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Rockwell Group to unveil Barcelona’s ‘hippest hotel’ this September

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Rockwell Group to unveil Barcelona’s ‘hippest hotel’ this September

Nobu Hotel Barcelona, a member of the prestigious Preferred Hotels & Resorts Collection, will open its doors this September with the aim of being a place where the vibrant energy of the Catalan capital meets the iconic spirit of Nobu Hotels…

Home to 259 sleek rooms and stylish suites, a 150sqm Nobu Suite, an elegant spa and gym as well as tailor made meeting and event spaces, Nobu Hotel Barcelona, slated to open in September of this year, will house the city’s first Nobu Restaurant along with the Japanese inspired tapas bar; Kozara.

Capturing the unique essence of this famous European city, Nobu Hotel Barcelona will reflect the core values that have become synonymous with Nobu Hotels; passionate service, distinctive design and unpretentious luxury.

“Nobu Hotel Barcelona is the fourth European and third Spanish property from the internationally renowned hospitality brand.”

The interiors, conceptualised by award-winning architecture and design firm, Rockwell Group, seamlessly blend Japanese minimalism with the colourful character of Barcelona to create an integrated mix of luxurious hotel and energised living spaces. Recognisably Catalan-inspired designs, such as the works of Gaudi, are mingled with the traditional Japanese craft of Kintsugi; the art of repairing broken pottery with either gold, silver or platinum, to create collages of materials, textures and spaces throughout the hotel.

Located on the top floor of the 23-storey property, guests can dine at Nobu’s world-famous namesake while taking in unrivalled views of the Barcelona city line and the Mediterranean. The menu will reflect Nobu’s philosophy of locality; paying homage to local ingredients and classic Catalan cuisine, while staying true to the brand’s Japanese DNA.

Located in the charmingly Catalan neighbourhood of Eixample, the hotel is just a five minute stroll from Plaza de España, a mere 15 minutes from Barcelona’s buzzy La Rambla or a short walk to the main railway station for high speed links to Madrid, Paris, Lyon and Marseille making it ideal for laid-back luxury explorers and business travellers alike.

Nobu Hotel Barcelona is the fourth European and third Spanish property from the internationally renowned hospitality brand founded by Robert De Niro, Nobu Matsuhisa and Meir Teper. Working together with the Spanish hospitality group owned by Jordi Mestre, Selenta, Nobu Hotel Barcelona offers guests and locals a luxury lifestyle experience with a genuine Catalan feel.

Main image credit: Rockwell Group

Hotel Indigo opens two new hotels in Germany

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Indigo opens two new hotels in Germany

Boutique hotel brand, Hotel Indigo, has unveiled two new hotels in Germany, both of which are inspired by local architecture and culture, and are situated in two of the country’s culture capitals… 

Hotel group IHG has announced the opening of Hotel Indigo Dresden – Wettiner Platz and Hotel Indigo Berlin – East Side Gallery as part of the group’s large expansion plans in Europe. Both hotels have been strategically placed to enhance the brand’s ethos that no two Hotel Indigo locations are either.

Hotel Indigo Dresden – Wettiner Platz is the brand’s first hotel in Saxony, next door to striking baroque architecture and a host of outdoor activities, providing the perfect location for guests looking to discover a culture rich part of Germany. Meanwhile, Hotel Indigo Berlin – East Side Gallery overlooks the world’s largest open air gallery, complete with 1.3 kilometres of original art pieces.

The 132-key Hotel Indigo Dresden – Wettiner Platz is within walking distance to the historic centre of the city. The hotel is close to one of the city’s most famous sites, Brühl’s Terrace, nicknamed the “The Balcony of Europe”, which stretches along the shore of the river Elbe. Just steps from the hotel, Kraftwerk Mitte is a former electricity plant, which has found a new life as an arts centre and regularly play host to some of the biggest DJs in Europe. Within the same neighbourhood, the Academy Of Fine Arts in Dresden, HfBK Dresden, occupies a glorious neo-Renaissance building featuring a beautiful glass dome.

Hotel Indigo Dresden – Wettiner Platz is fully immersed in its neighbourhood, taking its design cues from Dresden’s contrasting architecture styles, from modern, industrial buildings to historical Baroque architecture. In the public areas, a modern industrial feel comes through in the use of filament bulbs, scaffold table legs, and features slabs of solid wood and use of copper and brass. Guest rooms are a contemporary take on the baroque architecture of Dresden, with wood-panelled walls and colours taking inspiration from the copper verdigris (the blue-green patina that metals take on when weathered) of the grand buildings of the city.

Hotel Indigo Berlin – East Side Gallery takes its design inspiration from the creative energy of the East Side neighbourhood, marrying raw industrial architecture with retro elements such as graffiti blocks and a bright colour scheme, inspired by the famous Trabi car. All guest rooms are fully equipped with USB outlets, a 43” inch Smart TV and complementary WiFi throughout.

The onsite restaurant and bar, Gallery Restaurant, gives both guests and locals a place to enjoy traditional German cuisine served in a tapas style, made from locally sourced fresh produce. The Gallery Rooftop Bar, offers panoramic views of the river Spree and is the perfect location to gather for a few drinks.

Whether strolling alongside the East Side Gallery or visiting local boutique shops and street markets, Hotel Indigo® Berlin – East Side Gallery is in a prime location for guests to explore the local neighbourhood. Nearby attractions include Oberbaumbrücke, the former checkpoint between East and West Berlin and Wrangelkiez, an area that forms part of Kreuzberg, with an array with unique shops, cafes and bars. Wrangelkiez, is also famed for its flamboyant street art, curated by some internationally renowned street artists.

The hotel brand, which is vastly expanding in tier two cities across Europe now that more than 105 properties worldwide, with Hotel Indigo Chester waiting in the wings for its unveiling later this month.

Main image credit: IHG/Hotel Indigo

DESIGN CONCEPT: Hotel of 2119 imagined by Hilton

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
DESIGN CONCEPT: Hotel of 2119 imagined by Hilton

To celebrate the hotel group’s 100th anniversary, Hilton has just unveiled what it believes will be the hotel in 100 years from now…

Intergalactic getaways, fast-food nutrient pills, two to three hour working days and adaptable, personalised rooms that can transport guests everywhere from jungles to mountain ranges; in celebration of its 100th anniversaryHilton predicts the future trends set to dominate the travel and hospitality industry in the next 100 years.

In a report supported by expert insight from the fields of sustainability, innovation, design, human relations and nutrition, findings reveal how the growing sophistication of technology and climate change will impact the hotel industry in the future.

Key predictions for the hotel of the future include:

Personalisation is King

  • Technology will allow every space, fitting and furnishing to continuously update to respond to an individual’s real-time needs – the Lobby will conjure up anything from a tranquil spa to a buzzy bar, giving every guest the perfect, personal welcome
  • From temperature and lighting, to entertainment and beyond, microchips under the skin will enable us to wirelessly control the setting around us based on what we need, whenever we need it

The Human Touch

  • In a world filled with Artificial Intelligence, human contact and the personal touch will be more critical and sought after than ever
  • Technology will free up time for hotel staff to focus on what matters most: helping guests to connect with one another and building memorable moments

‘Sustainable Everything’ – The Role of Responsibility

  • Only businesses that are inherently responsible will survive the next century
  • Sustainability will be baked into everything about a hotel’s design – from weather-proofed domes, to buildings made from ocean-dredged plastic
  • Hotels will act as the Town Hall of any community, managing local resources and contributing to the areas they serve with community-tended insect farms and vertical hydroponic crop gardens

Menu Surprises and Personalisation

  • Our diets will include more plant-based recipes and some suprising sources of protein – Beetle Bolognese, Plankton Pies and Seaweed Green Velvet Cake will be menu staples!
  • Decadent 3D-printed dinners and room service will provide unrivalled plate personalisation
  • Chefs will be provided with biometric data for each guest, automatically creating meals based on preferences and nutritional requirements

Futuristic Fitness and Digital Detoxes

  • Outswim a virtual sea turtle in the pool, or challenge yourself to climb the digital face of Mount Everest, your exercise routine will be as unique as you are. What’s more, exercise energy generated from workouts will be used to power the hotel, providing a zero-impact, circular system. Guests could even earn rewards based on reaching workout targets
  • Pick up where you left off with trackable workouts and holographic personal trainers
  • Offline will be the new luxury as we seek to find moments of tech-free time

“100 years from now hotels will have to create opportunities to converse, collaborate and connect, delivering moments that matter, individually, to each and every guest.” – Gerd Leonhard.

“Since its inception in 1919, Hilton has pioneered the hospitality industry, introducing first-to-market concepts such as air-conditioning and in-room televisions. Last year, Hilton also became the first hospitality company to set science-based targets to reduce its environmental impact,” commented Simon Vincent, EVP and President, EMEA, Hilton. “We enter our second century with the same commitment to innovation, harnessing the power of our people and technology to respond to guest demands. Our research paints an exciting future for the hospitality industry, highlighting the growing importance of human interaction in an increasingly tech-centric world.”

Futurologist Gerd Leonhard said: “In 2119 we will still be searching for unique experiences, but they will be more personalised than ever. As technology shapes our lives we will seek out moments of offline connection with others, including hotel team members who will help us truly get what we need from our stays. 100 years from now hotels will have to create opportunities to converse, collaborate and connect, delivering moments that matter, individually, to each and every guest.”

The report launches following major announcements regarding Hilton’s growth plans, including debuts among its lifestyle brands in destinations such as Africa, the Caribbean, Asia Pacific and France.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

SPOTLIGHT ON: Laura Ashley, from homes to hotels

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SPOTLIGHT ON: Laura Ashley, from homes to hotels

One strategic acquisition at a time, Laura Ashley Hotels is injecting quintessentially British charm into the hospitality industry. As Hotel Designs continues to put Hotel Groups under the spotlight, editor Hamish Kilburn speaks to commercial designer Kay Cullen and head of brand Nimo Abdi about the company’s growing hotel portfolio…

The year was 1953 and celebration was in the air. Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in Westminster Abbey while Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tensing became the first climbers confirmed to have reached the summit of Mount Everest.

In the same year, one lady and her husband launched a design and textiles company, Laura Ashley, in the Pimlico area of London. Using silk screens, the pair started printing placemats and scarves on their kitchen table. By 1984, the company that we all know and love today’s sales grossed $130 million.

In 2013, the company followed in the footsteps of many residential designers, by entering the commercial market. The British textiles company opened its first hotel and today, 66 years after the company was founded and having won the hearts of more than 300 million hearts around the world all searching for authentic quintessentially British designs, the brand has its sights on expanding its presence within the hospitality industry with a unique platform. “The fact that we already have a brand has been a significant advantage,” explains brand manager Nimo Abdi. “Our customers are brand loyal and that has encouraged us to invest further by acquiring hotels as well as launching the Laura Ashley Tearooms.”

As guests check in to a Laura Ashley Hotel, they are welcomed in a true-to-the-brand home-from-home setting – and location seems to be at the heart of every strategic acquisition. “Obviously we do want to create that ‘wow’ factor,” explains commercial designer Kay Cullen. “But our main ethos is in the heritage. I take a lot of inspiration from the original building and try to take that from an initial concept right into where you end up.”

Image credit: Laura Ashley Hotels

The Belsfield Hotel in The Lake District is an example of blending new with old. “It’s an amazing Victorian building,” says Cullen. “It’s set right out there on the lake, and while a lot of inspiration was taken from that, it also had beautiful Italian ornate architecture that we wanted to enhance throughout.”

The hotel’s timeless architecture has been accentuated with the addition of a conservatory-like structure adding natural light and making the public areas look and feel bright, open and modern. “When we got there, everything was faced inwards, which was ridiculous,” explains Cullen. “We used Laura Ashley products that felt authentic and replicated how the building’s interiors would have looked but with a touch of modernity.”

Due to the often-hefty demands of modern-day operators and developers, most guestrooms and suites within international hotel design are imagined with the aim for them to be timeless – or as timeless as possible. Upstairs in Laura Ashley Hotels, however the guestrooms and suites are decorated with the season’s latest products, creating a ‘living showroom’ concept. “We have a design department that comes up with the main six-monthly seasons of products that we have,” explains Cullen. “I then work with that palate to understand and decide what goes into the hotels.”

The most recently completed hotel within the Laura Ashley Hotel portfolio is the conversion of the 66-key The Chace Hotel in Coventry. “It’s a building that’s hard not to fall in love with,” adds Cullen. “It’s got amazing William windows, original fireplaces. For us, it’s about bringing it back to life, which is part of my job that I love.”

Image credit: Laura Ashley Hotels

Laura Ashley’s love of creating beautiful spaces within the home has been well and truly extended to the hotel environment. Its current portfolio includes just one hote, The Belsfield Hotel in the Lake District. The Chace in Coventry and Burnham Beeches are currently on the boards, slated to open this year, with more hotels yet to be announced.

The future for the group’s footprint in the hotel design scene is now very much secure in looking for new unique buildings that with the help of its design team, they can turn into truly unmatched, British-themed hotels.

