront location and extraordinary Mediterranean gardens, Sun Gardens Dubrovnik, a modern beachfront luxury resort on the Dalmatian Coast, offers understated elegance and supreme comfort. Located in Orašac, seven miles from the UNESCO World Heritage City of Dubrovnik Old Town, Sun Gardens Dubrovnik features 177 hotel guestrooms, all of which boast amazing views from a private terrace or balcony, and 231 one, two or three-bedroom fully appointed suites and residences. Resort facilities include a private beach, three freshwater pools, a world-class spa, sports center, retail shopping area, conference facilities and a broad range of gastronomic offerings in 16 restaurants and bars.

Sun Gardens Dubrovnik Joins The Leading Hotels of the WorldAn uncommon experience not to miss: Guests can make the most of the “al fresco” way of life by renting bicycles from the resort’s sports center and discovering Dubrovnik’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or cruising the stunning Elaphite Archipelago. If guests prefer a guided bike tour, Sun Gardens Dubrovnik can arrange specialty sightseeing excursions with a private guide.

Le K2 Altitude, Courchevel, France
Situated in an intimate village at the base of the French Alps, the exclusive Le K2 Altitude is made up of a series of eight luxurious, interconnected chalets. Each of the 14 rooms and 18 suites is unique in its own right, appointed with handcrafted furnishings from Italy, Portugal and Spain. With direct access to the Pralong slope, guests can conquer Les Trois Vallées, the kingdom of skiing with 370 miles of marked runs. In addition, the hotels plays host to incredible gourmet and Mediterranean dining options, including a two-Michelin star restaurant, a renowned spa and a kid’s club for both children and teens.

Courchevel Le Altitude K2An uncommon experience not to miss: With the hotel’s incredible location directly on Les Trois Vallées, the largest ski area in the world, guests can enjoy the best of the slopes with guidance from Le K2 Altitude’s experienced concierge team. Ready to make winter wonderland dreams a reality, they will help guests suit up in their on-site ski shop and arrange private ski lessons, heli-skiing, snowmobiling excursions and much more.

Hotel Camiral at PGA Catalunya Resort, Catalunya, Spain
Set in the beautiful Catalonian countryside, Hotel Camiral is less than an hour from Barcelona, and within easy reach of the beaches of the Costa Brava, and the historic town of Girona. The hotel is the ideal location for sports enthusiasts, culture lovers, foodies and their families. Panoramic views over two award-winning championship golf courses, make Hotel Camiral a golf lover’s dream vacation. For adventure seekers, Hotel Camiral can arrange everything from sky diving over Empordá to snorkeling in Costa Brava. Designed by the internationally renowned talents Lázaro Rosa-Violán, Hotel Camiral provides the perfect combination of contemporary architecture, striking urban-chic interiors, generous space, comfort and luxury. A range of dining options includes a mix of Mediterranean and international cuisine with a focus on Catalán specialties, created from locally sourced produce, and accompanied by regional wines.

PGA Catalunya - Hotel CamiraAn uncommon experience not to miss: Play golf like a Tour Pro on one of Europe’s most famous courses, PGA Catalunya Resort’s Stadium Course. Guests can learn how to best approach each hole with resident expert Enric, who will guide them through the course, providing the knowledge and tools to make it the perfect round.

Soori Bali, Kerambitan, Indonesia
Located on Bali’s south-western coast, Soori Bali sits within the picturesque Tabanan Regency, where volcanic mountains perch above lush rice fields and remarkable black sand beaches. Designed, owned and operated by renowned architect Soo K. Chan, the resort features 37 mountain, beach and ocean villas, each with its own private infinity pool and sweeping vistas. Also, included within the resort’s offerings are three dining options, all of which use fresh produce from nearby farms and spices from the resort’s own garden, as well as a full-service Soori Spa, infinity pool, bar, 24-hour gym and library.

Soori BaliAn uncommon experience not to miss: Guests can take advantage of ‘Journeys by Soori,’ a series of customized experiences exclusively offered at the resort. Travelers can choose between half or full day bespoke experiences which focuses on spa and wellness, Balinese culture, arts and crafts or environmentally conscious excursions.

