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Avani Hotels & Resorts to enter Cambodia

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Following the opening a hotel in Koh Sumui, Avani Hotels & Resorts prepares to open its first hotel in Cambodia… 

Avani Hotels & Resorts has announced its entry into the Cambodian market with the launch of ‘FCC Angkor – Managed by Avani’. Following an extensive seven million USD renovation which includes the addition of 60 new rooms, the hotel is set to reopen its doors in the second quarter of 2019. The FCC Angkor is one of Cambodia’s best-known hotels and features authentic French colonial architecture intrinsic to the historic and cultural fabric of Siem Reap. FCC Angkor creates an inspiring ambience for remarkable experiences and unforgettable stories in the heart of Siem Reap.

“Avani Hotels & Resorts’ first entry into Cambodia signals our ongoing commitment to offering an upscale experience to all intrepid travellers,” said Dillip Rajakarier, CEO of Minor Hotels, the parent company of Avani Hotels & Resorts. “We believe FCC Angkor will be home to the intrepid traveller seeking an authentic experience in the social hub of Siem Reap.”

Located across from the Royal Independence Gardens and Royal Residence, FCC Angkor evokes the timelessness of Siem Reap for guests who want authentic experiences during their journey. The property centres around the former ‘Mansion’ of the French colonial governor, which became the renowned Foreign Correspondence Club and a popular meeting place for local and international journalists, celebrities, and travellers from around the world seeking to explore Siem Reap. Their stories echo and permeate every corner of the FCC Angkor, encouraging visitors to embrace their inner global adventurer.

“We are excited to be working with Avani Hotels & Resorts as they are exceptional operators of lifestyle hotels, and well aligned to promote and position the FCC Angkor and FCC Collection brand. The new FCC will also be a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, joining us in the commitment to deliver extraordinary, engaging and unique experiences to our global guests,” said Susan Devine, Owner’s Representative, FCC Angkor – Managed by Avani.

The hotel enhancements have perfectly blended the colonial structures with contemporary designs inspired by Cambodia’s natural beauty and Khmer culture, which extend across the pedestrian bridge to the newly built extension. Throughout the property, the exotic environment of verdant gardens, Khmerinspired contemporary art, and exclusive European design accents create a sophisticated, residential feel, a signature concept for the heritage property.

Main image credit: Avani Hotels & Resorts

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.

 

Top five stories of the week: New hotel openings, living coral inspires Kaboom rug and Citizenm’s award-winning Dometic Drawer minibar

1000 658 Hamish Kilburn

Following a swathe of new hotel openings, editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn, lists this week’s top stories…

As the year comes to a close and we head into 2019, the editorial desk at Hotel Designs has witnessed a major uplift in known hotel brands expanding into yet-to-be discovered areas this week.

This also coincides with the feature for January 2019, where we will have a key focus on new hotel launches and spas. 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.


1) Curio Collection by Hilton opens in Canary Wharf

Lincoln Plaza London
Located for the curious traveller looking to explore the city, Lincoln Plaza London is a short distance from iconic landmarks such as the Tower of London, Big Ben, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace and The O2. The hotel echoes the sleek architectural cues of Canary Wharf, drawing inspiration from the area’s rich industrial heritage.

2) Illullian unveils Kaboom rug in living coral
Illulian unveil Kaboom ru
Kaboom depicts a great explosion that recalls the action painting, a highly-charged, impulsive style of abstract gestural painting during which paint is energetically splashed, spilt or dribbled onto a canvas. The outcome? A veritable work of art: Kaboom is the distinctive, irreverent sign of a splash of colour, enhanced by the use of blue & living coral.

3) Citizenm agree to use award-winning Dometic Drawer minibar

Lifestyle hotel brand CitizenM has selected Dometic to equip its rooms with stylish Noiseless Drawer Minibars and sleek in room Top Opening Safes. Dometic, a brand widely associated for providing products for use in recreational vehicles and premium car are devoted to trying to enrich people’s experiences away from home.

4) Four Seasons opens its first Greece Hotel
Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel
Long a favoured playground of Athenians and international celebrities, the Astir Palace Hotel is now being transformed into the first Four Seasons experience in Greece. Following a significant renovation and reinvention, a new generation of travellers is poised to fall in love with this very special seaside enclave.

5) Longevity Wellness worldwide takes state-of-the-art Wellness Hotel to Portugal

June 2019 will witness the grand opening of the five-star Longevity Health & Wellness Hotel, located in Alvor, Portugal. The state-of-the-art wellness centre is the first of its kind in the region, where it will boast modern, integrative and regenerative medicine with advanced wellness and preventative diagnostics, therapies and programmes.