Four Seasons Hotels arrive at the Comcast Centre, Philadelphia

730 565 Katy Phillips
Four Seasons Hotels arrive at the Comcast Centre, Philadelphia

Positioned 1,121 feet high, the hotel will offer unobstructed views from its 48th floor right up to its 60th floor, the location of the buildings summit.

 

Not only will the hotel boast 219 bedrooms, it will also offer guests new restaurant concepts courtesy of Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Greg Vernick, an entire floor dedicated to spa and wellness plus vast spaces for meetings.

Last week Hotel Designs reported on the final stages of renovations at sister site, Four Seasons Resort Nevis. This week, we head 1,745 miles across the North Atlantic Ocean to the city of Philadelphia, a place described by Christian Clerc, President, Worldwide Hotel Operations, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts as one steeped in culture and history.

On the choice of location for this hotel he comments, “The history and culture of Philadelphia are so often expressed in the characteristic storytelling of its art and architecture. Now, thanks to the vision of our partners at Comcast and a world-class team of designers, architects and artists, the Comcast Technology Center stands tall as a new Philadelphia landmark – reshaping the city’s skyline and signifying a new, exciting chapter in its storied history.”

The new Comcast Technology Center, designed by Norman Foster of Foster + Partners has redefined the skyline of the city and guests will be able to experience this in all its glory the moment they grace its doors, opening for the first time on August 12 this year. “Guests will be in awe from the moment they step into the glass elevators on their swift journey to the 60th floor sky lobby, as they look out over the unobstructed cityscape from their dinner table at Jean-Georges Philadelphia, or swim up to the edge of the 57th floor infinity pool. We quite literally upend the traditional idea of a hotel and provide visitors with breath-taking experiences as they move through venues in our spectacular building,” adds Ben Shank, the Hotel’s General Manager, whose Four Seasons career began in the city 20 years ago.

Sleeping;

Hotel goers will quickly see the relationship between innovation and nature as they are greeted by beautifully curated installations from celebrity floral designer Jeff Leatham, who is the Artistic Director of the hotel. Post check in, guests enter one of 180 rooms and 39 suites to find yet another expression of art and technology in Philadelphia Dorian, a composition of on-screen video and sound created exclusively for Four Seasons by musician, record producer and visual artist Brian Eno.

And, in partnership with Comcast, all guest rooms and suites will offer the award winning X1 Video Experience, including approximately 300 channel options and a complimentary library of more than 50,000 movies and shows on demand, all searchable with the X1 voice remote.

Dining;

On the 59th floor, the city of Philadelphia spreads out toward the horizon on all sides of Jean-Georges Philadelphia, a new restaurant by Michelin starred Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Forty foot (12 metre) high glass walls afford panoramic city views, while a cleverly mirrored ceiling reflects both the diners below and the city that surrounds them.

Back down to ground level, Chef Greg Vernick highlights his unique approach to modern American dining at Vernick Fish, which spills into the street in an easy indoor-outdoor environment created by Tihany Design, their first project in the city.

Rest and relaxation;

Spanning the 57th floor is the spa which includes a lifestyle boutique and fitness center created in consultation with celebrity fitness guru Harley Pasternak, and a spectacular 30,000-gallon (136,000 litre) indoor infinity pool.

Meetings;

The hotel offers more than 15,000 square feet (1,400 square metres) of flexible function spaces – including two ballrooms easily accessed on the fifth floor.

In summary…

The lobby of the Comcast Technology Center is an artistic passage between city and skyscrapers, with distinct and custom art installations continuing Philadelphia’s longstanding reputation as a hub of art and ideas. Across the ceiling and up the stairs, artist Jenny Holzer has created For Philadelphia, a moving installation of nine electronic displays designed specifically for this site. The writings of poets, architects, visionaries and children echo the spirit of the city flowing colourfully throughout the space. Also within the vast atrium is the largest public art commission by British artist Conrad Shawcross, titled Exploded Paradigm, which sees the artist continuing to explore the tetrahedron and exploit its possibilities, a fitting concept for both Comcast and Four Seasons.

 

Image credits – Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Four Seasons Resort Nevis enters final phase of sustainable renovations

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Four Seasons Resort Nevis enters final phase of sustainable renovations

TAL Design Studios’ two-year reimagining of Caribbean luxury sheltered within Four Seasons Resort Nevis is slated to complete by Q4 of this year.. 

Situated on the undisturbed shores of a Caribbean island like no other, where regulations state that no building should be taller than a palm tree, Four Seasons Resort Nevis has officially commenced the final chapter of its multi-phase enhancement project.

The two-year enhancement plan, which has already seen the launch of re-envisioned guestrooms and suites, an updated look for the Great House lobby and the opening of new food and beverage outlets, EsQuilina and crowned monkey RUM BAR, is expected to be completed this autumn.

“We are excited to bring the entire resort enhancement full circle to fulfill our vision of a luxury Caribbean playground” – Gonzalo Güelman Ros, General Manager.

The latest chapter of renovations will include the redesign of the resort’s main signature pool, construction of a new restaurant concept – On the Dune – that extends out on to the sand and the unveiling of additional improved spaces around the property for guests to enjoy a variety of new experiences and amenities.

Raw luxurious dining experience in shack-like structure

Image credit: Four Seasons Resorts

“These new areas will continue to evoke the fresh take on a timeless Caribbean experience that we began rolling out in 2018,” says Gonzalo Güelman Ros, the Resort’s General Manager. “We are excited to bring the entire resort enhancement full circle to fulfill our vision of a luxury Caribbean playground, offering infinite perfect places in one perfect paradise.”

The resort’s signature pool will be completely reconstructed and raised to create one long sight line from the Great House lobby straight out to the Caribbean Sea horizon. Surrounded by lush new landscaping, the 3,300 square foot infinity edge pool will be the centerpiece of the resort, featuring 86 new loungers and four luxury pool cabanas fully-equipped with comfortable seating and furnishings, wi-fi connectivity and power. The pool’s 5,350 square foot hardwood deck will be made from fully-sustainable US grown resources, highlighted by a new feature fire pit that will be installed to the west of the pool, towards the beach.

Render of beach and pool

Image credit: Four Seasons Resorts

“The traditional Caribbean-style structure will utilise many natural materials”

Replacing the existing Cabana restaurant, On the Dune will be a 7,300 square-foot outdoor restaurant with 138 covers and additional capacity at the bar. The traditional Caribbean-style structure will utilise many natural materials, including heavy timber construction and, as much possible, sustainably-sourced resources.

The final stages of the redesign will sensitively enhance the island’s luxury offerings, while further rooting the destination as a place where love, harmony and its soulful spirit is ever-present. With 189 spacious rooms and suites and more than 50 luxurious villas, the resort has been delivering authentic Caribbean hospitality for more than 28 years.

The design chapter continues…

Main image credit: Four Seasons Resorts

IHG debuts Hotel Indigo brand in Qatar

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
IHG debuts Hotel Indigo brand in Qatar

The signing of the 200-key Hotel Indigo Doha Lugsail marks the brand’s debut in Qatar…

Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) has signed a management agreement with Qatari holding company Al Sraiya Hotels & Hospitality Group, which is under Al Sraiya Holding Group, to debut the Hotel Indigo brand in Qatar. The hotel will be strategically located in Lusail Marina, Qatar’s newest urban centre, just 30km from the airport and will feature marinas, residential areas, commercial districts, luxury shopping and leisure facilities, as well as an entertainment district.

Commenting on the partnership, Pascal Gauvin, Managing Director, India, Middle East & Africa, IHG, said: “After the success of the recently opened Staybridge Suites Hotel in Lusail, we are delighted to once again partner with Al Sraiya Hotels & Hospitality Group to open another hotel in Qatar, especially in a visionary development such as Lusail Marina. As the guest profile visiting the country diversifies, the hospitality sector in Qatar continues to evolve. The introduction of the Hotel Indigo brand in Lusail will respond to the growing demand for upscale lifestyle hotels in the market and also demonstrates our commitment to Qatar National Vision 2030. We look forward to offering a unique, locally inspired boutique hotel experience to our guests with the reassurance of a global brand, when we open our doors in 2023.”

Slated to open in 2023, the hotel will feature an array of leisure facilities such as a spa, a gymnasium and a swimming pool. Featuring a three-meal restaurant, a neighbourhood café, a lobby lounge and an executive lounge, Hotel Indigo Doha Lusail will offer a variety of dining options and exclusive F&B concepts. The hotel will also feature meeting and banqueting facilities.

Established in 2004, Hotel Indigo now has a presence in more than 15 countries with over 100 hotels, and nearly another 100 hotels in the pipeline. Just as no two neighbourhoods are alike, no two Hotel Indigo properties are the same, taking inspiration from the area around each hotel to touch all aspects of the guest experience, from the boutique design to locally-inspired restaurants and cafes.

We are pleased to partner with IHG for the second time to develop Hotel Indigo Doha Lusail and introduce their popular boutique brand, Hotel Indigo to the capital city of Doha, Qatar,” said Mr. Rashid Al Kaabi, Vice Chairman of Al Sraiya Holding Group. “We are confident that this design-led hotel inspired by the neighbourhood story, that differentiates itself form the traditional offerings will be a popular choice amongst the travellers visiting the city.

“Through our partnership with IHG for Staybridge Suites Hotel in Lusail, we are benefiting greatly from their global distribution system and best in class revenue management tools. We look forward achieving the same success with Hotel Indigo Doha Lusail, and together with IHG, offer a strong portfolio of different accommodation options to varied guest profiles.”

IHG currently operates 92  hotels across seven brands in the Middle East, including: InterContinental,Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, voco and Six Senses with a further 38 in the development pipeline due to open within the next three to five years. In Qatar, IHG currently operates seven hotels across four brands : InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Staybridge Suites . **

**Numbers as of March, 31 2019

Main image credit/caption: IHG/Signing Ceremony Hotel Indigo Doha Lusail

Grecotel Group embarks on 42 million euro expansion plan

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Grecotel Group embarks on 42 million euro expansion plan

Grecotel Group’s expansion plans begin with the opening of  Casa Marron in the Peloponnese, and will include the renovation and expansion of five other luxury hotel complexes…

Greece’s largest luxury hotel chain, Grecotel Group, has implemented a 42 million euro business plan that begins with the unveiling of Casa Marron, which has been transformed into the ultimate destination, changing the game for summer holidays.

Grecotel’s renovated “third generation” hotel complex, combines modernity with the classic Mediterranean style, and takes inspiration from local architecture, both traditional and contemporary with exquisite exotic embellishment. The design displays the high aesthetics of the complex, whilst highlighting the beauty of Greek nature. Casa Marron borrows its name from the colour of the fertile Peloponnesian land contrasted against the blue waters of the Ionian Sea.

“We have invested in creating a special resort in one of the most enchanting places and favourite destinations throughout the Peloponnese,” said Mr. Vasilis Minadakis, Grecotel’s General Manager. “The radical renovation of the well-known Lakopetra Beach, brings together bohemian ambience and magical scenery.”

Image credit: Grecotel Hotels

On the golden beach of Lakopetra, in an area of ​​80,000 sq.m, set against a unique landscape surrounded by exotic palm trees, olive trees and colourful gardens complete with impressive swimming pools, Casa Marron is upgraded to a top tier choice for your summer holiday, harmoniously combining safety and freedom for the whole family.

The 172 guestrooms and suites in the main building and the 92 spacious bungalows with two bedrooms, terraces and private gardens with outdoor shower allow Grecotel guests to connect with nature and take in unobstructed views of the vibrant gardens. Here, indoors becomes one with the outdoors, creating a distinct zen aura.

After 45 years of dynamic presence in the country, Grecotel has grown to support 12 tourist destinations in Greece. Each of Grecotel’s 32 luxury hotels and resorts is a unique architectural experience and a paradise of opulent amenities, gourmet restaurants and elegant details embodying the essence of Greek hospitality.

Main image credit: Grecotel Hotels

Curio Collection by Hilton heats up the Costa del Sol

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Curio Collection by Hilton heats up the Costa del Sol

Higueron Hotel Malaga, Curio Collection by Hilton opens on the Costa del Sol following a €22 million extensive renovation…

Hotel Group Hilton has unveiled its latest Spanish property – Higueron Hotel Malaga, Curio Collection by Hilton. From the city that gave the world Picasso, the 177-key new hotel shelters Malaga’s only sustainable Michelin-starred restaurant and jaw-dropping views of the Mediterranean Sea.

Nestled behind the Montes de Malaga, the hotel is conveniently located near Malaga’s vibrant city centre. Famously known as the heart of the Costa del Sol, the city offers something for guests of all ages, with its unique art districts, pristine sandy beaches and lively nightlife.

“Malaga is one of Europe’s most popular destinations, with 12.5 million tourists flocking to its sunny shores last year,” said Simon Vincent, President, EMEA, Hilton. “With €1 in every €7 generated from travel and tourism in Spain, we are excited to expand our portfolio by 50 per cent in the next three to five years.”