Thanda Island, Shungimbili Island, District of Mafia Island, Tanzania
Thanda Island, considered one of the most exclusive tropical getaways in the world, is located between the mainland of Tanzania and Mafia Island. Surrounded by its own coral reefs, which protect it from heavy storms, the Island features only one private villa with five suites and two rustic Tanzanian Bandas. With ample sunshine, the Island is powered by sustainable energy with no negative environmental footprint, and is a sanctuary to enjoy in complete seclusion with family and friends. On the Island, guests can rejuvenate and enjoy a variety of water sports or island activities as they explore this remarkable destination, where shades of turquoise infuse the days, and tropical spices the nights.

tHANDIAn uncommon experience not to miss: Located in Tanzania’s Shungimbili Island Marine Reserve, marine conservation is at the core of the Island’s offering. Through ongoing partnerships with the Tanzanian Marine Parks and the leading NGO, Sea Sense, guests are encouraged to get involved in a range of educational projects, such as marine wildlife monitoring or awareness workshops with villagers on neighboring Mafia Island.

Alvear Icon Hotel & Residences, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Located on the banks of the Río de la Plata River, the Alvear Icon Hotel & Residences is a striking, futuristic building that is a focal point of the dynamic Puerto Madero neighborhood. The hotel features 159 luxurious rooms and suites decorated in a sleek, modern style, and state-of-the-art technology. With an eye towards design, a line of contemporary furniture was developed exclusively for the hotel and the rooms are appointed with arabescato marble walls and warm-toned French and Italian fabrics. The property’s eight dining venues are a culinary enthusiast’s playground, from Sunny Yard, perfect for a relaxing breakfast set in the hotel’s garden Courtyard, to Mike & Co., a kosher dairy bar where guests can enjoy childhood- inspired treats. The property also boasts two pools, a spectacular spa & fitness center, 8 meeting rooms and two ballrooms that can accommodate up to 1,200 attendees.

An uncommon experience not to miss: It’s all about dining with a view at the Alvear Icon Hotel & Residences. Start the evening with bold drinks and good music at the Crystal Bar, located on the 32nd floor of the hotel. Follow drinks with dinner at The Grand View restaurant on the 31st floor, an open-kitchen concept design with magnificent city skyline and river views from its sprawling windows.

UNICO 20°87°, Riviera Maya, Mexico
For an unmatched adults-only Mexico vacation, look no further than UNICO 20°87° Hotel Riviera Maya. Set on the stunning white beaches of the Riviera Maya, it offers guests the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture of the region through dining, décor and activities. Five unique dining options range from elevated fine cuisine, to a casual café setting, each offering a menu inspired by ingredients sourced from nearby producers. An extensive, expertly curated selection of spirits can be found at each bar and restaurant, accented by a mixologist-driven cocktail program. Travelers can relax in modern Mexico luxury, in UNICO 20°87°’s 408 rooms and 39 suites, all designed with indigenous inspiration and handcrafted details. In addition, there are three pools; Esencia Wellness, a holistic spa offering signature treatments; a full-service beauty salon and barber shop, and a state-of-the-art fitness facility. Select spa treatments, golf and tours are included in the guest’s stay. Exciting pop-up events, such as mezcal tastings, art competitions and acoustic sunset jams, insert a touch of spontaneity into travelers’ experiences.

An uncommon experience not to miss: UNICO 20°87°’s rotating chef restaurant, Cueva Siete, is sure to surprise guests with exciting tastes throughout the year. Cueva Siete’s current partnership with celebrity chef Christian Bravo, a competitor on Top Chef Mexico, showcases a gourmet Mexican menu drawing inspiration from the region and local ingredients.

Soon to open:
Palácio Tangará, São Paulo, Brazil

Situated in the heart of São Paulo, adjacent to a lush tropical park, Palácio Tangará offers an unparalleled and exceptional location in the desirable Panamby Morumbi neighborhood, just minutes from some of the city’s most notable attractions. Palácio Tangará’s 141 spacious guestrooms, including 59 suites, offer beautiful views overlooking the rich flora and fauna of Burle Marx Park. Outstanding dining experiences, led by legendary chef-restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten, include signature Restaurant Tangará Jean-Georges, a chef’s table, and a bar. In addition, the hotel boasts state-of-the-art recreational facilities including the Spa by Sisley Paris, heated indoor and outdoor pools and a kids’ club. Palácio Tangará will begin welcoming guests in June.