Top five stories of the week: New artistic heights, when two industries collide and The Brit List 2018 approaches

Hamish Kilburn

Feeling inspired from recent conversations and exclusives, editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn, lists this week’s top stories… 

The most common answer I hear when I ask designers, architects and hoteliers where they source their inspiration from is ‘everywhere’. The more I hear this answer, the more I sit and wonder how far-reaching everywhere can be, and can anything really spark the concept of a great idea?

If you’re looking for a company that is pushing the boundaries in where inspiration can be found, look no further. The creative genius’ at Zaha Hadid Design demonstrated to the world late last month that design has no ceiling. The design firm unveiled a new collection of fitness clothing, believe it or not, having turned to the arena of performance sportswear to find new ideas and (that key word) inspiration. Since this product dropped, the thought that inspiration can lead to innovation has been a theme that has seamlessly weaved itself into the majority of this week’s headlines. This comes as the team at Hotel Designs prepare to unveil The Brit List 2018, which will name the top 75 inspirational individuals (designers, hoteliers and architects) who are keeping Britain at the centre of the design world. Prepare to be inspired, ladies and gentlemen, as we break down this week’s top five stories.

1) SPOTLIGHT ON: Reaching new creative heights with artist Beth Nicholas

Known artist Beth Nicholas is used to seeing her masterpieces on the walls of some of the world’s finest examples of hotel design. Among working with clients such as Christian Louboutin, Langham Hotels and Waldorf Astoria, one of the most challenging briefs came recently when she was asked to create a large art installation for The Address Downtown Dubai‘s lobby area. I was fortunate enough to catch up with Nicholas after the hotel had reopened and she could finally take a sigh of relief now that her art is the first impression for guests checking in.

2) Architecture meets fashion: Zaha Hadid Design’s latest collaboration weaves a new direction in sportswear technology

Design giant Zaha Hadid Design unveils collaboration with a Swiss performance sportswear brand, suggesting that inspiration for designers and architects is not limited to one – or even two – industries. Hamish Kilburn investigates.

3) The Brit List 2018: Less than two weeks to go

 

There are still limited tickets available to attend The Brit List 2018 on November 2018 at BEAT London. The evening will welcome Britain’s leading interior designers, hoteliers, architects and suppliers to celebrate Britain as an international design hub in hotel design. As well as unveiling the 75 most influential designers, hoteliers and architects who deserve their place in The Brit List 2018Hotel Designs will also announce the winners of the six newly launched awards. These include:

  • Inspiration in Design – Innovative use of Technology (Sponsored by DLAppTap)
  • Inspiration in Design – Hotelier of the Year
  • Inspiration in Design – Interior Designer of the Year (Sponsored by Tarkett)
  • Inspiration in Design – Architect of the Year
  • The Eco Award
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Hotel Industry

4) Amsterdam named top city for hotel investment for third year in a row

Amsterdam

Investors have named Amsterdam as the most attractive European city for hotel investment for the third year in a row, according to the 2018 European Hotel Investment Survey from Deloitte. The findings, based on responses from 122 senior hospitality figures from across the world, are revealed ahead of the 30th annual European Hotel Investment Conference taking place in London this week.

5) DLAppTap confirmed as sponsor of The Brit List 2018 Innovation In Technology Award

Following its official launch at the Independent Hotel Show last monthDLAppTap has been confirmed as the official Sponsor of the Innovation In Technology Award at the The Brit List 2018.

Trump Hotels’ prices down as much as 65 per cent

640 400 Hamish Kilburn
The cheapest room rate found at Trump Doral in Florida is just £254 for two nights in November 2018, that’s 35 per cent cheaper than last year and 65 per cent cheaper than January 2017 at Donald Trump’s inauguration…

Travel currency expert FairFX, has revealed the cost of a stay in Trump hotels around the world has dramatically dropped since Trump’s inauguration, as American voters hit the polls again for the USA’s mid-term elections – showing it doesn’t necessarily pay to be president.

Two years on from Donald Trump’s shock election victory, the outcome of these votes could affect how the rest of Trump’s presidency turns out and are considered a test of the President’s time in office so far.

Outside of his political performance, FairFX has investigated the success of the President’s hotel empire, revealing the price of a luxury room at his hotels have dropped by as much as 65 per cent since his inauguration in January 2017 and are down by 35 per cent since this time last year. This research suggests that the success of the Trump brand could be being impacted by Trump’s time at the White House.