Each of the hotel’s elegant guestrooms feature distinct Spanish touches, such as original lithography made with local materials. It features 24 panoramic suites which boast glass panel balconies and terraces overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, offering 360-degree views.

Boasting the largest conference centre in the region, spanning 2255m² with six intimate meeting rooms and holding up to 1,000 attendees, the hotel is the ideal backdrop for any event, from cocktail receptions to conferences and weddings.

To reflect the vibrant art scene of Malaga, the hotel features two art exhibits showcasing the best of local and international artists, including paintings from Lita Cabellut and sculptures from Francisco Leiro.

“Higueron Hotel Malaga is the latest hotspot in the beautiful Costa del Sol, offering a truly unique experience to wind down and explore everything this remarkable location has to offer,” said Mark Nogal, global head, Curio Collection by Hilton. “As we continue to expand our one-of-a-kind collection of hotels to new and exciting destinations, we are thrilled to have opened in the charming city of Malaga, offering guests and locals alike unrivalled dining, spa and meetings experiences.”

The hotel is set to add an additional 113 premium suites in 2020, bringing the total number of rooms available up to 290.

Main image credit: Curio Collection by Hilton

Canopy by Hilton to debut in Africa

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Canopy by Hilton to debut in Africa

Hilton’s Lifestyle brand is expected to debut in Africa with an opening in Cape Town’s vibrant Longkloof precinct in 2021…

Hotel Group Hilton has announced the signing of a management agreement with Growthpoint Properties, South Africa’s largest REIT, to open a hotel under its lifestyle Canopy by Hilton brand. The 150-key Canopy by Hilton Cape Town Longkloof is expected to begin welcoming guests in 2021 and will be the brand’s debut property in Africa.

Canopy by Hilton launched in 2014 to appeal to travelers seeking locally inspired stays and wishing to immerse themselves in the culture and history of local neighbourhoods. It currently operates in nine destinations around the world with more than 35 properties in the pipeline, aiming to guarantee travelers unique and authentic experiences.

“Cape Town is one of the world’s most sought-after destinations, offering an array of attractions to suit every travel occasion,” said Patrick Fitzgibbon, Senior Vice President, Development, EMEA at Hilton. “Canopy by Hilton becomes our third brand to gain a presence in the city and we are eyeing further expansion. The decision to locate Africa’s first Canopy by Hilton here, is testament to not only the strength of the destination, but the quality of partners at Growthpoint as we seek to create a showcase interpretation of the brand to introduce to the African continent.”

Located a stone’s throw away from the city’s historical epicenter, the Company’s Garden, and will bring to life the heritage of a 112-year-old site, Longkloof Studios. The project forms part of a precinct redevelopment by Growthpoint, representing a R550m investment in the city. DHK architects will redevelop a building which began life as the premises of what was then the United Tobacco Company and subsequently served as the home of Cape Town’s Women’s Institute.

“Growthpoint is thrilled to partner with Canopy by Hilton to launch this phenomenal brand in Africa,” said Rudolf Pienaar, Chief Development and Investment Officer of Growthpoint Properties. “Our prime Longkloof redevelopment project is in a magnificent multi-faceted historic urban quarter of Cape Town and is the perfect setting for the first Canopy by Hilton branded property on the continent. Our investment in this property reflects our confidence in Cape Town as well as Hilton’s exceptional upscale lifestyle hotel brand. We believe Canopy by Hilton Cape Town Longkloof will become a South African landmark and will be supported by travellers from all over the country and the world.”

In keeping with its traditional place within the social fabric of the city, guests will be welcomed by friendly ‘Enthusiasts’ selected for their expert local knowledge and will be invited to partake in local food and drink tastings alongside the local community.

“Canopy by Hilton was created to redefine the lifestyle hotel space for travelers who want an upscale hotel to help introduce them to desirable neighborhoods around the world,” said Gary Steffen, Global Head at Canopy by Hilton. “Every detail in the design and facilities of these hotels is created with that ethos in mind and our Longkloof property will be no exception, capturing the dynamic vibe of the precinct and its reputation as a trendy hangout for Cape Town urbanites.”

Canopy by Hilton Cape Town Longkloof will be located at Long Kloof Studios, c/o Park Road and Kloof Street, Cape Town. The property will participate in the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 17 world-class brands. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, and free standard Wi-Fi.

Main image credit: Cape Town Tourism

Six Senses to arrive in Costa Rica and Iceland

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Six Senses to arrive in Costa Rica and Iceland

The hotel brand, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, that recently joined IHG has announced two significant opens in both Costa Rica (2021) and Iceland (2022)…

Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has announce two of the latest projects in the group’s expanding portfolio with Six Senses Papagayo in Costa Rica – opening 2021 – and Six Senses Össurá Valley in Iceland – which will open in 2022.

Six Senses Papagayo, Costa Rica

Commonly referred to as the Switzerland of Latin America, Costa Rica boasts miles of exotic beaches, some of the most extensive rainforests in the world, majestic mountains, volcanoes, lakes and meandering topography. The Six Senses Papagayo, located on the stunning 2,300-acre Papayago Peninsula, will be a private and eco-conscious destination, offering a new adventure for discerning travellers. The hotel brand is working in partnership with the California based Canyon Group – which acquires and develops boutique ultra-luxury resorts in exciting destinations – and the Garnier Group, one of Costa Rica’s best known and most reputable development companies.

Overseeing the design of the resort is award-winning London based architect John Heah. The site stretches from the highest point on Papagayo down to the forested beachfront which will be home to 41 secluded pool villas. There will also be 31 residences available to buy, with owners benefitting from full access to the resort’s amenities

Six Senses Össurá Valley, Iceland

Surrounded by mountain range the vast Össurá Valley and Vatnajökull National Park, the 70-key Six Senses Össurá Valley is owned and is being developed by the Álfaland Hotel ehf alongside its partners; architect John Brevard, fashion entrepreneur, Áslaug Magnúsdóttir and cultural entrepreneur, Jakob Frímann Magnússon.

Built using renewable and locally-sourced materials, the hotel will adhere to high standards of energy and water efficiency the region is known for. The welcome lodge will be integrated into the surrounding environment and include a library, a cinema room, a water bar and an Earth Lab showcasing the project’s sustainability efforts.

Main image credit: IHG/Six Senses

InterContinental opens sixth hotel in France

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InterContinental opens sixth hotel in France

The highly-anticipated opening of InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu marks the luxury brand’s sixth property in France…

Following an extensive four-year restoration, InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu has opened in one of the city’s most iconic buildings. The renovation of the Grand Hôtel-Dieu complex is, to date, the largest private transformation of a historic monument carried out in France.

Calling out for a visionary who could sensitively restore the building while blending in a sense of modernity, interior designer Jean-Philippe Nuel, who recently unveiled the design of Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese, was tasked to bring the property timelessly to life. Nuel focused on maintaining the original beauty and architecture of the building whilst offering a contemporary, understated luxury design which is rooted in the history of Lyon and the building itself.

Lyon was once the capital of the European silk industry, playing a central role in the Silk Road trade between east and west. This led to a booming local silk industry which is still an important part of the city’s culture today. The city is also famed for its floral art which was an early source of inspiration for the local silk industry – a key design theme of the hotel. Prestigious Lyonnais silk creator Verel de Belval, a subsidiary of the Hermès group, has designed custom silk prints which can be seen throughout the rooms and public areas in silk screen panels, cushions and soft furnishings.

Epona Restaurant full of gold

Image credit: InterContinental/Eric Cuvillier

These rich fabrics perfectly contrast with the original architectural features of the building, such as stone floors, plastered walls and timber ceilings. This ‘monastic yet sophisticated’ design was inspired by the historical use of the building – as the city’s hospital for more than 800 years – combined with the desire to create a destination for global travellers.

 

“InterContinental is known for transforming heritage buildings into stunning properties whilst maintaining their historic spirit, and InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu is a perfect example of that,” said Tom Rowntree, Vice President, Global Luxury Brands at IHG. “This new opening marks the sixth in the remarkable InterContinental portfolio in France which includes the likes of Carlton Cannes, Marseille – Hotel Dieu and Paris – Le Grand. Lyon is full of sophistication, culture and a rich history, making it a perfect fit for InterContinental as we pioneer in new luxury destinations worldwide.”

Executive Room River View

Image credit: InterContinental/Eric Cuviller

Le Dôme Bar is nestled in the heart of the hotel within the grand dome, one of the most breath-taking features of InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu. Originally housing a chapel, today the dome is a space where hotel guests and locals can come together under its 32m high ceiling. Originally designed by Jacques-Germain Soufflot, architect of the Pantheon in Paris, Soufflot was called away during the project and he never saw the dome finished. The dome has since been named in his honour as the ‘Soufflot Dome’.

Le Dôme bar is open for all-day drinks and light bites. Traditional, local products are a key focus for the signature cocktails and Le Dôme offers a fresh twist on the famous pink praline, a traditional Lyon confectionery, combining it with vodka, pink champagne and lemon for a unique cocktail. Club InterContinental guests will be able to enjoy views of the grand dome from the first-floor balcony of the private Club InterContinental Lounge above.

High ceilings in the authentic dining area

Image credit: InterContinental/Eric Cuviller

The hotel’s restaurant, Epona, extends along the hotel’s front façade and opens on to an interior courtyard and garden. Head Chef Mathieu Charrois will offer world-class Lyonnaise dishes with a modern twist. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the hotel’s main restaurant will be a destination in itself.

Of the 34 suites at the hotel, the 150 sqm Presidential suite is the largest suite in Lyon. It follows a similar modern luxury design, decorated in powder pink tones and elegant floral motifs. From the living room of the Presidential suite, guests can enjoy a unique view in to the grand dome, overlooking the stunning space from the suite’s own private balconies.

The most emblematic of the 144 guestrooms at the hotel are the 28 Duplex suites, which feature huge vertical windows with views on to the Rhône river, maintaining the grandeur and façade of the original building. What makes the Duplex suites unique is that guests enter from the mezzanine floor to take in the river view at first glance before heading down the stairs to the bathroom and bedroom.

InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu also boasts 1,500 m2 of flexible convention and reception halls; L’Académie. This is one of the largest conference centres in the Presqu’île (Peninsula) quarter and in Lyon city centre, offering 12 meeting rooms on four different levels, all with natural daylight.

For guests looking for relaxation, the Grand Hôtel Dieu complex is home to Le Tigre Spa, which includes a Hammam, 24-hour gym, sauna and steam room.

The opening joins the French family of InterContinental Paris – Le Grand, InterContinental Paris – Avenue Marceau, InterContinental Carlton Cannes, InterContinental Marseille – Hotel Dieu and InterContinental Bordeaux Le Grand Hotel.

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts is the largest luxury hotel brand in the world with more than 204 InterContinental hotels open worldwide and 60 new hotels in the pipeline, set to expand the brand’s portfolio in the most sought-after destinations around the world. This year will see InterContinental Hotels & Resorts open stunning resorts in the Maldives, Hayman Island, Phuket and Beppu as well as the brand’s return to Edinburgh in the historic George Street.

Main image credit: InterContinental/Eric Cuviller

Tapestry Collection by Hilton to debut in the Caribbean

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Tapestry Collection by Hilton to debut in the Caribbean

Hilton’s latest signing of a 168-key hotel in Jamaica marks Tapestry Collection by Hilton’s debut in the Caribbean…

Hilton has announced the signing of ROK Hotel, Kingston, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, representing the brand’s debut in the Caribbean. Slated to open in 2020, the 168-key property, owned by PanJam Investment Limited, sits in a multi-purpose complex on the Kingston Waterfront and will include retail, on-site entertainment and commercial office spaces.

“Strategically focused on our expansion across the Caribbean and Latin America, we value the opportunity presented with Tapestry Collection by Hilton,” said Juan Corvinos, Vice President, development, Caribbean and Latin America, Hilton. “With Tapestry Collection, we open the door to owners with unique, upscale hotels, who seek to maintain their property’s distinctive character, but also seek the benefits of the Hilton engine and our award-winning Hilton Honors program.”

Under redevelopment to further revitalise the Kingston Waterfront, the 12-storey building originally opened in 1977 as the Oceana Hotel. Now, it is being transformed into ROK, Kingston, a contemporary hotel in Downtown Kingston, offering guests convenient access to the National Gallery of Jamaica and the historic landmark, Port Royal.

“Following a year of impressive growth since the brand’s launch, including the signing of our first two properties in Peru, we are energised by our expansion in the Caribbean and Latin America,” said Jenna Hackett, global head, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. “With its deep roots in the community, the ROK Hotel, Kingston will offer guests an authentically local experience coupled with the warm and welcoming hospitality of Jamaica.”

Enviably located on Ocean Boulevard overlooking the Kingston Harbour, the seventh largest natural harbour in the world, the property will feature an expansive pool deck on its first floor, as well as a fitness center, lounge area, restaurant, cafe and bar. ROK, Kingston will offer flexible space for meetings and events, and will also serve as an accommodation option for guests attending events at the Jamaica Conference Centre just across the street.