An uncommon experience not to miss: Guests at Palácio Tangará can enjoy stunning views of the famous Burle Marx Park right from the comfort of the hotel. The Park is home to a wide variety of rare tropical birds, butterflies and flora, which can be admired from Palácio Tangará’s private terraces while enjoying fine dining or simply lounging by the pool. Following some R&R, guests can take a shady stroll through The Park, to experience the flavor of Brazil’s tropical forests – look out for opossums and white tufted marmosets.

Reopening after renovations:
Villa Del Parco & Spa, Forte Village Resort, Sardinia, Italy

Sardinia’s Villa Del Parco & Spa, Forte Village Resort will re-open for the 2017 season in late May, following a complete restructuring and renovation. The EUR 5 million investment includes the 25 Luxury Rooms of the main building, the external facades, public areas, reception and bar patio, plus a new all-weather covering for the Thalasso pools of the spa.

Leeu Collection to open first London property

Leeu Collection to open first London property in 2019

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Leeu Collection has acquired its first London property, due to open in 2019.

The company now owns 55 Newman Street, Fitzrovia which is a former office building. Leeu will be transforming the offices into a 100-room luxury hotel.

Carrie Wicks, CEO of Leeu Collection, said: “The purchase of a London property is a very exciting development for [us], as it marks the first acquisition for the group in a major city, but it will certainly not be the last.

“Leeu Collection continues to seek hotel opportunities in key locations around the world that reflect the Leeu ethos of creating unrivalled escapes for discerning guests.”

Leeu Collection owns three five-star boutique accommodations in South Africa and the firm’s first addition outside of South Africa was the 30-room Linthwaite House in the Lake District. The second was Leeu Villa Querce in Florence, Italy, a 70-plus room luxury hotel and gardens due to open in 2021.

Swiss-Belhotel continues expansion in Egypt

Swiss-Belhotel International continues expansion in Egypt

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Global hotel management company, Swiss-Belhotel International (SBI), has announced its further expansion in Egypt with the signing of Swiss-Belresort Marseilia Beach 4 on the country’s north coast.

The agreement was formalised at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai in the presence Mohamed Yehia Rashed, Minister of Tourism for Egypt.

Swiss-Belresort Marseilia Beach 4 is the second property owned by Marseilia Egyptian Gulf Real Estate Investment that will be managed by Swiss-Belhotel International.

With a robust pipeline of more than 2,296 rooms in development across four hotels, Egypt has emerged as a key growth market for Swiss-Belhotel International.

Boasting 150 well-appointed rooms, Swiss-Belresort Marseilia Beach 4 enjoys an idyllic location in Sidi Abd El Rahman Bay which is considered to be one of the most beautiful areas in Egypt. The hotel is being developed as an upscale 4-star resort to offer guests exceptional recreational facilities and varied dining options.

swiss-belhotel.com

United Investments Portugal and Bespoke Hotels joint venture

Bespoke Hotels, United Investments Portugal announce joint venture

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United Investments Portugal (UIP) is delighted announce its entry into an inaugural European partnership with Bespoke Hotels International, Bespoke Hotels Portugal & Spain. With plans to develop and manage luxury properties across Portugal & Spain, under the management of Bespoke Hotels.

United Investments Portugal (UIP) is part of the IFA Hotels & Resorts (IFA HR) consortium and investment partnership, a worldwide leader in the development of hotel and residential resort projects, with operations extending across the Middle East, Europe, Africa, North America, and the Indian Ocean.

The announcement comes on the back of IFA Hotel Investments’ growing relationship with Bespoke Hotels International across Dubai and the Middle East, which has seen the Bespoke brand applied to significant sways of IFA’s portfolio of over 3,000 residential units, mixed use developments, and hotels in the region. This arrangement was the first of its kind to see an internationally-backed brand to enter Dubai’s newly formed Holiday Homes sector, and has resulted in a deepening relationship between IFA HR and Bespoke Hotels, with plans to develop further projects across Dubai and the Gulf Region.

“We are thrilled to enter into this partnership with UIP and to be strengthening our relationship with IFA and UIP”, commented Bespoke Hotels CEO, Haydn Fentum. “We have enjoyed considerable success when allying our brands in the Middle East, and hope to carry this momentum into the Portuguese hotel market, which has experienced notable recent growth.”