“Even the most expensive room at a Trump hotel – the Trump Townhouse – is down £8,813 for a 2-night stay in November 2018.”

Of the 22 room prices tracked since Trump’s inauguration, 17 of them have slumped by between 10 per cent and 65 per cent with an average price slump of £865.

The dramatic slump in hotel prices could go some way to explaining how the president – who became the first billionaire president in U.S. history when he took office – was knocked 138 places lower on this year’s Forbes 400 list where his net worth was listed as $3.1billion, down $1.4billion compared to the end of 2015.1

Even the most expensive room at a Trump hotel – the Trump Townhouse – is down £8,813 for a 2-night stay in November 2018 at £38,687 compared to the £47,501 price tag it boasted in January 2017.

Meanwhile, a stay in the Presidential Suite in the Trump Doral in Florida comes in at £4,936 less than January 2017 – a difference of 35 per cent. And compared to this time last year, the price tag is 19 per cent less.

But it’s not just the premium suites that have taken a price hit, superior and deluxe rooms are also being sold at much cheaper rates compared to the start of Trump’s presidency.

A two-night stay in a ‘Superior Room’ at both Trump Las Vegas and Trump Vancouver is now £342 and £314 respectively cheaper than it would have been back in January 2017.

And it seems that some room prices are slumping around the world, as the price of a Deluxe Room at either Trump Waikiki in Hawaii or Trump Turnberry in Scotland is now two per cent less than January 2017, with a price drop of £251 and £140 respectively.

Top Trumps

But it’s not all bad news for Trump’s Hotel empire as five of the hotel room prices have been bumped up, with an Ocean View Suite in Trump Turnberry up 44 per cent (£400) compared to January 2017 and 35 per cent compared to this time last year.

 

References available on request

Top 5 stories of the week: New swanky brand, a futuristic opening in China and a floating hotel

799 389 Hamish Kilburn

It’s been a busy week for the industry, with plenty of news in the air to digest. This week Hotel Designs has seen the launch of a new upscale hotel brand, new openings from around the world and we are one step closer to the first hotel brand launching on water.

Here are the top five hotel stories of the week, as selected by editor Hamish Kilburn:

1. IHG launches voco, a new upscale hotel brand

coffee and voco menu

At an exclusive press event in London’s Saatchi Gallery, our editor learnt all about the new hotel brand, voco. We broke this story to the world on Tuesday morning, and have since watched it soar the charts to become this week’s most read article. Read all about how the brand is planning on launching to be ‘reliably different’…

2. New London hotel restaurant: Hans’ Bar & Grill unveiled at 11 Cadogan Gardens 

Hans’ Bar & Grill, a new west London neighbourhood restaurant in Chelsea’s Pavilion Road, has opened. The new striking and contemporary interiors scheme, created by leading hospitality and F&B designers Goddard Littlefair, includes an exciting new extended café-bar space and a new restaurant, which plays on the concept of indoor-outdoor dining…

3. Seven minutes with Fiona Thompson, Principal of Richmond International

We last spoke to Fiona Thompson in 2014, when she and her team had just completed the quintessentially British Sterling Suite and Club Lounge at The Langham London. Having just agreed to be our headline speaker at Meet Up North on July 18, we wanted to know how the industry is shaping up from a leader’s point of view…

4. Zaha Hadid Architects unveils new flagship hotel for the City of Dreams resort in Macau

Image credit: Virgile Simon Bertrand

From one design visionary design house to another, award-winning architecture firm Zaha Hadid Architects designed the futuristic Morpheus as a simple extrusion of the existing abandoned foundations…

5. The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection opens reservations to the public 

Rendering of the yacht

Claiming to be the first luxury hotel group to take its service and ambiance of its resorts to the sea, The Ritz-Carlton, L.L.C. has announced the opening of reservations for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. The yacht will also feature two 158 square-meter lavish Owner’s suites, each with its own private whirlpool, modern craftsmanship and interior finishes jointly designed by The Ritz-Carlton and leading design firm Tillberg Design of Sweden.

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Light, airy room with a subtle colour scheme

Multimillion pound renovation completes at Apex Grassmarket hotel

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A multi-million pound refurbishment of leading Edinburgh hotel, Apex Grassmarket, has been completed, with guests set to enjoy a warm welcome in luxurious surroundings within the city.