“The company continues to pursue additional growth opportunities in the region and currently has a robust pipeline of nearly 90 hotels throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.”

“As Hilton continues to expand its presence throughout the Caribbean, we are excited to have the opportunity to support their growth and debut the Tapestry Collection brand in the region,” said Stephen Facey, chairman and chief executive officer of PanJam. “We recognise the value in collaborating with a well-respected global hospitality company such as Hilton, particularly as we work together to introduce travelers to authentic Kingston experiences, while offering them the brand’s upscale accommodations.”

Hilton currently has a portfolio of nearly 150 hotels and resorts open to welcome travellers in the Caribbean and Latin America, including more than 20 hotels across the Caribbean. In its 100th year, the company continues to pursue additional growth opportunities in the region and currently has a robust pipeline of nearly 90 hotels throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, including two Tapestry Collection properties in Peru – Hotel Bel’Arte Lima and Hotel Museo de Osma slated to open in 2021.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

Canopy by Hilton arrives in Asia Pacific region

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Canopy by Hilton arrives in Asia Pacific region

Interior design firm CCD has completed the first Canopy by Hilton in Asia Pacific Region, which opens in Chengdu…

Following recent reports of there to be 500 new hotels to arrive in China by 2020, Canopy by Hilton has just debuted in Asia Pacific by opening Canopy by Hilton Chengdu City Centre, with dynamic interiors by Cheng Chung Design (CCD). The first Canopy hotel in Asia Pacific – the property is located in the city that emphasises on the experience of ‘body’, ‘heart’, ‘senses’ and ‘enlightenment’.

The concept of the hotel blends Chinese and Western charms, intertwined with old-fashioned feelings and vitality, elegant and unconventional design, bringing guests a lively Chengdu style and the comfort and warmth of home, with contemporary moments thrown in for good measure.

Art instalment depicting people having their photos taken.

Image credit: Canopy by Hilton

“The design revolves around the story of ‘the scholar goes to the city to take the imperial exam’,” explained designer Joe Cheng. “Traversing the memory corridor of the imperial city, capturing the auspicious details hidden in the green brick wall, on the street view of the market, in the peddler stall and the courtyard.” The history of the hotel has been reconstructed, while exploring and re-writing the new story of the Imperial City memory.

A row of green bamboos is in front of the drop-off area of the hotel, which forms a shadow that can different from the outside world, leaving the prosperous shackles behind, creating a leisurely temperament that calms and slows you down. The design of the door canopy derives from the elements of the arch, and the bags of the ancient scholars, using columns of the wooden strips, interspersed, and laminated to reproduce the beauty of Chinese classical architecture.

Inside, the first floor reception hall is designed as an art exhibition hall, creating a humanistic space under the artistic conception. Up to nine metres tall,  the lobby is an abstract reflection of the historical streetscape of the old imperial city. The streetscape of the past is vividly displayed in front of the guests, under the large art installation of the roof, to open a dialogue of time and space.The chair hanging in the elevator hall is a reproduction of ancient ‘Gongyuan’ scenes by modern artistic techniques. Guests are guided along the roadways (corridors), which are complete with with green bricks, grey tiles and wooden doors.

Large, open and very minimalist lobby with brings as wallcoverings.

Image credit: Canopy by Hilton

In the guestrooms and suites, Canopy’s unique brand colour, bright orange, has been applied throughout the design. The panda in front of each guestroom in different poses gives a further nod to the unique sense-of-location and injects an element of humour. Inside, each room is represented through the quaint texture and exquisite details, showing the calm and unpretentious attitude of life, build a balance in the selection, composition and colour.

Image credit: Canopy by Hilton

The design concept of the guestrooms originated from the idea of “Gong Yuan”and inspired by the film “A Chinese Ghost Story” to connect the whole design to the project. The Canopy brand classic L-shaped bedside, as well as the bedside table inspired by the actor in “A Chinese Ghost Story” Leslie Cheung’s backpack, the shower space of the rice paper laminated glass, also comes from the classic scene of the film – Leslie Cheung breaking through the doors and windows made of Xuan paper, the designer has used the modern techniques to interpret the ancient paper doors and windows, so that the whole design is closely related to the story in terms of form, image and material.

Living green wall inside the hotel - with integrated bookshelf

Image credit: Canopy by Hilton

The hotel also features a number of food and beverage options, including TC Café, the Canopy Lounge and the Leisure Bar, which features a striking floor-to-ceiling living wall with integrated bookshelf to add further to the laid-back luxury feel and tone the hotel sets.

The Canopy by Hilton brand was established in October 2014 as a lifestyle offering under Hilton hotel group. The concept of the brand is guided by ‘lifestyle’, which is dedicated in creating a localised-luxury boutique hotel, providing personalisation.

Main image credit: Canopy by Hilton

Leading designers, architects and hoteliers to attend Meet Up North 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Leading designers, architects and hoteliers to attend Meet Up North 2019

Meet Up North, which takes place on July 1 at Hotel Gotham’s Club Brass, will be attended by leading hoteliers, designers and architects…

Following the success of Meet Up London in March, Hotel Designs is weeks away from heading up to Manchester with Meet Up North. The event, which is designed to bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers will this year carrying the theme of ‘Creativity Outside the Capital’.

Directors and/or partners from the likes of Denton Corker Marshall, Gensler, AEW Architects, Fusion by Design, LDA Design Consultants, Utopia Projects and Abode Architecture are among the designers and architects that will be attending the evening networking event.

In addition, general managers from the likes of The Stock Exchange Hotel, Hotel Indigo Chester and Hotel Gotham will be among the hoteliers attending the event.

Meet Up North, which returns to Manchester for a second year following clear indications that the city continues to be a hotel development hotspot, will include an insightful talk and presentation by Tom Lindblom, Principal and Hospitality Leader at Gensler (London), which will be entitled Hospitality is way more than hotels.’

How to purchase your tickets to Meet Up North

If you are a supplier to the industry and would like to purchase your ticket to Meet Up North for £150 + VAT, click here.
If you are a designer, architect or hoteliers to the industry and would like to purchase your ticket to Meet Up North for £20 + VAT, click here.

In additionl, there are still various sponsorship opportunities and packages available for Meet Up North. If you would like to discuss these with our team then please contact Zoe Guerrier by either emailing z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk or calling 01992 374059.

The inaugural Meet Up North took place last year at King Street Townhouse and was attended by more than 200 designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers.

About the venue

Hotel Gotham is sheltered in what is arguably the city’s grandest properties and is an exclusive city-centre sanctuary, previously a bank that was designed in 1935 by none other than architect Edwin Lutyens.

The hotel, which opened in 2015, prides itself on offering a modern and comfortable experience in a unique and luxurious environment, with exquisite service all within a bespoke private club in the heart of Manchester.

EDITOR CHECKS IN: Running on empty in Clerkenwell

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
EDITOR CHECKS IN: Running on empty in Clerkenwell

Editor Hamish Kilburn explains some of the benefits that come with being a runner on the editorial desk – especially during Clerkenwell Design Week… 

I believe that nine problems out of 10 within this ever-evolving industry can be solved with a fresh perspective. Whether the issue is a lack of inspiration or perhaps you can’t decide which soft furnishings to purchase for a fussy client, there are times where you – and your project – could benefit from taking some time out so that your ideas and thoughts can authentically mature.

For most, the obvious ‘time out’ would follow booking 10 nights away in bare-foot luxury, and I must conquer that the undisturbed nature of this thought also appeals. However, if it’s simply a case of a blockage of traffic in the brain, then I suggest you hop onto the pavement. For me, it is often only after a gentle jog – at any time of day or night – where most of my editorial ideas for Hotel Designs stem from – or at least final decisions are made.

This month, I went one step further in my fitness therapy and signed myself up to complete what will be my third marathon. But while I have been there, done that and got the T-shirt twice before, one thing has changed – I am the busiest I have ever been. And so, like so many amateur runners who have or are pacing in my footsteps while balancing a career, finding the time to train is often the hardest challenge – a test that carries great unparalleled rewards, including being able to juggle time wisely.

“What’s running got to do with hotel development, design and architecture,” you may ask. Well it turns out, this month in particular, being able to confidently trot around town was an essential skill for those for those of us attending Clerkenwell Design Week as ‘Press’. Entering double digits, this year’s volume of celebrating of design, which witnessed hundreds of showrooms opening their doors to the public, was turned up to the max – and it was, undoubtably so, a fabulous festival to amplify to our readers. For the 10th year, it recognised the UK once more as an incubator for incredible design, architecture and ideas. Despite this, at times it was also like hitting the dreaded wall during a marathon, each showroom becoming more of a fuel station as we got further through the course. Passed the finish line, though, and we were able to reflect on the journey, which was like every long-distance race, full of unforgettable moments including witnessing art outside the frame at almost every turn.

Brick wall with loud and colourful mural of shapes bursting out

Image caption/credit: One of the many art installations at Clerkenwell Design Week 2019 | Sophie Mutevelian

In addition to clocking up the miles around the design hub that is Clerkenwell, my mini adventures on foot have allowed me to experience some pretty incredible places from an unmatched perspective; from the sandy beaches of Barbados to the cobbled streets of Amsterdam – and sprinting through New York’s Time Square at 5am. With the right pair of trainers – and the will power to get out whatever the weather, travelling to – and seeing – these places has been extraordinary.

“Each time I head out for a run in Manchester, usually between exhibitions or events, I notice a new building taking shape.”

Closer to home, Manchester is within my top five locations to go for a run in and around. Having spent a year living in the beehive, I fell in love with the ‘on the boards’ skyline and at times juvenile personality locked within its ever-expanding city walls. Given its striking façade, and spirited soul, it is no coincidence, therefore, that hotel development up north is booming. Each time I head out for a run in Manchester, usually between exhibitions or events, I notice a new building taking shape. Top Hotel Project recently reported that between 2020 and 2021, 11 new hotels will open – the majority of which will be for the luxury sector. In response to this, we’re taking our Meet Up North networking evening back to the city that everyone is talking about, this year taking over Hotel Gotham’s much-admired rooftop bar, Club Brass.

Today, my running shoes have taken me back to my hometown of Whitstable in Kent, a beautiful rustic and trendy town – think Shoreditch style but by the sea and with oysters. The gorgeous weather combined with a steady westerly breeze was all the motivation I needed to add a totally unplanned half marathon (13.1 miles) into this week’s training plan. It was all the motivation I needed to write and complete this column.

During June, Hotel Designs will be putting Hotel Groups and Software & Controls under the spotlight. If you would like to contribute to these topics, please do not hesitate to email me.

Editor, Hotel Designs

MINIVIEW: Hard Rock Hotel London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MINIVIEW: Hard Rock Hotel London

In spectacular fashion, as expected, Hard Rock Hotel London has opened its doors, adding 900 stylish rooms to the Capital’s hotel scene. Hotel Designs took a peak inside…

Positioned on the corner of Oxford Street at Marble Arch, Hard Rock Hotel London has arrived, catering to the needs of both business and leisure travelers from around the world. Designed by award-winning design firm Scott Brownrigg, the concept for the interior design was inspired from the heritage of the existing building, which was built in the mid 1700’s.

Drawing on the legacy of legends who stayed here in decades past, including Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Diana Ross and Madonna, the new venue pays homage to the site’s rich history through stylish interior design and carefully curated music memorabilia displays. It also is an inspiration to those who have yet to write their own story – Hard Rock Hotel London stands alone as a hotel haven for music lovers everywhere.

Image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

Hard Rock Hotel London accommodates two vibrant bars and a lively Hard Rock Cafe – the second Hard Rock Cafe to open in the Capital City. With 370 seats, the hotel’s Cafe is set to be the ultimate Central hang out. Combining elevated food and drink offerings with weekly live music performances that celebrate both local London and international talent, the Cafe offers an electric atmosphere, perfect for all occasions – from lunch meetings to after work drinks.

“As the original birthplace of Hard Rock, we are delighted to open a new hotel in London, the brand’s spiritual birthplace,” said Ian Fletcher, general manager of the hotel. “In true Hard Rock style, the property offers stylish and contemporary design, incredible in-room amenities, fantastic food and unparalleled service, with the thread that unites them all – music. We know all our guests have an unforgettable experience.”

Image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

Meanwhile, the 42-seat Lobby Bar takes its inspiration from the original art-deco style ceiling of the Lyons Corner House, which originally stood on the site in the early 1900’s. As well as celebrating the site’s unrivalled heritage, the bar embodies Hard Rock’s musical roots, with an abstract installation designed to reflect a master disc and record player. Memorabilia, in true Hard Rock fashion, is suspended in the bar from the walls through guitar strings to replicate a ‘larger than life’ fret board.

‘It has been a great experience working with two established brands, glh hotels and Hard Rock International,” said Kate Jarrett, Interior Designer at Scott Brownrigg who was also credited as a Hotel Designs 30 Under 30 earlier this year. “We have enjoyed collaborating with them to create a unique and sophisticated offer for the London market. Combining the history of the central London location with the iconic musical heritage of the Hard Rock brand.”