“We are pleased to announce this joint venture and partnership with Bespoke Hotels International”, added Carlos Leal, Director of United Investments Portugal. “UIP remain committed to expanding and diversifying our portfolio, in Portugal and Spain. We are confident the benefits of this partnership including Bespoke’s operational, management and distribution platforms will contribute to experiencing this growth together.”

Susan Bland - Redefine|BDL

Opinion: ‘Redefine|BDL Hotels will embrace new apprenticeship levy’

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The complexities of the newly-introduced apprenticeship levy shouldn’t detract from the fact that, with careful planning, it can help drive productivity and close the skills gap across the UK, says Redefine|BDL Hotels’ (RBH) Chief Human Resources Officer, Susan Bland.

The UK’s leading independent hotel management group has an expert team of over 110 hotel specialists based in offices in London, Glasgow and Frankfurt – while its portfolio of more than 50 properties unites over 3,000 hotel rooms in the UK alone.

With the apprenticeship levy now in force, RBH and its hotels will contribute more than £75,000 per year to the accounts used to fund apprenticeships across the country.

Susan, who chairs the Hotel Employers Group (HEG) – which represents the majority of the UK hotel industry’s biggest businesses – says that RBH will not simply focus on the levy.

She said: “It’s easy to overlook the fact that 6 April represented a complete overhaul of how apprenticeships in the UK are structured and delivered – not just the introduction of the levy. The latter has become something of a focal point because of the financial implications, but at RBH we are focusing on the bigger picture.

“We have re-structured our existing apprenticeship programme to aim specifically at Level 2 Commis Chef, Level 2 Hospitality Team Member and Level 3 Hospitality Team Leader, in order to help tackle the existing skills shortage for chefs, and to strengthen our pipeline of skilled team members and leaders.”

While the introduction of the new apprenticeship standards, and the levy as a means to fund apprenticeship programmes, have the potential to tackle skills shortages – and drive productivity – Susan warns that businesses will need to revise their recruitment practices to attract a more diverse group of prospective apprentices.

She continued: “Feedback on previous apprenticeships from some employers has been less than favourable but, as the new standards are far more straightforward and stipulate a 12-month minimum learning term followed by a rigorous assessment process, I believe they should result in better trained, more confident, work-ready apprentices ready to step into permanent positions.”

RBH currently has 18 apprentices, with a further 74 having completed qualifications since the beginning of 2016 which have been delivered in conjunction with specialist training partner, Lifetime Training.

The company aims to take on 50 new apprentices by the end of 2018. In putting these new apprentices through their paces, RBH’s internal learning and development programmes can now be mapped against the new standards, with Lifetime Training taking the lead on the remaining areas and the final assessment.

Setting new targets and making the most of the opportunities afforded by the new standards may not be as simple for companies without an existing, robust learning and development framework aimed at apprentices – as the levy will not cover the costs associated with setting up a whole programme.

Susan said: “The levy is quite restrictive on what it can and can’t be used for. For example, it can’t be used for salaries, which could mean a company having to add the full cost associated with adding a new employee to their payroll in order to be able to spend the levy on the person’s development.

“This may lead to some businesses changing permanent vacancies to apprenticeship roles instead, which would lead to no additional payroll cost – but wouldn’t result in an additional job role. Some companies may revise their training budgets and decide to offer fewer learning and development opportunities for others as a result.

“I’m aware of some companies which have decided the administrative, cultural and financial challenges of the levy outweigh the return of having an apprenticeship programme in place and are therefore treating the levy as a tax.”

As well as the administrative, cultural and financial challenges, Susan also highlights additional complexities that businesses have had to deal with in preparation for the levy introduction. She continued: “The connected companies part of the legislation is quite complex, and has led to RBH exploring the multiple business interests of some of its hotel owners in order to establish whether it applies. Where it does apply, it means the £15,000 Government allowance which offsets the levy for payrolls of less than £3 million per annum has to be split between multiple businesses.”

Despite these complexities, Susan and her RBH colleagues are looking forward to rolling out the new standards and ensuring a focus on having robust development plans in place which help nurture talent and achieve business goals.

She said: “We are keen to ensure we create opportunities for growth and career development that attract new people to both RBH and the wider hospitality industry moving forward.”

www.redefinebdl.com

Relais & Chateuax

Relais & Châteaux announces three new members

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Relais & Châteaux is established around the globe, from the Napa Valley vineyards and French Provence to the beaches of the Indian Ocean.