The investment – which is part of a £15 million package of improvements across the Apex Hotels portfolio throughout 2018 – saw all 169 bedrooms transformed within the stylish hotel, located in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town.

The revitalised bedrooms, designed by in-house designer Emma Franks, now have a calm, Scandinavian feel with contemporary grey patterned carpets and strong contrasts between light and dark – creating a cosy atmosphere for guests to unwind and get the perfect night’s sleep.

As part of Apex’s #WarmerWelcome campaign, each bedroom now comes with a new in-room handbook full of helpful tips from wellbeing expert and Apex ambassador Celynn Morin, helping guests to rejuvenate, focus or relax, and get the most out of their stay.

Guests in executive rooms and above will also be able to enjoy an in-room luxury Elemis pillow spray to help aid sleep and a selection of teas such as camomile to relax or green tea for rejuvenation alongside healthy snacks including tasty sea salt popcorn and luxurious dark chocolate cocoa pouches.

Alan Taylor, General Manager of Apex Grassmarket Hotel, said: “With tourists attracted to the city for a wide range of world-renowned festivals and a popular conference destination, the seven figure refurbishment will ensure that our guests enjoy Apex’s signature warmer welcome in stylish and modern surroundings.

“The work carried out has been fantastic and we are proud of the new look, so much so we are looking forward to welcoming both visitors from the area and further afield to enjoy our new and enhanced offering within Edinburgh’s Old Town.”

Alongside the revitalised bedrooms, the hotel’s decking area, with beautiful views towards Edinburgh Castle, is set to be revamped this year – providing guests with world class views to enjoy a drinks and dining experience like no other.

Apex Hotels’ investment comes following another consecutive year of strong growth for 2016-17, with a six per cent rise in turnover – up to £65m from £61.3m the previous year.

As part of the £15 million refurbishment programme, improvements are also underway to two further Edinburgh Apex Hotels – Haymarket and Waterloo Place – as well as Apex Temple Court Hotel in London.

Multi-million pound refurbishment works at Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa and Apex City of London Hotel have now been completed.

Large and quirky public area

Award-winning Naumi Auckland unveils exclusive art collection

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In the lobby, a 24-carat gold textured wall represents the feathered nape of the native Tui bird…

Art and design play a central role at Naumi Auckland Airport, which opened in February. Already heralded as the world’s coolest airport hotel, making it into Forbes’ list of “The Best Airport Hotels In The World 2018”, Naumi Auckland Airport is a living gallery as well as a hotel. Its impressive work embellishes the property from the entrance through to each and every guestroom. From up-and-coming artists in New Zealand as well as established names internationally, the multi-sensory pieces reference the native Tui bird, on which the hotel’s design is centred, as well as the beautiful landscapes of the country.

Large lobby area with gold wall

One of the most striking works at Naumi Auckland is found in the lobby. Greeting guests as they arrive is a 24-carat gold textured wall which represents the feathered nape of the Tui bird. Commissioned to the NY Art Department (New Zealand), the 95 gold discs are hand painted with a feather pattern. Next to the wall sits a customized two and half metre bird cage as well as paintings from Australian artist Belynda Henry. Winner of the SNW Wynne prize, Belynda was specially commissioned to capture the natural Auckland landscape and started the process by sitting on the rooftop of the hotel to sketch the view. Her original pieces have been transformed onto rugs in the guest rooms as a playful interpretation of the Tui bird’s native surroundings. The rugs allow guests to engage with the natural landscape through a walkable piece of art.

Close up of the tactile wall in the lobby

Among the eclectic mix of handpicked furnishings from the likes of Jonathan Adler and Kartell are works by New Zealand based designer Judi Bagust. Commissioned to work on original pieces for the hotel, the artist chose to capture the lyrical notes of the singing Tui bird. The largest work is found in the Paksa Restaurant as well as prints hanging in the guestrooms, complete with customized brass frames. Seemingly floating in space, Bagust’s brushed ink marks stretch, loop and fold across the paper in one elegant, oscillating movement. Each mark twists and turns to give the effect of a delicate dance of a geological form or musical score.

Modern dark-lit guestroom

In keeping with the hotel’s art theme, Naumi Auckland is home to two design suites including the Dotty Suite, inspired by the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, known for her brightly coloured conceptual pieces. Each piece of furniture, wall and soft furnishing will be inspired by Kusama’s signature dots, making it a one of a kind experience for guests. Naumi was the sponsor for Auckland Art Gallery’s Obliteration Room by Yayoi Kusama Project, that ran earlier this year.