With venues in 73 countries including 184 cafes, 237 Rock Shops, 28 hotels and 11 casinos, Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognised companies – and the hotel brand’s most recent opening fittingly returns to where it all began.

Main image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

Kimpton EPIC Hotel in Miami undergos major renovation

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Kimpton EPIC Hotel in Miami undergos major renovation

Kimpton EPIC Hotel in Miami is about to embark on an extensive renovation inclusive of its guestrooms and suites, lobby, and pool area…

Situated in the heart of Downtown Miami, with unparalleled views of Biscayne Bay, Kimpton EPIC will be fully reimagined with Miami-inspired elements, while maintaining its beloved sophistication and high-end feel. The finishes, furniture, and amenities will be acutely refined, and elegantly minimal with an organic sensibility.

High-impact artwork will evoke several elements including the natural components of the Earth while speaking to the Miami landscape and personality in a modern and abstract manner.

“Hues in wheat, gray and white, with a layer of soft harbor blue, offer a modern and high-end beach palette in the arrival and reception area.”

Upon arrival, guests will experience a different approach to minimal and sophisticated elegance in the hotel’s reimagined lobby area. Hues in wheat, gray and white, with a layer of soft harbor blue, offer a modern and high-end beach palette in the arrival and reception area. Black and bronze metals, woven linen, marble and custom hardware featured throughout will exhibit the luxurious feeling that Miami evokes within.

Close up of modern furniture above abstract blue art piece in white suite

Image credit: Kimpton Hotels

Featuring eco-friendly materials, travellers checking in will notice driftwood-inspired slatted headboards, wood-look tile flooring throughout the guestrooms, marble base table and chairs and private patios with custom furniture, all overlooking Biscayne Bay. Art featured within the guestrooms will be local sourced, with a specific focus on highlighting Miami’s flourishing art scene.

Two EPICally detailed suites – a Hospitality and a Presidential, will both reside on the corners of hotel’s 30th floor. Complete with wrap-around balconies and sweeping views of the city lights, the bay, and ocean – both will feature curated, one-of-a-kind furniture, collected art and various functional considerations for entertaining and hosting.

“As with all Kimpton properties, the approach is a bespoke design.”

The high-end sophisticated feel of the property will extend into the hotel’s expansive 16th-floor pool terrace, with new European furnishes and a clean and modern color palette that has playful touches for an energetic pool vibe.

As with all Kimpton properties, the approach is a bespoke design. Virtually all furniture, lighting and artwork are custom and proprietary to the hotel. The hotel’s redesign, expected to be completed by the end of September, is masterminded by the talented in-house Kimpton design team under the helm of Ave Bradley, Creative Director & Global SVP of Design, and Diana Martinez, Senior Design Director at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants.

Main image credit: Kimpton Hotels

Aloft Hotels arrives in Ireland

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Aloft Hotels arrives in Ireland

Aloft Dublin City in Ireland has opened and is expected to shake up the hotel scene in one of Dublin’s most historic and vibrant quarters…

Marriott International has announced the opening of the design-led Aloft Dublin City, the first Aloft hotel to open in Ireland. The hotel is located in the Blackpitts area of Dublin’s Liberties, one of the capital’s most dynamic quarters.

The Liberties is rich with heritage, formerly a trading site of textiles; fast forward and this rejuvenated district is the thriving home to media and tech hubs as well as Dublin’s top visitor attractions.

As a brand for music lovers and music makers, we are so excited to debut Aloft Hotels in Dublin, the city that shares our passion for live music,” said John Licence, Vice President Premium and Select Brands, Europe at Marriott International. “From the buskers on Grafton Street to shows in the National Concert Hall, the live music experience in Dublin is a special one and we can’t wait to add to the city’s buzzing night-time scene by inviting emerging artists to take the stage at our Live At Aloft series,”

Vibrant blue carpets in large guestroom

Image credit: Marriott International/Aloft Hotels

With its vibrant design and always-on public spaces, Aloft Dublin City brings a new beat to the city and bold approach to the guest experience. The brand’s signature W XYZ® bar anchors the social scene on the seventh floor with striking panoramic views of the city – from sky-piercing mountains to famous hotspots including the Guinness Storehouse and St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Each of the 202 spacious guestrooms and suites feature Aloft’s ultra-comfortable plush beds, complete with headboards designed by local Dublin Artist, Sketchy; custom amenities by Bliss® Spa; fast & free Wi-Fi; and 49-inch televisions linked to a Plug & Play connectivity panel.

Aloft Dublin City features Mobile Key — the industry-first keyless entry system that enables guests to use their smartphone or Apple watch as a room key. Additional amenities include the Re:chargeSM fitness center, and meeting facilities equipped with state-of-the-art A/V equipment and fast and free WiFi.

With now more than 150 hotels now open in more than 20 countries and territories around the world, Aloft Hotels, which first launched in 2005, delivers a fresh approach to the traditional staid hotel landscape. For the ‘always on’ next generation of traveller, the Aloft brand offers a tech-forward, vibrant experience and a modern style that is different by design.

Main image credit: Aloft Hotels/Marriott International

Hyatt Centric brand to enter into Greater China

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hyatt Centric brand to enter into Greater China

Located on the eastern side of Hong Kong Island, the hotel will mark the Hyatt Centric brand’s entry into Greater China…

Following China being identified as a major international hotel design hotspot, Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced that a Hyatt affiliate has entered into an agreement with an affiliate of Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited to rebrand the 665-key Hotel VIC on the Harbour to Hyatt Centric Victoria Harbour Hong Kong by the third quarter of this year.

The newly branded property will be the first Hyatt Centric hotel in the Greater China region, joining the brand’s inaugural property in Asia, Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo which opened last year.

“We are delighted to grow our relationship with our anchor owner Sun Hung Kai Properties with this exciting project in Hong Kong after our successful collaborations with Park Hyatt Hangzhou and Hyatt Centric Minhang, Shanghai,” said Stephen Ho, president of Greater China, global operations, Hyatt. “We look forward to introducing the Hyatt Centric brand to Hong Kong and providing more distinctive experiences to our guests. With the hotel’s convenient waterfront location and proximity to cultural and leisure hotspots, Hyatt Centric Victoria Harbour Hong Kong will be an ideal base for savvy, in-the-now guests to explore all that this dynamic gateway city has to offer.”

Tailored for socially connected guests seeking shareable moments, the hotel’s social areas and food and beverage concepts were designed by Hong Kong-based architect and interior designer, Andre Fu while the 665 harbor-view guestrooms feature designs from Hirsch Bedner Associates.

“We decided to work with Hyatt after careful consideration and are excited to debut the first Hyatt Centric hotel in Greater China,” said Tasos Kousloglou, chief executive officer of the Hotel Division of Sun Hung Kai Properties. “The Hyatt Centric brand’s young and dynamic profile will fit perfectly with the vibrant neighborhood. The hotel benefits readily from the landmark integrated development with the premium residential towers of Victoria Harbour and the retail complex of Harbour North, which, together with the hotel’s retail space has a total area of over 200,000 sq ft. Guests will also enjoy the new magnificent waterfront garden promenade and the lifestyle offerings within the hotel’s quintessential Hong Kong neighborhood. By joining hands with Hyatt, we will be able to leverage its world-class knowledge, excellence in food and beverage, wealth of hospitality experience, and global marketing and sales network to make Hyatt Centric Victoria Harbour Hong Kong the preferred choice for socially-connected travelers and locals. We will also reach a broader audience of savvy travelers worldwide and elevate guest experience.”

Following the brand ethos to connect guests to the heart of the action so they never miss a moment of adventure, the hotel is located in the dynamic North Point district on the eastern side of the Hong Kong Island.

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

100 Years of Hilton exhibition opens in London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
100 Years of Hilton exhibition opens in London

The London Hilton on Park Lane, which was the first Hilton hotel to open in the UK, has opened an exhibition today for guests and visitors alike to explore the brand’s 100-year history…

100 Years of Hilton exhibition has opened to showcase the iconic history of the the group’s first hotel in the UK, London Hilton Park Lane, since opening in 1963 and explores the history Hilton as a brand and the London Hilton on Park Lane as an institution across the hospitality and London landscape.

A hotel of many firsts, founder Conrad Hilton himself commissioned what was the biggest post-war hotel build in Europe, standing at a majestic 28 floors. Conrad Hilton was noted upon opening the London Hilton on Park Lane as saying:

The hotel is known to have had a significant financial impact on the London economy, cited at around £7 million upon opening in 1963 and the hotel is proud to have helped redefine the UK’s event industry; one valued at an estimated £18.1 billion today and recently overtook Marriott International to become as “world’s most valuable” hotel brand.

“In a city as globally significant and as popular as London,” said Michael Shepherd, the longest serving General Manager of the London Hilton on Park Lane. “Standing out isn’t easy or straightforward; for the Hilton to land here in the 1960’s and immediately set the standard was quite a feat. To still be going strong and remain one of this city’s great hospitality settings is fitting to the work of the hotel staff, and shows that the Hilton brand is still timeless and appealing to guests around the world today.

“As Hilton turns 100, the celebrations will look at the positive, world-altering impact Hilton continues to have on billions of lives and thousands of communities around the globe, pioneering new travel markets and bringing people and cultures together, while expanding new horizons and opportunities.”

The exhibition will be displayed in the lobby area, and is open for guests and visitors to enjoy from Tuesday 28th May to Sunday 2nd June.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

Social hotel brand to arrive in Malaysia

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Social hotel brand to arrive in Malaysia

Ormond Group’s new social hotel brand, MoMo’s, will debut in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia in October of this year… 

MoMo’s, Ormond Group’s new playful hospitality concept, will launch its first property in central Kuala Lumpur within the eclectic Chow Kit neighborhood this October. Home to 99 guest rooms, MoMo’s KL will be a newly renovated, exciting hangout in the city, providing a fun and laid-back multi-dimensional space where visitors and locals can collide in harmony.

MoMo’s celebrates creative collaboration whilst offering a design-led lifestyle hotel at a value-for-money price point. Alongside micro rooms, MoMo’s KL will provide guests with a dynamic social space that engage with creative communities and urban nomads. The hotel has been designed to inspire memorable moments, through fun creative programming and a unique food and beverage offering.

MoMo’s hosts will ensure that guests have unrivalled access to Kuala Lumpur’s hidden gems, experiencing the city as a local would. Stepping away from the traditional notion of front-of-house staff, hosts are on hand to greet guests on arrival, make them a coffee or cocktail whilst checking them in for their stay. Embracing Asia’s open house culture, MoMo’s prides itself on its informal environment in which guests are encouraged to relax and have fun, feeling totally at home.

Render of minimalist lifestyle area

Image credit: MoMo

“MoMo’s is bringing a fresh personality to Kuala Lumpur, offering young, culturally driven travellers a design focused and value-concious experience,”  said Gareth Lim, CEO of Ormond Group. “Social interaction is central to MoMo’s ethos and look forward to being part of the regeneration of the Chow Kit neighbourhood.”

On the ground floor, MoMosita’s – a new casual concept from leading Malaysian F&B operators Christian Bauer and Eddie Chew of Troika Sky Dining, is a fun, gritty, self-serve dive bar serving tacos and snacks alongside draft beer and bottled cocktails. Open in the evenings throughout the week, with late night music programming on Fridays and Saturdays, MoMosita’s is the ultimate low-key hangout for guests and locals to let loose and mingle.

Reframing the hotel narrative from being a place to get a good night’s sleep to each hotel acting as a springboard to guests’ city experiences, MoMo’s KL encourages guests to live, play and stay. The traditional lobby is replaced by a social space that acts as the central hub of activity, The Playground. The Playground, located on the ground floor, is the hotel’s main events space which will host a series of weekly events from performance art, workshops and exhibitions to DJ sets and live gigs. The Playground was conceptualized to encourage the best creative minds from the city and abroad to mingle.

Render of minimalist dining area

Image credit: MoMo’s

The micro-rooms feature bespoke amenities, plush beds, smart TVs and a safe with a self-pick-up style room service facility. Inward facing rooms look out onto a large gallery lightwell which provides the rooms with a curated moving image space. The design palette throughout the rooms and the communal spaces are made up of simple, honest materials with raw concrete, laminated timber and combed plaster featuring throughout. Notes of dusty pinks, washed greens and aged brass are consistent throughout the furnishings, fabrics and ornaments that bring MoMo’s design focused, yet approachable, character to the fore.

Sydney based interiors and architecture studio, Akin Atelier, has led the design of MoMo’s Kuala Lumpur bringing founder, Kelvin Ho’s, renowned style to this unique property. The Australia based architect and interior designer has brought MoMo’s KL to life using the multi-faceted and playful character of Kuala Lumpur as the inspiration for the design. The public spaces have been conceptualised to feel like an experiential gallery where food, art and music are expressed in its rawest forms to elevate and juxtapose them from the simple rooms.

MoMo’s will open next door to The Chow Kit – An Ormond Hotel, another new launch from Ormond Group. A second MoMo’s hotel is slated for a 2022 opening in Melbourne, Australia.