Its ambition is to be much more than an association – to champion the principle of sharing the arts of gracious living and culinary expertise, and preserving local culture and diversity. It is this spirit – the celebration of both L‘Art de Vivre and joie de vivre – that lies at the centre of Relais & Châteaux that separates it from the rest.

From the United States, Colombia, France, Denmark, Switzerland, Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Spain, China, Japan and New Zealand, these are the latest establishments to carry Relais & Châteaux’s indistinguishable golden fleur de lys serve as the living embodiment of their locale and its history, environment and culture; respect the people who participate in the life and culture of their region; share a passion that endures from the head of the establishment through to the Maîtres de Maison and staff; and are committed to building on the legacy of hospitality and cuisine.

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Zanzibar White Sand Luxury, Zanzibar (Tanzania)
Located on Zanzibar’s Eastern coast, Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa is spread over four hectares of tropical gardens and 200 meters of beachfront on Paje beach. The property was designed in a spirit of sustainability. The architecture was designed to be unobtrusive to the flora and fauna; the hotel is powered by wind and solar energy thanks to solar panels and a wind turbine, recycles and grows organic fruits and vegetables onsite. The restaurant serves a cuisine which blends local Zanzibari inspired dishes with international accents and flavours. The spa is set in a tropical garden and offers a variety of treatments and massages. Numerous activities are available onsite, including snorkelling, fishing, cycling, tours and excursions. The property has its own water sports centre.

Zanzibar

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Gabriel Kreuther, New York (United States)
Owners: Gabriel Kreuther and Eben Dorros
Chef: Gabriel Kreuther

Located near Bryant Park, Gabriel Kreuther is the newly opened eponymous restaurant of Chef Gabriel Kreuther. The interior design blends tradition and modernity, featuring cream leather seating, timber columns and a glass-walled display kitchen. The menu reflects Kreuther’s culinary journey, from his childhood in Alsace to his experiences in first-class New York restaurants. Signature dishes include foie gras terrine with black truffle praline, cardamom-roasted Alaskan king crab, and a tableside-torched crème brulée frappée. Wine pairings are selected from the 42-page wine list.

Relais

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The Ring, Vienna (Austria)
Maître de Maison: Eugenio Rigo

The Ring is situated right in the centre of the historic Viennese Ringstraße Boulevard, 200 metres from the Opera. The 19th century façade as well as historic details, such as the listed elevator, stuccoed walls and old tiling are combined with a more contemporary interior design. The rooms likewise mix contemporary and classic furniture. The spa is located on the 7th floor and offers panoramic views over Vienna’s rooftop. The Eight Restaurant, serves aroma cuisine, featuring a variety of spices and sauces, fresh herbs and ingredients.

www.relaischateaux.com

Sheraton to expand with nearly 100 hotels

Sheraton to expand their reach with nearly 100 new hotels

995 609 Daniel Fountain

Sheraton Hotels and Resorts are set to expand in the coming years with nearly 100 new hotels.

One of Marriott’s most important and recognised brands, Sheraton already operates more than 400 hotels worldwide with a key count approaching 153,000, meaning that this upcoming spate of openings will substantially increase its portfolio. The brand plans to open 93 new hotels which will add an impressive 25,240 new guest suites and rooms to the brands collection.

Sheraton prides itself on offering a service of excellence to upscale business travellers and tourists, and can be found in everywhere from the world’s most cosmopolitan cities to idyllic beachfronts. This proposed expansion will see their global influence swell, with projects intended to be situated across all of the industry’s key markets. Investment by the company seems to be concentrated in the ever-growing Asia Pacific region, with Sheraton choosing to locate 64 hotels and resorts there, giving a total of 17,989 new guest rooms. Africa, Europe and North America average 8 projects each, all seemingly solid markets. The Middle East and Latin America will get 3 and 2 new openings respectively, creating more brand presence in these areas.

28 of these projected openings are set to happen this year alone, and TOPHOTELPROJECTS reports that the more than half of these 93 developments are currently under construction, which bodes well for the future openings of 23 hotels next year, 25 in 2019 and 15 from 2020 onwards. Sheraton’s vision for the future of their brand will no doubt continue along the path that has been so successful for them, and nearly a quarter of the proposed hotels and resorts to open over the next few years are already in the planning and pre-planning stages.

hotel-development.marriott.com/brands/sheraton

HVMG - US hotel projects totalling $110 million

HVMG announces 8 projects totalling $110 million

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Hospitality Ventures Management Group (HVMG), an Atlanta-based, private hotel investment, ownership and management company, has announced that the company has eight new and on-going renovation and construction projects, three of which were completed recently, totaling approximately $110 million.