Main image credit: MoMo

New ‘super boutique hotel’ in London to become leader in sustainability

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New ‘super boutique hotel’ in London to become leader in sustainability

Edwardian Hotels London has secured a £175 million Green Loan from HSBC UK that will help make its new ‘super boutique hotel’, The Londoner, one of the most environmentally friendly in the UK, with sustainability at its core…

Edwardian Hotels London has secured a £175 million Green Loan from HSBC UK to ensure its new super boutique hotel, The Londoner, situated in Leicester Square will be one of the greenest hotels in the UK.

The deal with HSBC UK breaks new ground in sustainability for the hospitality industry. It is the first Green Loan in the sector that meets the Green Loan Principles, which were set out in March 2018 to encourage and facilitate environmentally-friendly economic activity. The funding will be used to ensure the new hotel doesn’t just meet but exceeds the BREEAM Excellent category in building environmental and sustainable performance.

Thanks to the Green Loan, The Londoner’s impressive green credentials will range from use of construction materials with a low environmental impact, to new technologies including an innovative liquid film which will reduce evaporation and energy loss from the hotel’s swimming pool.

The hotel is also aiming to contribute to the sustainability of its neighbours by including a heat network connection. Initially, this will be linked to the Edwardian Hotels London-owned hotel next door to The Londoner, The Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire, but could also be extended to the surrounding area in the future. In total, the hotel is set to use 30 per cent less carbon than regulations demand.

 “Since its inception we have always had bold ambitions for The Londoner to write itself into the very fabric of the city, said Jasminder Singh OBE, Chairman and Founder of Edwardian Hotels London. “We have been dedicated to delivering a high-quality, sustainable, integrated hotel and this Green Loan supports that vision. We are delighted that this new property, designed to celebrate the character of the capital, has become the first in the hospitality industry to secure this.”

Rob King, Head of Sustainable Finance at HSBC UK, said: “HSBC has made a commitment to provide US$100bn of Sustainable Finance by 2025 to help businesses transition to a lower carbon economy. We are very pleased to have supported Edwardian Hotels London with a Green Loan to support the construction of this high profile hotel with very strong sustainability credentials.  Green Loans are an exciting development in Sustainable Finance which will encourage the investment urgently required to meet our carbon emission reduction targets.”

The Londoner is in a new hotel category of one. Boutique in feel, yet staggering in scale, at 15 storeys, the property will offer a multifaceted experience through its 350 exquisite rooms and suites, signature restaurants and dining offerings and with the bespoke meetings and event spaces infused with London character. It is scheduled to open in Spring 2020.

Main image credit: Edwardian Hotels

In Conversation With: Felipe Ávila da Costa, CEO of Infraspeak

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In Conversation With: Felipe Ávila da Costa, CEO of Infraspeak

Arriving in the UK, Infraspeak is a powerful platform that offers fully customisable, sustainable technology for the hospitality market. Hotel Designs sits down with the company’s CEO and co-founder, Felipe Ávila da Costa, to find out more…

For years, the industry has been crying out for a platform that has been developed to make buildings smarter. Cue the UK arrival of Infraspeak, a solution for chaotic hotels that would benefit from improved operational efficiency and reduced costs of maintenance.

From humble beginnings in Porto, Portugal, the company was very much born out of the concept to bridge the communication gap between C-level executives and managers on the ground. Infraspeak’s journey, like so many other innovative tech-driven products, started at university with the initial idea to reduce paperwork for service men by introducing a digital platform. “It was Luís Martins who had the lightbulb moment for his final project,” explained co-founder and CEO Felipe Ávila da Costa. “His lecturer encouraged him to progress the idea, and it was at this point when he developed the foundations of Infraspeak.”

“Infraspeak emerged from the wings to take centre stage – and fast become one of Portugal’s largest start-up companies.”

After graduating, Martins kept Infraspeak as a side project – a hobby if you like – while working on other things. In his downtime, the he grew the brand’s roots in its colourful hometown of Porto. Soon, the demand for the game-changing software grew to the point that justified investment, which involved bringing Ávila da Costa on board. Infraspeak emerged from the wings to take centre stage – and fast become one of Portugal’s largest start-up companies.

Fast forward four fascinating years, the company now has offices in London, Porto, Barcelona and Florianapolis and 180 customers in seven countries benefiting from Infraspeak’s regularly updated software packages. “Every three weeks we automatically update the software, taking on board customer requests and the shifting demands from consumers,” explained Ávila da Costa. “Our software ensures that everything behind the scenes runs smoothly so that the staff can offer seamless service.”

One of the most recent case studies is InterContinental Palacio das Cardosas, which opened in 2011. By using Infraspeak, the hotel’s maintenance manager has reported a substantial reduction in maintenance calls. “Instead of 40 maintenance calls per day, now I only get 10,” he told the company. “For me, one of Infraspeak’s main advantages is that it allows me to stop worrying about everything that’s happening. It displays everything I need to know in a single platform.”

As well as improving communication between maintenance staff and the hotel, Infraspeak is a communication tool that is now used in other areas of hotel, such as house keeping, F&B and even energy management. “Every three weeks we launch a new software on the product so that the product starts to become a platform for all operational elements,” says Ávila da Costa.

How Infraspeak works:

One of the many unique selling points of the software is its sustainable aims. In a press release from the brand, the company explains that a staggering “80 per cent of hotel administration is largely paper-based and excel is most commonly used to run all hospitality maintenance. Infraspeak completely removes the need for paper as all facility management can be logged and traced to completion through the software. In addition, the product’s intelligent software uses data to start to predict problems in advance, rather than simply reacting to issues when they arise. This predictive approach to maintenance means Infraspeak saves time, money and resources with a sustainable and efficient approach.”

Quick-fire round

Hamish Kilburn: What is your number one bugbear when checking in to a hotel? 
Felipe Ávila da Costa: Waiting too long

HK: Iphone or Android? 
FAC: Android 

HK: What did you want to be when you were growing up? 
FAC: I wanted to be a film director, and then a bridge engineer and then a software engineer – it’s been a journey! 

HK: What’s the best thing about Porto? 
FAC: By far the personality of the city 

HK: What has been your largest regret in business? 
FAC: I’ve made lots of mistakes, but none have been regrets 

Although from the outside, the journey for the pair looks a seamless one, the reality is quite the opposite. “There have been many, many challenges. The first challenge was for hotels to come on board with our thinking,” explains Ávila da Costa. “We were lucky enough to get one of the largest hotel brands in Portugal to work with us. With 35 hotels in their portfolio, we really needed to understand their needs.”

From airports to shopping malls and of course hotels, the widespread demand for reducing paper waste and incorporating a seamless communication technology has allowed the company to straddle many markets. “Infraspeak is designed to be flexible, but the demand for hotels is massive,” explains Ávila da Costa. “We currently have more than 250 hotels using the product.”

Recent headlines in the mainstream news have demonstrated the need for individuals and companies alike to think further outside the box in order to become more sustainable. Platforms like Infraspeak are looking towards the future, providing practical solutions that are reducing carbon footprints around the world.

New destination bar opens at revamped Hilton Hotel Münich City

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New destination bar opens at revamped Hilton Hotel Münich City

While Hotel Designs continues its Spotlight On Bars & Restaurants, Hilton Hotel Münich City opens Juliet Rose, a new destination bar…

Interior design firm Goddard Littlefair has completed a striking new destination bar called Juliet Rose at the Hilton Hotel Münich City. The city’s new place-to-be bar was inspired by the F&B concept of unusual botanical extracts and the importance of process in the creation of its singular drinks.

The scheme was inspired by the F&B concept of unusual botanical extracts and the importance of process in the creation of its singular drinks, which includes a range of signature cocktails and what is said to be the best coffee in Munich. The result is an exciting and theatrical zoned space with an alchemical, laboratory feel; a perfect back-drop for outstanding drinks to be made and delivered. The scheme both stands out from and also works subtly in harmony with the overall hotel, which has also undergone a thorough revamp by the Goddard Littlefair team.

The bar’s name, Juliet Rose, is taken from one of the most elite roses in the world, developed over a 15-year period by renowned rose breeder David Austin. As well as lending the concept connotations of craftsmanship and the long-term pursuit of perfection, the ‘Rose’ reference will also be easily understood by a local audience as a nod to Rosenheimer Strasse, the street onto which the bar’s dedicated entrance faces, as well as the Rosenheimer Platz metro station, on top of which the hotel stands.

Modern restaurant and bar

Image credit: Gareth Gardner

The generously-apportioned, 90-seat, 180 sq m bar is located on the hotel’s ground floor, with easy access from both the hotel’s spacious new reception, as well as via its own dedicated Rosenheimer Strasse entrance, introduced to maximise passing trade. Customers can additionally access the hotel and bar directly from the metro station and an adjacent car park below, arriving via a special circulation route through the ground floor of the hotel, offering intriguing glimpses of the back of the bar through semi-opaque windows, so that the bar is referenced and announced from every possible angle.

Juliet Rose is made up of four different seating zones, each with different stand-out features, plus two bars. The main ‘ceremony bar’ is a stunning, monolithic U-shaped design that guests coming from the hotel entrance see as soon as they enter the space, at the far end of a central approach. A second, smaller-scale coffee bar is made of the same dramatic moss-green and highly-polished granite, with the choice of material referencing the earthiness of botanical ingredients. The granite for the main bar has been book-matched to ensure dramatic textural veining from the front. Above and behind the main bar, the gantry structure is made up of brass sections, with an industrial/lab feel, underscored by an apothecary-style bottle display. The barman prepares cocktails at its centre, making full use of dry ice, bell jars and a sense of reveal.

‘The overall design approach for the space was based on form and order, with drama, freedom and an opposing sense of randomness created by the furniture and accessorising’, architect David Lee Hood, Associate at Goddard Littlefair, explained. ‘When it came to structure, we added a number of new elements to the space to give a feeling of overall order and symmetry, whilst also ensuring playful visibility between zones via glazed screens offering varying privacy levels.’

As visitors arrive from the hotel down the entry circulation route for example, they pass between two large-scale, floor-to-ceiling screens (with added ‘peep holes’), where a brass-effect structure features ribbed glass OLED panels with a striking inset palm print. The screens were bespoke-manufactured for the project and are just one of many bespoke items that ensure design integrity and exclusivity for the project. A second highly striking screen-wall faces the hotel entrance lobby, passed by guests on their way to either the bar or front reception, and is made up of a brass shelving structure with glass backlit panels where a textured opaque manifestation gives the impression of a linen-style finish and plays with light. The structure is decorated on the inner side with judiciously-placed planting.

Image credit: Gareth Gardner

As the existing columns in the space are quite dominant, the design team made a feature of them by using new cladding and mirroring. An existing ceiling was removed so that the space’s full height could be used, with a dramatic new lighting structure that uses brass pipes and large, exposed lamps to add to the geometric, laboratory feel. Inset mirrors within the ceiling area reinforce the structure, as well as adding reflection and sparkle. Architectural lighting for the scheme was created together with DPA Lighting, whilst the stand-out decorative pieces were all bespoke-designed by Goddard Littlefair, with advice from DPA, and manufactured by Peters Design. As well as the overhead grid structure, these include a stand-out ‘test tube’ style pendant light located over the main bar and a number of vertical, glass-clad wall lights, which refer to the test-tube decorative light in style. A number of mid-wall lights throughout feature a circular fitting with a pole attachment to each side. These add layering and create a lower-level light source to bring light to the tables. Flooring throughout features stained oak timber surround and inset panels, made up of a geometric pattern of small white mosaic areas, plus larger slices set at interesting angles.

The four main seating zones include a casual drop-in area, directly to the left of the entrance, primarily for daytime use for coffee and cakes. Further casual seating is to the right, whilst the two sections further back and along both sides of the bar, for day or evening use, feature a mixture of seating types, as well as a communal high table, for groups, cocktails evenings and special events. Planting is used throughout, both for biophilic appeal and to underline the ‘botanical ingredients’ bar concept.

Furniture throughout includes sofas in bottle green leather and loose seating upholstered in pale oyster pink or else in deep orange leather with thin brass upstands and dark turquoise seat backs. Tables are either a marble-effect silestone, a brass-edged timber-topped design or, for the higher communal table, a series of easily-conjoined tables featuring a print taken from a magnified gold-veined leaf print, supplied by Fameed Khalique and manufactured by the lead contractor on the scheme, Engels.

luxurious bar with pendent lighting

Image credit: Gareth Gardner

Four windows which look directly out onto Rosenheimer Strasse, alongside the bar, feature a special chain-mail curtain with a clip detail, playing once again with light and screening, whilst effectively obscuring the busy street view and ensuring customers are enveloped by the bar’s atmosphere.

Located behind the street entrance to the bar, on the other side of a draft lobby area, are two stand-out pieces of bespoke-designed joinery: a waiter station and a moveable cocktail bar, both in high-gloss lacquer with blue-green tones to work well with the planting and moss-green granite bars. The cocktail bar has a removable top with ice and a sink inside so that it can be moved around to cater to guests anywhere in the space.

The hotel reception lobby that connects with the bar features a design treatment in keeping with the overall hotel design scheme, inspired by German Expressionism and particularly Der Blaue Reiter art movement, which had its origins in the city. Stand-out design features in the reception area include feature lighting loops, designed by Goddard Littlefair and manufactured by LED-C4; a high-gloss hexagonal mosaic-fronted reception desk with brass edging; a striking reception back-wall with a pale grey wallcovering and bronze effect vertical dividing strips; a marble fireplace area and artworks chosen by art consultants ARTIQ, taking a cue from the dynamism and strong colour of early 20th century German Expressionism, but updating that for today’s context, with new artworks commissioned for the hotel from contemporary artists. The artworks that lead towards Juliet Rose are partly-abstracted paintings which reference a more natural theme, in keeping with the F&B concept, with bold and interplaying curved lines.

Main image credit: Gareth Gardner

How one boutique hotel is attracting modern travellers to Africa

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
How one boutique hotel is attracting modern travellers to Africa

Urbano Hotel is the modern design inspired boutique hotel located in the heart of Osu, Accra’s most vibrant neighbourhood designed by architect Hussein Fakhry…

With its landmark I LOVE ACCRA sign at the entrance, focus on design, attention to customer care, healthy food options and coveted location surrounded by international quality grocery stores, casinos, sports bars, African craft market, and thriving nightlife, Urbano is making waves on the African hotel design scene.

The hotel is part of the new hospitality trend in Ghana focused on affordable luxury and improved customer service that led the country to be named one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

“When we designed Urbano Hotel, we wanted to bring the concept of “New Africa” to life, an experience that fuses traditional African design and art with a cosmopolitan aesthetic and amenities that our guests are accustomed to when they travel to NY, London, or Paris or other top markets in the world. Urbano Hotel feels youthful and fresh yet a business traveller or family can still find comfort,” shares Fakhry, the Managing Director of Urbano’s parent company, Roots International and co-founder of Key Architectural Group who has more than 22 years experience on prestigious and diversified designs and construction projects throughout the Middle East and West Africa.

Team outside the sign 'I LOVE ACCRA' at hotel

Image credit: Urbano Hotel

It was the love and conception of urban neighbourhoods which promoted Fakhry’s team to revive and refurbish what was formerly the Penta Hotel into Urbano, a modern aesthetic piece, both internally and externally to enhance the facets of Oxford Street. Urbano Hotel features 43 rooms ranging from standard to the luxury bi-level suite and mini-apartment, a multi-functional hall with a capacity for 60, The Arabian, an indoor open courtyard, state of the art gym, The Terrace Bar, and Zaytoun Artisan Cafe featuring Middle Eastern specialities.

“Our utmost vision was to make Urbano Hotel a compelling, “must visit” destination within Accra and we complemented this objective with the mounting of the colourful “I LOVE ACCRA” installation which stretches across one side of the building to welcome every visitor to this culturally charming and vibrant neighbourhood. The millennial traveller is constantly documenting their travel experience on social media and Urbano’s facade lends itself to capturing iconic images of a visit to Ghana,” adds Fakhry.

Fakhry is passionate about the growth and development of Ghana’s tourism and hospitality industry and the possibility of the country emerging as a center of sustainable design in Africa.

“This year there has been a noted spike in travellers to Ghana due in part to Ghana Tourism Authority’s Year of Return initiative and several international conferences, music festivals and celebrity-driven tours scheduled to take place in the country. We are thrilled that discerning millennial travellers from around the world are travelling to Accra for both business and pleasure and finding Urbano’s eclectic style in alignment with their own sense of design, function and adventure and Osu serving as starting point to better understand the culture, dynamics and people of Ghana!”

Main image credit: Urbano Hotel

SPOTLIGHT ON: June’s features announced

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SPOTLIGHT ON: June’s features announced

Hotel Designs has officially dropped its May editorial features, which are Hotel Groups and Software & Controls…

Throughout June, Hotel Designs’ Spotlight On features will look at two highly topical features, namely Hotel Groups and Software & Controls – both areas working hand-in-hand to help create the hotel experience of the future.

Hotel groups

As the modern traveller continues to seek for experiences in all corners of the globe, hotel groups must arguably work harder than ever before in order to satisfy all guests. We will spend the month investigating just how hotel groups plan to do this.

Software and controls

For hoteliers and operators, technology is opening up a number of possibilities in hotel room technology. Technology is now being injected into work seamlessly with the interiors, to be hidden and totally user friendly.

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

THE Park Hotels unveils THE Park Mumbai

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
THE Park Hotels unveils THE Park Mumbai

India’s contemporary hotel group, THE Park, has opened the 60-key THE Park Mumbai, which is strategically located opposite Asia’s first Soho House…

THE Park Hotels, pioneers of luxury boutique hotels in India, brings its renowned design vocabulary to the city of dreams, Mumbai, with the launch of its latest hotel. Situated on Juhu Tara Road, framing unmatched sea views, THE Park Mumbai is set to bring contemporary design, rejuvenating spaces, innovative dining and sensuous entertainment into this vibrant part of the city.

Located opposite Asia’s first Soho House, close to sprawling Juhu Beach, the hotel is an uber-cool retreat in this urban hub. A striking charcoal facade by top architect Sanjay Puri is punctuated by burnt orange and fuschia windows that perfectly reflect the spectacular sunsets. The hotel’s eclectic exteriors are completed by stunning interiors designed by Singapore-based firm Ong & Ong.

The 60-key design hotel has six categories of rooms; with spectacular views of either the Arabian Sea or city while some overlook the historic Juhu airfield. The rooms and studio suites have been designed with a monochromatic colour palette with world-class amenities.

Image credit: THE Park Hotels

 Meishi, an elegant space off the lobby is an Asian inspired all day dining fusion restaurant – Japanese, Thai, Chinese, and a hint of Indian; using fresh and organic ingredients and currently open to resident guests.

The Saffron Room, a 2500 sq. ft. banqueting space on the first floor is a perfect place for social events and corporate meetings. The hall has two different types of lighting to enhance and make events even more spectacular.

Contemporary hotel room, framing the sea and palm trees

Image credit: THE Park Hotels

“We are excited to add the new striking address to our collection of hotels, said Speaking about the launch, Priya Paul, Chairperson of Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels. “Mumbai is a city of interesting contrasts and THE Park Hotels will add to it by bringing immersive and Anything But Ordinary experiences. Our vision is to have a slice of THE Park in every city people travel to.”

Mr. Vijay Dewan, Managing Director, Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels, added:, “We are happy to launch THE Park Mumbai today. It is our first managed hotel under THE Park Hotels portfolio. Mumbai is India’s key metropolitan cities and a business hub, and we are delighted to expand our footprint here. The hotel is not only targeted at the business travellers looking for a perfectly calm and rejuvenating experience, but this area is also for media, entertainment and other industries.”

Opening soon is a dramatic whisky bar with a cosy alfresco patio. as well as the addition of more rooms, a Presidential Suite, a spectacular poolside bar on the rooftop, a gym and a spa.

Main image credit: THE Park Hotels

Vienna House Wroclaw hotel to open following bleisure boom in Poland

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Vienna House Wroclaw hotel to open following bleisure boom in Poland

Vienna House plans to open a 240-room hotel in the centre of Wroclaw. The group’s seventh hotel in Poland is slated to open in Q1 of 2022 following a rise in the country’s bleisure market…

Following the acquisition of 17 city hotels from hotel brand arcona, Vienna House has announced plans to open its seventh hotel in Poland, further utilising on the destination’s booming business traveller market.

The new smart-casual city hotel is part of a redesigned building complex which surrounds a historically listed bakery. Vienna House Easy Wroclaw will be a base for business and leisure traveller alike, featuring a vibrant restaurant, lifestyle lobby and bar, modern fitness facilities and spacious conference area. Guests will receive a warm welcome from the famous Wroclaw dwarves’, an insight into the city’s history and unique culture. The complex in which the hotel sits also features a student apartment concept from the BaseCamp brand.

“Wroclaw is an exciting, growing market, and the location in the city centre, near the botanical garden, is ideal, ” said Rupert Simoner, CEO of Vienna House, in a press release. “The combination of the casual, service-oriented Vienna House Easy and the lively student concept fits very well together and will develop into a fresh, lively meeting place.” Vienna House Easy Wroclaw, the Austrian hotel group’s seventh hotel in Poland, underscores the enormous interest in the Polish market.

Rendering of modern guestroom with dark-green wallcoverings and twin beds

Image credit: Vienna House

The hotel will be operated by Vienna House under a lease agreement from ST Wroclaw Sienkiewicza Sp. z o.o., which offers student apartment solutions with BaseCamp in Poland, Denmark and Germany.

Vienna House Easy Wroclaw offers 236 double rooms along with four suites. The rooms come with extra-long, super comfortable beds, modern writing and seating solutions, and bathrooms with walk-in showers. The hotel also has a 360 m² meeting and conference area, ideal for working. The fitness area features state-of-the-art exercise equipment, in addition to a massage area.

Vienna House Easy stands for smart casual design, hospitality DNA within our employees, established analogue services and meaningful digital offerings. These include televisions with connectivity for guest devices, high-speed WiFi, mobile concierge, self-check-in/check-out and much more. The hotel lobby provides a cosy meeting place, inviting reception area, cool bar and lounge all rolled into one.

Main image credit: Vienna House

Hilton’s brand portfolio overtakes Marriott’s as “world’s most valuable”

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hilton’s brand portfolio overtakes Marriott’s as “world’s most valuable”

Despite announcing earlier this year to open 30 new luxury hotels, Marriott’s portfolio drops to second place as the value of its brands in the Brand Finance Hotels 50 ranking decreases by 30 per cent, giving way to Hilton…

As luxury brands scramble over one another in the battle for being the best, there has been a change in the tables. Reporting a 17 per cent growth, Hilton now becomes the world’s most valuable brands in the Brand Finance Hotels 50 ranking.

The hotel group, which owns brands such as Homewood Suites, Double Tree, and Hampton, has extended its lead as the world’s most valuable hotel brand and, according to Brand Finance, has overtaken Marriott’s. Hilton’s brand value growth (up 17 per cent to US$7.4 billion) was largely driven by strong revenue increase over the last year, cementing the brand’s leadership position in the industry.

Meanwhile, Marriott suffered a reduction in brand value (down eight per cent to US$5.0 billion) and its brand strength dropped from AAA- to AA+. Marriott has faced several challenges in the North American market from hacking scandals to persistent problems with its loyalty schemes. At the same time, the combined value of Marriott’s brands within the Brand Finance Hotels 50 ranking decreased by 30 per cent, giving way to Hilton’s brand portfolio to claim the title of the world’s most valuable.

“Hilton’s strategic approach to brand growth has allowed it to extend its lead as the world’s most valuable hotel brand,” said Savio D’Souza, Valuation Director at Brand Finance. “At the same time, endorsement from the flagship brand has rendered benefits across the portfolio as Homewood Suites, Double Tree, and Hampton have seen their brand values sore. In its centennial year, Hilton is well-positioned for another hundred years of success.”

“Hilton’s brand value in the top 50 ranking is concentrated across six brands.”

Hilton Worldwide Holdings achieved overall brand value growth of 41 per cent. Hilton’s brand value in the top 50 ranking is concentrated across six brands, up from five in 2018, all strongly leveraging the valuable Hilton brand name and each recording solid growth this year. Hilton has continually committed to its relentless expansion programme and with thousands of new rooms and hotels in the pipeline, the company shows no signs of slowing down in the coming year.

Marriott has not fared so well, with four of its brands dropping out of the Brand Finance Hotel 50 ranking this year. With one new entrant, Marriott now has twelve brands in the ranking, many of which have nevertheless decreased in value. Marriott’s recent announcement of entering the home-rental market however, is a promising move to take back market share from Airbnb and could contribute to an uplift in brand value in the coming year.

The Hilton and Marriott portfolios remain well ahead of third-ranked Wyndham, which also suffered a drop of eight per cent in brand value to US$7.3 billion.

The three hotel brands to grow the fastest in value this year all come from Hilton’s portfolio, and each contributed to its overall growth. Its impressive performance was led by Homewood Suites (brand value up 99 per cent to US$0.8 billion), followed closely by Double Tree (up 79 per cent to US$2.1 billion) and Hampton (up 78 per cent to US$3.2 billion). This growth allowed the latter two brands to reshape the ranking’s top 10, with Double Tree jumping from 17th to 7th and Hampton rising from 10th to 5th place over the past year.

Aside from calculating overall brand value, Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance. Alongside revenue forecasts, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value.

“Mercure has claimed the title of the world’s strongest hotel brand.”

According to these criteria and scoring high in Brand Finance market research, Mercure has claimed the title of the world’s strongest hotel brand, significantly improving its Brand Strength Index (BSI) score from 75.7 to 86.2 out of 100 and recording a brand rating upgrade from AA+ to AAA. Mercure is also the most valuable brand in Accor’s portfolio, with nearly 800 hotels. The brand has continued to make several acquisitions through its scheme of franchise growth.