“HVMG offers a full suite of services for hotel owners that covers the entire spectrum of project management, from design and construction through third-party operations including revenue management and digital marketing,” said Robert Cole, HVMG president and CEO. “We have assembled and expanded an in-house team of seasoned design and construction professionals, led by industry veteran John Edwards, to provide guidance and services for third-party clients, as well as our own portfolio.”

“Our design and construction team brings more than 110 combined years of professional project management and construction experience handling more than $5 billion in development/renovation projects, ranking us among the top in our space,” said John Edwards, vice president of design & construction. “As owners and third-party operators, we understand firsthand the necessity to deliver projects on time and in budget while minimizing guest and associate disruptions.”

The eight projects include:
– 287-room Atlanta Marriott Century Center/Emory Area—HVMG will oversee a full renovation of public spaces, meeting areas, amenities and guestrooms. Beginning this summer, the renovation is scheduled to be completed by mid-January 2018.
– 226, two-room suites Hilton Phoenix Suites—HVMG is converting the hotel from a Hilton to the Embassy Suites brand, creating an additional 16 rooms in the process. Additionally, the hotel will undergo a complete refurbishment of all public spaces, meeting areas, amenities and guestrooms. The hotel’s planned completion date is late November 2017.
– 308-room Marriott Winston-Salem—HVMG will begin a complete renovation of all guestrooms, as well as updates to the exterior, laundry and HVAC components, and a limited refresh of public spaces this summer. The process is expected to be finalized by February 2018.
– 163-room Hotel in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea—HVMG is overseeing a full renovation of all guestrooms and public spaces, as well as exterior enhancements. The project is scheduled to commence shortly with a targeted completion of early 2019.
– 139-room DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Mahwah–HVMG is completing a partial renovation of all guest and public areas that is expected to run through summer 2017.
– 261-room Embassy Suites by Hilton Atlanta Galleria—HVMG has completed an $11.65 million renovation that includes a total reconfiguration of the lobby, including a new art work installation and a new dining outlet called E’terie, improved and expanded meeting and gathering space, complete guest room and bathroom renovations, upgraded amenities and exterior improvements.
– 132-room SpringHill Suites Orange Beach at the Wharf— HVMG has finalized the development and project management of the new build hotel which includes a destination restaurant, full-service bar, outdoor patio overlooking the intra-coastal waterway, 3,000 square feet of meeting space, oversized lobby, complimentary breakfast, fitness center and resort-style pool.
– 138-room DoubleTree Nashville Airport – HVMG performed a complete renovation of the exterior façade, parking lot, public spaces, meeting areas, circulation areas, and guestrooms. The renovation began in May of 2016 and substantially completed in November of 2017.

In addition to the ongoing and upcoming refurbishment construction projects, HVMG has completed 23 design and construction projects varying in scope from ground-up construction to complete renovations totaling approximately $85 million over the past two years. Highlights include the 292-room Hilton Houston Southwest, the 118-room Fairfield Inn by Marriott Portland Maine Mall and the 299-room Greensboro-High Point Marriott Airport hotel.

Visit www.hvmg.com for more information. . .

Viceroy Hotel Group introduces three brand tiers

954 551 Daniel Fountain

Viceroy Hotel Group (VHG) has announced the segmentation of its portfolio into three tiers: The Viceroy Icon Collection, The Viceroy Lifestyle Series and Urban Retreat Collection. This new structure is a natural evolution for the modern luxury hotel brand. As it continues to create unique and diverse experiences, the tier structure will help guests find what they are looking for more easily.

“We celebrate the differences in our portfolio and know that our guests love diversity, authenticity and personality,” said Kelly Kang, AVP of Brand Management at VHG. “The introduction of our new brand architecture offers an intuitive way to choose a Viceroy destination that fits the unique personality of our guests and their vibe.”

The Viceroy Icon Collection: Epic in Every Sense
The Icon Collection has endless dramatic flair, and luxury knows no bounds. With properties set in breathtaking destinations, guests can expect a sense of adventure and anticipation at every turn. There is equal opportunity to engage in active pursuits beyond one’s wildest dreams or simply relax in the most scenic of settings. The Icon Collection properties encompass exclusive experiences and resort-style offerings including, but not limited to: Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort – The star of the Caribbean located on an acclaimed UNESCO World Heritage site. The epitome of glamour, Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills, which is a Forbes 5-star hotel and celebrity haven. Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai (opening March 2017), the most sought-after Palm Jumeirah address with theatre at the heart of every guest interaction.

Viceroy

The Viceroy Lifestyle Series: Provocative & Progressive
The Lifestyle Series hotels revolve around the needs and desires of the modern traveler. Stylish and provocative, these attitude-led destinations bring a playful edge to the luxury category. The Lifestyle Series hotels include: Viceroy Santa Monica, a scene maker with buzzing nightlife and Santa Monica’s beach and culture at your fingertips.
Among the bustle of midtown with a rooftop bar overlooking Central Park, Viceroy Central Park New York harnesses the city’s remarkable energy and provides limitless opportunities for exploration.

Urban Retreat Collection: Bold & Eclectic
The Urban Retreat Collection is made up of boutique hotels, each with their own identity. They encapsulate local spirit and energy, and wink at rebellion. And while they carry Viceroy’s signature style and service, they also delight by disrupting the norm. The series includes: Hotel Zelos San Francisco, a downtown residential retreat with the buzzed-about Dirty Habit restaurant and bar social scene. Hotel Zeppelin San Francisco, a mischievous fusion of San Francisco’s counterculture tradition and contemporary hospitality. Illuminated by the lights of Times Square, Cassa Hotel New York is a stylish, modern haven for travelers that like to stay at the city’s pulse.

Viceroy

http://www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/

Student Hotel

The Student Hotel group expanding across Europe

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The Student Hotel group, pioneers of hybrid high-quality co-living, co-working hospitality and student accommodation to open in the Netherlands, Italy and Spain.

The Student Hotel will increase its European portfolio to 16 properties following the introduction of three new locations by 2019. Hotels in Eindhoven (already open) and Delft will add to its business in the Netherlands, which includes two properties in Amsterdam and one in Rotterdam, The Hague, Groningen and Maastricht. Delft is due to open in September this year.

Plans are agreed to open a third property in Italy as Rome joins Florence and Bologna, while Madrid marks The Student Hotel’s entry into the Spanish market.

Student Hotel

While the buildings are all different, they share a mix of contemporary student rooms, hotel rooms and co-living studios. The ground floors are accessible to the public and house study areas, meeting rooms, TSH Collab – co-working space for start-ups and local business – restaurant, bar, games room, gym and garage to house guest bicycles.
Charlie MacGregor, The Student Hotel’s CEO and founder, says: “Wherever we are, The Student Hotel connects students and hotel guests with start-ups, freelancers and the local neighbourhood. This expansion into new markets is just the start, expect many more acquisition announcements as we aim to fulfil our goal of 41 hotels by 2021.”

Madrid
The group’s first co-living and co-working Spanish location will be in the heart of Madrid at the “La Imprenta” building, the former printworks at Cuesta de San Vicente 28. The building, which has been empty for 10 years, will be transformed into a 300-room hotel set to open in September 2019.

The Student Hotel Madrid is near to the city’s Gran Via, close to Principe Pio metro and Suburban railway stations, and within walking distance of the Complutense and Politécnica Universities, plus other learning centres including ICADE, ICAI and IED.

Student Hotel

Rome
The third Italian property will be located in the heart of Rome’s San Lorenzo district, an up and coming area popular with artists, artisans, writers, intellectuals and actors.

The group has acquired a site in Viale dello Scalo S. Lorenzo, which currently houses two buildings. It will refurbish one and demolish and rebuild the second to create the 649-room Student Hotel Rome, scheduled to open in August 2019. Construction will begin in February 2018.

The Student Hotel Rome is a short walk from Sapienza, the city’s main university where 113,000 students are enrolled, and 15-minutes walk from the main train station, Termini.

Delft
The 342-room Student Hotel Delft is a central location right on the Station Delft and the future Van Leeuwenhoek quarter. The most striking part of the hotel is the open front facing the station and park development. Designed by KCAP Architects & Planners, construction is scheduled for 2018 with the opening slated for summer 2019.