Alongside analysing the world’s biggest hotel brands, Brand Finance also ranks the top 10 most valuable brands in the wider leisure and tourism industry.

Royal Caribbean International has narrowly retained its position as the world’s most valuable leisure and tourism brand, with its brand value remaining steady at US$3.8 billion. The brand reported strong financial results in 2018, and with demand high in the cruise industry, Royal Caribbean are on course for future growth.

Meanwhile, second-ranked TUI (brand value up four per cent to US$3.7 billion) substantially closed the gap to the ranking’s leader, only just falling short of overtaking Royal Caribbean.

The fast-growing China International Travel (up 70 per cent to US$3.7 billion) has come third this year, up from 5th in 2018. China International saw a significant increase in its valuation due to a surge in forecast revenue in coming years as the Chinese tourism market continues to develop with unprecedented speed and scale.

The fastest-growing brand in the ranking also comes from China. Happy Valley almost doubled its brand value in a single year (up 97 per cent to US$2.0 billion).

The brand portfolio analysis is based on the Brand Finance Hotels 50 ranking and does not take into account less valuable brands which have not been included in the ranking.

Brand value is understood as the net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market. Brand Strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures relative to its competitors.

Additional insights, more information about the methodology, as well as definitions of key terms are available in the Brand Finance Hotels 50 2019 report.

Main image credit: Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

PREVIEW: Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam

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PREVIEW: Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam

With just days to go until the first ever Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam, Hotel Designs, which will be moderating a panel discussion at the event, shares some of the main events that will be on stage in the city famed for its alternative creativity… 

Designed to support hoteliers with an independent attitude, Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam is setting up to deliver aspirational content alongside practical solutions.

Inspired by the hospitality offered in hotels themselves, the show strives to deliver a guest experience above and beyond that of the typical trade fair. So whether you’re looking for inspiration from our sublime designers, innovation from leading technology suppliers, or simply to discover something new for your hotel, we’re confident you’ll discover the solutions you are searching for.

Here’s what Hotel Designs, an official media partner of the show, is looking forward to…

WEDNESDAY May 8

11.00am – 11.45am: The Year in Review

The big picture of the European Hotel Industry. Our expert panel reviews the last 12 months of the European hotel market, outlining opportunities, implications and possibilities for you and your hotel – (in partnership with STR Global)

Speakers: Samantha Mardkhah, STR; Sander Allegro, Allegro INNovations Hospitality Consultancy; Gabriella Esselbrugge, Hotel De Dames van Jonge; Rene van Schie, Met Region Amsterdam

Stage: Hotel Vision Stage

12.30pm – 13.15pm: The Travel Future Forecast

This insight-packed presentation will navigate the major cultural shifts that are transforming the travel and hospitality landscape. Has the sharing economy gone luxe? How are Chinese tourists spending? Is room service having an existential crisis, and will robot concierges come to the rescue? The Travel Future Forecast is your ultimate guide to the trends defining travel and hospitality in 2019.

Speaker: Holly Friend, The Future Laboratory 

13.30pm – 14.00pm: Trend Tour

Join trend forecaster Vincent van Dijk for a trend tour, featuring a number of hand-selected highlights at the show which tie in with the most important hotel trends of this moment. From technological innovations to special sustainable gadgets that should not be missing in today’s hotel room! Tours will leave promptly from the Hotel Vision Stage.

Speaker: Vincent van Dijk, HBMEO Concepts

Stage: Hotel Vision Stage

14.30pm – 15.15pm: Why Sustainability is Good for Business

Discover the green business practices you need to know now. Join our panel of industry leaders as they outline the direct benefits of taking a transparent, sustainable approach to individual hotels and to the industry as a whole, from influencing customer trust to driving new business opportunities.

Speakers: Marie-Noelle Keijzer, WeForest; Inge van Weert, QO Amsterdam; Finn Bolding Thomsen, Green Key; Marco Lemmers, Conscieous Hotels

Stage: Hotel Vision Stage

15.45pm – 16.30pm: Let’s Get Personal: Attracting, inspiring and retaining your staff

Examining why hospitality is a hot career, This session outlines the new initiatives, opportunities and incentives hotel owners and operators can offer to staff looking to pursue a career in hospitality and how to train and retrain high potential recruits.

Speakers: Joost van Beek, The Student Hotel; Charles van Goch, Mise en Place; Erik-Jan Ginjaar, Postillion Hotels Netherland; Jorn Heikens, Stenden Hotel Management School

Stage: Hotel Vision Stage

16.15pm – 16.45pm Curating Design Through Art

Join Rebecca Wilson, VP of Art Advisory and former Director of the Saatchi Gallery in London, for guidance on selecting the best artworks to ensure you are at the forefront of art as well as design.

Speaker: Rebecca Wilson, Saatchi Art

Stage: Social Business Space

17.00pm – 17.45pm: Designing for ‘Bleisure’

Whether travelling for business or leisure, guests are seeking great experiences from their hotel stay. How is the hospitality and design community reacting to this need and designing spaces for ‘bleisure’?

Speakers: Rob Wagemans, Concrete; Hans Meyer, Zoku; Hamish Kilburn, Hotel Designs

Stage: Hotel Vision Stage

On stage with speakers

Image credit: Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam

THURSDAY May 9

11.00am – 11.45am: How to use Technology and Personalisation to Maximise your Direct Bookings

Industry expert, Frank Reeves explores the journey that hotels should be using to shift booker intent from OTA’s to their own website through revolutionary technology, and move the focus on from ‘direct bookings’ to ‘direct relationships’. This session will explore the changes in buyer booking behaviors, and how a digital guest-centric approach along with the adoption of emerging technology can revolutionise your guest experience from the start.

Speaker: Frank Reeves, Avvio

Stage: Hotel Vision Stage

12.00pm – 12.45pm: Placemaking: Hospitality at the heart of the community

A ‘how to’ for hoteliers wishing to capitalise on their local community’s assets, inspiration and potential.

Speakers: Veerle Donders, Zoku; Sander Allegro, Allegro INNovations Hospitality Consultancy; Gladys Camphuijsen; Annemoon Geurts, Kazerne

Stage: Hotel Vision Stage

13.00pm – 13.30pm: The Smart Travel Challenge

The 5 biggest industry challenges of the next decade and how we could turn them into sustainable growth opportunities.

Speaker: Christiaan Uittenbosch, Smart Travel Lab

Stage: Hotel Vision Stage

13.15pm – 13.45pm: Elevating Guest Experiences through Art

Rebecca Wilson, VP of Art Advisory at the international art gallery Saatchi Art, will discuss how art can transform the guest experience and lead to increased PR and greater social media exposure. Rebecca has curated art programmes for luxury brands such as Nobu, Hyatt, and Royal Caribbean Cruises.

Speaker: Rebecca Wilson, Saatchi Art

Stage: Social Business Space

14.00pm – 14.45pm: Scale Up But Retain Your Independent Spirit

A ‘how to’ for hoteliers looking to expand their portfolio, keeping the guest experience at the heart of the operation.

Speakers: Sander Allegro, Allegro INNovations Hospitality Consultancy; Bram Van Der Hoek, EU Hotels Private Collection; Jan Stuurman, V Hotel; Kevin Rockey, The Hoxton

Stage: Hotel Vision Stage

15.00pm – 15.45pm: The Hotel Room of the Future

What can we expect from the hotel room of the future? Trend forecaster Vincent van Dijk gives us a glimpse into the future of hospitality. Based on both experiences from his living lab, a hotel room where innovations for the hotel industry are tested, and a trend analysis.

Speaker: Vincent van Dijk, HBMEO Concepts

Stage: Hotel Vision Stage

15.45pm – 16.15pm: Trend Tour

Join trend forecaster Vincent van Dijk for a trend tour, featuring a number of hand-selected highlights at the show which tie in with the most important hotel trends of this moment. From technological innovations to special sustainable gadgets that should not be missing in today’s hotel room! Tours will leave promptly from the Hotel Vision Stage.

Speaker: Vincent van Dijk, HBMEO Concepts

Stage: Hotel Vision Stage

16.00pm – 16.30pm: Making a Difference – A Leadership Opportunity

Taking responsibility for the two most precious resources: Your People – Our Planet.

Speaker: Wolfgang M. Neumann, Radisson Hospitality Group AB, Guestline

Stage: Hotel Vision Stage

The Hotel Designs team will be exhibiting at the show on stand number F62

Former Metropolitan Police headquarters transformed into luxury hotel

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Former Metropolitan Police headquarters transformed into luxury hotel

The historic landmark building, which was developed by Galliard Construction, has been transformed into The Great Scotland Yard Hotel, a 153-key luxury lifestyle hotel…

The former Metropolitan Police headquarters in London’s Whitehall has been converted into the 153-key The Great Scotland Yard Hotel, which is operated by Hyatt under the group’s Unbound Collection brand and was developed by Galliard Construction.

Working in association with Galliard’s in-house team along with HBA, and EPR Architects, The Deluxe Group was appointed to manufacture and fit all front of house areas, for the high-end hotel, including double height vestibule, grand entrance lounge, concierge, main cocktail bar, palm court style lounge, whiskey bar/clubroom, signature restaurant, library, gymnasium, 120-seater main conference room/ballroom, meeting rooms and function/private dining rooms. The firm also produced the luxury hotel’s sample bedroom, as part of the multi-million-pound development, which is expected to open later this year.

The bespoke joinery project, which was worth £5.5 million was completed in just six months, with all work completed on schedule and within budget.“We are delighted to have been part of the team which has sympathetically developed this building to give a classic period interpretation, reflecting the immense history of such a landmark site,” Commented Colm Connolly, Director of The Deluxe Group. “We used the highest quality, detailed joinery and luxury finishes throughout all front of house and public areas, with individually themed areas providing a stylish homage  to the crime and policing history of the building.”

“Our commitment to delivering the best in bespoke joinery with the greatest attention to detail and client servicing, ensured the finished project was a true reflection of the client’s vision.”

Luxury public area

Image credit: Great Scotland Yard Hotel

Constructed in 1910, the iconic Edwardian building served as the Royal Military Police headquarters and the British Army Recruitment Office. It later became the Ministry of Defence Library until 2004.

The famed landmark is known for its rich history, providing guests the opportunity to stay in the location where Metropolitan police pursued some of the country’s most notorious criminals, including Jack the Ripper and the 40 Elephants all-female crime syndicate. Reflecting on this, the distinct historical character of the building has been preserved throughout the renovation, including maintenance of its original façade.

Main image credit: The Great Scotland Yard Hotel

First integrated resort in the Maldives to open in June

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First integrated resort in the Maldives to open in June

Crossroads project, which will span a 7km-long lagoon and nine islands in the Maldives, will open in June 2019 and will become the largest integrated resort in the Indian Ocean…

Crossroads Maldives has announced that it will be welcoming guests from June 2019, set to be the first integrated multi-island resort destination of the island nation.

Said to be one of the most comprehensive investment tourism projects to have been undertaken in the Maldives, the project will include the highly anticpated openings of Hard Rock Hotel Maldives and SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton.

At the heart of the Emboodhoo Lagoon, Hard Rock Hotel Maldives will inject music-infused energy, engaging experiences and feel-good vibes into the Maldives. The resort will fuse tropical atmosphere and contemporary design, topped with curated music memorabilia and a regionally inspired twist. 178 expansive family suites, chic beach villas and unspoilt one and two-bedroom overwater villas lie in wait, alongside show-stopping activities and brand-signature amenities that will bring the signature Hard Rock experience to the Maldivian atolls.

SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton, meanwhile, will offer guests something different, with a personalised journey from start to finish. Upon arrival, guests are welcomed with the chance to create their own bathroom amenities using natural ingredients from the resort’s Aroma Lab, a place to synchronise with the resort’s signature scents of Relaxation, Refreshment, Rejuvenation and Energy. An Aroma Specialist is on hand to explain the benefits of each scent and the precise techniques used to mix the ingredients. Using this knowledge, guests then are able to handpick from a selection of twelve scents, including cedarwood, lavender and rosemary, combining several of these to create their own delectable bathroom amenities. Once guests are settled, they are invited to drop by Snap: Snack Box and pick up complimentary refreshments.

Render of green shack-like guestroom in the Maldives

Image credit: Curio by Hilton

198 spacious guestrooms, beach villas and overwater villas are dotted across the tropical island, surrounded by al fresco spaces, spacious interiors and personalised comforts, all created with an eclectic yet artisanal touch. Located within walking distance to The Marina @ CROSSROADS, the resort is ideal for families, couples or friends looking for a unique escape.

Crossroads Maldives, a multi-island integrated leisure and entertainment project, will aim to redefine holidays in the Maldives and transform the Greater Malé Region when it opens. In addition to the new hotels, the project will feature a luxurious 30-berth yacht marina, 11,000 square metres of retail space and world-class facilities such as Café del Mar beach club.

Main image credit: Curio by Hilton

Nobu Hotel Los Cabos opens

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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